Inaugural E-Sports Egg Bowl

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OXFORD, Miss. (WCBI) – The Pavilion at Ole Miss played host to the first ever E-sports Egg Bowl.

It’s a rivalry that dates back decades. Ole Miss versus Mississippi State. There’s something different about this match-up.

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The Rebels and the Bulldogs went head to head in an E-sports tournament. Gamers from both universities battled it out Saturday morning in hopes of taking home the ultimate prize, the Egg Bowl trophy.

“It’s a series of tournaments, seven of them, and whoever wins the most gets to take the trophy back with them,” said Sports Club member Conner Smith.

Members of the E-Sports Club in Oxford say it’s important that their club has finally been recognized by the university.

“Understanding video games as more than just a pass-time is. There’s a lot a team elements. There’s a lot of interaction that goes on. There’s a lot of the artistic aspect of video games, and I think all these different things can get a lot more recognition and can really push this medium forward for a lot of people and I think that’s a really positive experience,” said computer science professor Adam Jones.

Supporters of the E-Sports club at Ole Miss say a lot more goes into video games than one might expect.

“Seeing people going out and doing fun things like competing in an E-Sports environment get them interested and excited in things like developing computer graphics and virtual reality, and that’s ultimately what we want to do here. We want to teach people how to do those things and get those skills,” said Jones.

The Immersive Media Course at Ole Miss was specifically designed for teaching students how to program virtual reality video games. The course was such a hit that it’s now being taught year round, and it was actually the first of it’s kind in Mississippi.

“The students in this class, they learn how to build V.R. environments on a two week rotation. They do design groups, they assign roles to each other like script development, graphics, story line, and then they essentially build video games in virtual reality,”said Jones.

Club members say the tournament as a whole has been a very positive experience and one they will be looking forward to next year.

“I think it’s just a positive experience to be able to grow all around, and I think it has a lot of potential for something like that,” said Smith.

There are 7 tournaments taking place Saturday. Currently Mississippi State is ahead 2-1 in the games.