UNC Greensboro is hosting its first collegiate Esports tournament this week. 

The UNCG Spartan Invitational will highlight competitive Fortnite play, with the school hosting teams from N.C. State, UNC Charlotte, and High Point University. The college is teaming up with Epic Games to host the tournament in its new state-of-the-art Esports arena that offers 3,300 square feet of gaming computers and high-definition monitors.

For those who might question the role of Esports in academia, UNCG's Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications Richard Campbell points out there are more than 175 million gamers currently in the U.S. He says the explosive growth of video games has led to opportunities to develop STEM-focused, career and technical education-aligned curricula at both the high school and collegiate levels.

"We see these tournaments as an opportunity to help educate folks on what competitive gaming is, the opportunities from an academic standpoint that are available, the career opportunities that are available, and UNCG feels that North Carolina can be a leader in the Esports competitive gaming economy," says Campbell. 

The Spartan Invitational gets underway Friday at 5 p.m. at the UNCG Esports Arena and Learning Lab. The virtual action can also be live-streamed.

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