Hundreds converge on HU for National Esports Convention


HU Storm battle Boise State’s Esports team during the feature match

Hundreds of visitors from across the U.S. have converged on downtown Harrisburg at the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) 2019 Convention hosted by Harrisburg University.

Exhibitors, panel speakers, coaches, players, and other collegiate Esports  representatives are participating in the event, which kicked off Wednesday and runs through Friday afternoon.

The convention stands as the premier annual event in collegiate Esports. And NACE, which tracks 126 institutions, chose Harrisburg University as this year’s host site following a lengthy proposal process that saw 100 applicants vie to become the official host site.

“Harrisburg University’s exceptional Esports program and state-of-the-art facilities made Harrisburg a natural fit,” said NACE Executive Director, Michael Brooks. “The city and surrounding community have been unwavering in their support of Esports with HU really leading the collegiate charge. We’re confident that those who attend the 2019 NACE Conference will feel very welcome in Harrisburg and see for themselves that Harrisburg has quickly become the hub for Esports on an international level.”

The NACE Convention is using available Esports-designated areas of both HU and the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, which offers over 74,000 square feet of space.

With surrounding amenities like hotels, restaurants and multiple methods for access to the city, NACE recognized Harrisburg’s tourism appeal and hundreds of attendees are visiting the city for the first time during the event.

The University’s Esports team, the HU Storm, will play a feature match against Boise State at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

In addition to recruitment discussions at the Convention, NACE plans to address other hot-button topics affecting collegiate Esports programs, including coaching in Esports, growing current programs, athlete health and wellness, and Esports facilities.

During a panel discussion on the state of collegiate Esports Wednesday night, HU President Dr. Darr noted that “We have great opportunities to expand local Esports communities and localize the connection between collegiate and pro (teams). In Harrisburg, we have partnered with the Philadelphia Fusion and the  Susquehanna Soniqs, who are a few blocks away from campus.” 

“Esports is a new, evolving industry,” Dr. Darr added. “Things will work, and things won’t. Collect data about it in order to learn and get better.”

Details on the convention schedule, speakers, and registration for the NACE Convention are available at this Link.

About Harrisburg University

Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Harrisburg University is a private non-profit university offering bachelor and graduate degree programs in science, technology, and math fields to a diverse student body. For more information on the University’s affordable demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, call 717.901.5146 or email,

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