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Who says uOttawa sporting glory only happens on the ice or on the football field? Increasingly, gamers are defending uOttawa’s name in the virtual world. Third-year marketing student Kamil Sekkat tells us more.

The University of Ottawa recently buzzed with excitement as it hosted the "We Got Games" esports event on November 22, transforming the UCU Agora into a lively gaming arena.

Esports, short for electronic sports, involves competitive gaming using video games, often in tournament formats. This global phenomenon combines skill, strategy, and teamwork, and it's capturing the attention of both players and spectators worldwide. At the event, students from diverse academic backgrounds competed in popular games such as FC 24, Smash Bros and Bowling, highlighting the rise of esports to a status comparable with traditional sports.

Finance student Othman Benjelloun, who won the FC 24 tournament, said: "It's an honor to represent my university in such an event. I play a lot of FIFA, but keeping it balanced with my studies is important." He advised aspiring gamers, "Enjoy the game, but also work on getting better."

Engineering student Naïm Abounnaja, one of the two winners of the SmashBros tournament, also shared his thoughts: "I love gaming, but I'm not looking to make it my career. I prefer playing solo, but this tournament was super fun. I'm excited about competing against players from other universities."

The stakes were high, as winners from this event will go on to represent uOttawa at future esports tournaments. The finals are scheduled to take place on December 21st and 22nd for Smash Bros and FC 24, respectively. Organizers have planned to post all winners on the event's official site once they have been determined. For those unable to attend in person, the excitement and competitive spirit of the games can be experienced live as they will be streamed on WeGotGame Corp's Twitch channel.

Sidick Diomandé, a Financial Mathematics and Economy student and a six-year FIFA enthusiast among the participants shared, "FIFA is my go-to game. It's my way to relax after study sessions. I'd love to turn my gaming into a career, but it's not easy. For new players, finding a game you're passionate about is key."

Sophia Elouazzani, a computer science student and a fan of Red Dead Redemption and Fortnite, was a spectator at the event, she commented on the atmosphere: "It's great to see our university putting on events like this. I'd think about esports as a career if it was well-paying, but for now, I'm focused on my studies."

The event also included workshops, gaming strategy discussions, and opportunities for students to network and learn more about the gaming industry. This showed students that gaming can complement their studies and offer valuable skills and experience.

Did you know that some uOttawa gamers have each earned a $2,500 Ontario eSports scholarship to help them study in fields related to the gaming industry? Check out this Gazette story from August 2023, Combining video games and university studies can lead to several careers.