Gamers, industry leaders flock to WSU South for tech-filled weekend 


Brogan Gillmore

The Andover A’s competes against the WSU team during the finals of the eSports Exhibition.

Students, businesspeople, gamers and technophiles congregated to WSU South this weekend for WSU Tech’s ICTechXpo and eSports Exhibition — both firsts for the school. 

Friday’s ICTechXpo kicked off the tech-filled weekend. 

Students and members of the Wichita tech industry were able to spend the day passing through a small stream of tables hosted by local tech-based companies, as well as take part in lectures and presentations from industry leaders.

The event was created and spearheaded by Diana Holladay, WSU Tech’s lead instructional designer.

“I read a couple of articles in the Wichita Business Journal that prompted me to think there’s a need [for a tech expo],” she said. “We have a truly undiscovered tech community.”

Holladay primarily created the expo to foster growth in Wichita’s emerging tech industry and bring together industry members. But along with addressing the business side of the industry, the ICTechXpo sought to reach and assist students who are hoping to join the industry.

“With students being invited, as well as business and IT, then you are able to give the best of both worlds,” Holladay said. 

Holladay also said mixing the two demographics together at the expo gave students a chance to learn about the industry and network, while giving industry members a chance to gather and exchange new ideas that they can take back to their workplaces. 

After a full day of tech and business, WSU Tech loosened its tie for Saturday’s event, the eSports Exhibition.

Rather than tech industry executives, a WSU Tech lecture hall became filled with gaming PCs, high schoolers, college students and an array of the most popular titles in the competitive gaming world. 

“We’re just getting into the esports thing. We really wanted to showcase and imbue that we’re getting started,” said Cliff Nelson, WSU Tech’s director of instructional technologies and academic support.

WSU Tech held a semi-professional competition in coordination with Midwest eSports, a competitive gaming company started by Shocker alumnus Ramsey Jamoul

Competing teams took center stage, seated at a row of gaming PCs with their matches projected behind them and commentators providing live play-by-play. The only things missing were the lights and the grand stage you might see on ESPN. 

Around the stage were monitors and consoles set up for audience members to let them join in the fun — something Midwest eSports’ community manager, Patrick Jamoul, said they do often.

The exhibition consisted of high school teams competing against each other in “Overwatch” for the chance to challenge WSU’s team — although not the one that specializes in that game. 

“Overwatch” is a multiplayer, team-based game released in 2016 by Blizzard Entertainment. It has since become one of the leading competitive games in the esports industry, along with titles like “League of Legends,” “Super Smash Bros.,” and “Counter Strike.” 

By the end of the exhibition, the Andover A’s battled it out with the WSU team — ending their day with a victory against the collegiate team.