February 22, 2022

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. ⁠ — Named one of the top collegiate gaming programs in the country, the Illinois Wesleyan University Esports Team is hosting a tournament for video game enthusiasts throughout the midwest.

Value Gamers, BestColleges.com and Intelligence.com all ranked the IWU Esports Team among the top five best varsity esports programs in the country for 2022.

Founded in 2018, the Esports program boasts a state-of-the-art facility with over 50 computers, a competition room, broadcast studio, conference room and two student lounges. The team has grown drastically from its inception, now with 45 Titan members. These factors support the program’s mission to Offer a supportive and diverse environment for students to train, compete and pursue their passions.

IWU Esports Director Cora Kennedy said the team’s success comes from “being early to the party” and through support from University leadership.

“Many other collegiate programs have to fight for support from their administration, but here at IWU we are happily supported by the institution as a whole, but especially from the Dean of Students Office,” which oversees the program, said Kennedy.

Illinois Wesleyan will host the seventh annual Smash of the Titans gaming tournament on Sunday, Feb. 27 in the Hansen Student Center. Doors will open at 10 am with the first bracket beginning at 11 am

The tournament’s title comes from the popular video game “Smash Brothers Ultimate,” where players can choose from over 80 characters to fight in one-on-one or team battles.

The entry fee is $10 with an additional $10 fee per bracket. The team will provide a $500 base prize with each entry fee contributing to the prize pool. The top three players will receive 40, 20 and 15 percent of the prize pool, respectively.

Over 100 participants attended the last Smash of the Titans event in 2019. The team expects a similar turnout for this year’s tournament. Spectators are welcome to observe the tournament at no cost and concessions will be available. Masks are required inside the venue.

The event will be streamed on the team’s Twitch channel. For more information about the tournament or to register, click here. Contact Cora Kennedy with questions about the tournament at kkennedy@iwu.edu.

By Maria Harmon ’23