Hundreds of students to compete in amateur esports contest held in Arlington, with live matches featuring Overwatch League professional teams later in day
The Dallas Fuel, North Texas’s hometown esports team and one of only 20 teams worldwide competing in the Overwatch League, and Burleson Independent School District are teaming up to host one of the largest esports events in North Texas.
Burleson ISD has been at the forefront of popularizing esports and competitive gaming among high school and middle school students in Texas, with the UIL recently discussing the potential to make esports a sanctioned sport. Previous esports events led by Burleson ISD have attracted nearly 600 students from as many as 20 school districts for day-long gaming competitions.
“We saw a real opportunity to showcase to students and parents just how big esports has become by partnering with the Dallas Fuel to have our Winter Invitational coincide with the launch of the Overwatch League season in North Texas,” said Dr. Leslie Bender Jutzi, Chief Academic Innovation Officer at Burleson ISD. “We know that when the Dallas Fuel take the stage, students and parents in North Texas get to see the best esports players in the world competing at the highest levels, and to see the professional side of esports through job shadowing at this event while also fueling their desire for competition at the student level.”
The Esports Winter Invitational will feature amateur competition in video games including Fortnite, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros., and Minecraft. Students can purchase a $30 ticket to compete in all games offered and included in the price of admission is a single day pass to the Dallas Fuel Opening Weekend, which features two live Overwatch League matches held on Saturday, February 8. The Dallas Fuel play their first home match of the season versus the Los Angeles Valiant at 6 p.m. All February 8 events are held at Esports Stadium Arlington. Tickets are available at Envy.gg/BISD.
The Dallas Fuel compete in the Overwatch League, a city-based esports league developed by Activision Blizzard that features 20 teams from around the globe traveling for home and away matches played in front of live arena audiences. Teams play in six versus six competition of the video game Overwatch, with 28 regular season matches and playoffs that culminate in a $1.5 million championship prize.
“Esports is a global phenomenon, but we are first and foremost a North Texas team,” said Dallas Fuel owner and CEO Mike Rufail. “Our biggest priority is driving esports into the mainstream, and that starts here at home and with students today. We couldn’t be more excited to be supporting Burleson ISD. They get it; they see what’s on the horizon and are just as enthusiastic as we are to discover the next generation of esports stars. We can’t wait for them to join us and all the fans at Dallas Fuel Opening Weekend.”
In April 2019, the Dallas Fuel hosted two days of live Overwatch League matches in North Texas, attracting more than 9,000 attendees for a sold-out match that saw the Fuel go 2-0 in front of their hometown crowd. Following the success of the Dallas Fuel’s inaugural matches in North Texas, the Overwatch League granted Dallas the opportunity to host the league’s opening weekend of professional matches in 2020.
Two Overwatch League matches will be played on each Saturday, February 8 and Sunday, February 9, with visiting teams including the Los Angeles Gladiators, Los Angeles Valiant, San Francisco Shock and Vancouver Titans. The Dallas Fuel matchup against the 2019 Overwatch League champion San Francisco Shock in the last match of weekend on Sunday at 6 p.m.
Parents interested in attending the Esports Winter Invitational can spectate the student events for $5 or upgrade to a full day pass with access to the Overwatch League matches and fan festival for $15.
Tickets for the Dallas Fuel home esports matches throughout 2020 are available for as low as $39 per day. For more information, visit DallasFuel.com.