UNLV hosts first ever Mountain West E-Sports Showdown

    Mountain West hosts first ever E-Sports Showdown in conjunction with basketball tourney in Las Vegas. UNLV & Boise State teams pictured here. (Nathan O'Neal | KSNV)

    As Las Vegas plays host to three collegiate basketball tournaments, UNLV is making history as it hosts the first-ever Mountain West Conference E-Sports showdown.

    The three days event began Thursday at the Thomas & Mack Center in conjunction with the Mountain West basketball tournament.

    Milo Ocampo is the Founder of The E-Sports Club at UNLV.

    It’s the largest student organization on campus with 1,200 members online.

    “I’m glad that we got the ability to showcase E-Sports to the masses,” said Ocampo. “A ton of my players are worthy of being professionals but we just need the support and the resources.”

    Professional gaming is poised to become a billion dollar industry.

    “You have that massive audience watching and playing in these competitive video games and video game tournaments and they’re beginning to integrate with traditional sports and overlap,” said Robert Rippee, Director of UNLV’s E-Sports lab.

    No matter the outcome of the showdown, Ocampo hopes the exposure will send a strong message about the future of gaming.

    “I’m looking to see these social barriers the stigmas that they’re just playing a video game, I want that to break down. This is a whole new level of entertainment,” said Ocampo.

    The main E-sports Showdown event will happen Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. at the Cox Pavilion. Admission is $10.

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