What do you need to host your first esports tournament?

As you know if you follow me, I am the advisor of the esports club at UNCW. Recently, I have been getting a lot of emails from schools, clubs, or organizations who would like to know how to set up their own esports tournament. The following video goes through the basics you would need, the minimum, when hosting a small tournament. I kept this simple so that it would be easy to follow and there are a lot of details left out (on purpose). The idea here is that you have a guide to work from to put together a plan to host your own tournament.

How to stop laptop from overheating!

I recently was on vacation, using a brand new alienware computer, and ran into a lot of overheating issues. This is not something I normally experience with my home computer, which is also an alienware, so I had to take steps to solve the issue and make sure the computer wasn’t broken and to lower the temps. High temps can mean a broken machine or it can just mean you need to make a few adjustments.

The main issue I was running into was that games, like Overwatch, were increasing the temps to 99 degrees celsius. That is way too high and can damage a machine. Ideally you don’t want temps above 85-90 when pushing the processor and temps below 65 when idle. To monitor the temps, I used a program call HWINFO, which was showing high temps after just a few minutes of gaming. Here are the steps I took to lower the temps on the machine:

1. Used a laptop board that was vented and angled.
2. Undervolted the machine using throttlestop.
3. Lowered the amount of turbo boost the machine can use.

I describe how I do each of these in the video. By the end of the process I was able to keep the machine below 80 degrees at all times. That means that my machine is not broken and just needed some adjustments to maintain a good temperature. Remember laptops cram a lot into a small space so high temps are not unusual when you push the processor. This was a new machine and hadn’t been tested. I find all of my machines usually need adjustment to find that sweet spot to maximize performance while keeping the machine below temps that will damage it!

Links to everything discussed in video:

Laptop cooling pad: https://amzn.to/35ax6CI
Throttlestop:https://www.techpowerup.com/download/techpowerup-throttlestop/
HWINFO: https://www.hwinfo.com/

UNCW eSports Tournament #1

We had our first eSports tournament at UNCW. This was an internal club event and was really a pilot for future events on campus. The event was awesome! We played Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. We ended up with around 70 participants, 120 people total there, and 173 views on our Twitch page.

That was way more than we expected. Then again, Smash is a very popular game and perfect for this kind of event, so that did play a part.

Other games will not be run in the same manner and we can’t expect the same turnout when using different games. For example, a league of legends tournament may have hardly anyone actually attend in person, rather, people would attend online. I like to tell people eSports is like no other sport and its closest comparison would be track and field. Anyway, here are a few videos from the event:

Actual event footage:

My reflections/lessons learned on the event:

Video game history!

This is a video I have been meaning to create for a very long time. I love games! I have been playing video games since I was 3 yrs old when my dad brought home and Atart 2600 and Magnavox Odyssey 2. I still to this day am not sure why he got a 3 yr old a video game system, let alone 2 of them, but they started me on a long journey. So making this video felt like I was reliving a part of my past to the present day. It was a lot of fun to see it. After the atari/magnavox I upgraded to the turbographix, NES, and sega genesis. All 3 were a blast but nintendo was a clear winner for me with mario, zelda, and many others. Here are all of the systems I owned to present day. The video goes into the actual history but this is mine: Atari 2600, Magnavox Odyssey 2, NES, Sega Master System, Turbographix 16, SNES, Gameboy, N64, Gamecube, PS2, Xbox 360, GameboyAdvance SP, Gameboy DS, Nintendo Wii, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch. This doesn’t include all of the Computers, both Mac and PCs I’ve had and game with! I hope you enjoy:

Is Fortnite appropriate for kids?

My son, 8 yrs old, is begging to play this game (fortnite). Apparently he is the only kid in his class that is not allowed to play it, which is ironic considering I am probably the only parent in the class that plays it! Having said that, he will finally be allowed this Oct when he turns 9. I believe he is finally ready. But no way is my 6 yr old allowed. He is not ready. He is not mature enough.

My biggest suggestion to parents – please monitor each game your child wants to play. Here is my 5 point plan for monitoring a specific game:

  1. Ask your child if its appropriate
  2. Google the game and check out some reviews
  3. Look at the game website and/or app store to read the description
  4. Check out the game rating
  5. Play the game yourself

Honestly, I can do all of this in 20-30 minutes. Yes it takes up my time but its well worth it. I have to block about 20% of games that my son asks to play. I enjoy games so I don’t mind learning about them. Plus I can talk to him about the game and see what it is about it that interests him. Check out the following video where I discuss Fortnite and how it is/is not appropriate for kids:

How popular are eSports?

Are eSports popular? Can you make money off of eSports? Do college offer eSports and gaming scholarships? Are there eSports arenas? These are some of the questions I answer in this video. Here are are some of the numbers and figures I discuss:

Some numbers:

43 billion – How much the movie industry made in 2018. Its also the amount the gaming industry made in America in 2018!

115 million – Highest viewership for a super bowl, ever, in 2015. 98 million – how many views the super bowl had in 2019. These super bowl #s are just to put perspective on gaming viewership since its the highest watched event in america.

99 million – How many people watch the league of legends championship series in 2018. So gaming viewership is near that of the super bowl.

Where can you play?

Arenas. We have arena now in every major city and more are being built. They are huge in other countries but they are coming or here in America!

School. Yep high schools and colleges are forming teams. In fact, you can get a college scholarship for gaming.

What about salary or money?

Top gamers are making 1-4 million dollars per year in salary/winnings. This does not include sponsorship/streaming money o any type of earnings like the supplements given to the top gamers like panax ginseng which helps them to achieve the best in their general health.

DanTDM, a top gaming streamer is estimated to be worth 45 million. So streaming/sponsorships can add significant $$$.

Ninja, a pro fortnite player was paid $1 million dollars to play a new game, Apex Legends, for a ‘few hours’, on release day.

So the money is there.

eSports are growing. Do you play or watch? I do.

What can you learn from games anyway?

I love video games and I love the lessons that they can teach to kids. So what can we learn? Well obviously a game geared towards math can teach a kid math but that is not what this post is focusing on. What I want to focus on are the FIVE MAJOR skills that you can learn when playing video games such as League of Legends, World of Warcraft, and Minecraft (keep in mind that not all games do these things so you need to be selective):

  1. You will lose. You cannot always win and games teach you that you will lose. I believe this is great because in today’s watered down culture we give kids trophies for trying in addition to winning. Games do not work that way. You only get the prize if you win. This is an important lesson that needs to be fully understood by kids so they know that they need to work hard to win in life.
  2. Problem solving. You will learn to problem solve. You don’t like losing? Guess what, you need to keep playing and practicing to get better just like real life.
  3. Teamwork. This is a skill that kids learn in sports, it’s super important in things like escape the room west chester because you won’t manage to get out without teamwork. You cannot win a game by yourself. However, not all kids play sports. If a kid does not play sports I would definitely make sure they learn teamwork from a very young age and multiplayer games are a great way to accomplish this.
  4. Communication. You have to communicate with your team virtual in games. This is a great skill as many jobs are now virtual and you need to communicate with team mates, a boss, and clients in a virtual environment. You will learn how to greet, sign on/off, and online speak in general.
  5. Your imagination is the limit. Games like minecraft allow you to build and construct. Literally your imagination is the limit. This teaches kids to invent and create things that are not there. This thinking outside of the box is a skill that managers want and a skill that innovators like Bill Gates have. If you are passionate about gaming, this streaming setup will be a perfect guide for you.