Myrtle Beach to host ‘first-of-its-kind’ esports competition for college, high school students

Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 5:46 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 6, 2023 at 5:51 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - For the first time, Myrtle Beach will be the host city for an esports competition. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce will collaborate with Shenandoah University and the event will welcome high school and college students.

The “first-of-its-kind event” will take place March 10 and 11 at The Hangout, and will feature an eight-team collegiate Rocket League invitational as well as an open Super Smash Bros Ultimate bracket for Grand Strand high school students.

“We are excited to be able to work with the Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau on this unique esports event,” said Dr. Joey Gawrysiak, director and professor of esports at Shenandoah University. “Esports has seen tremendous growth over the last several years, especially in high schools and colleges around the country. Being able to showcase local high school and national collegiate talent in esports will demonstrate the impact of esports and lay the groundwork for future esports events in Myrtle Beach.”

College esports programs across the east coast will participate in the two-day Rocket League competition which will feature pool play and a double-elimination bracket. For high school students, the Super Smash Bros Ulitmate competition will be a one-day double-elimination event.

Rocket League is an action sports game, where teams of three use vehicles to play soccer and win by scoring the most goals before time runs out. Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros Ultimate is a character-based fighting game with one-on-one competition.

“Having this event produced by Shenandoah University esports, a leader in collegiate esports in the U.S., will ensure a high-quality, in-person event and unparalleled online production,” said Jonathan Paris, executive director for the Myrtle Beach Area CVB. “This event is a prime example of what the future of esports collaborations looks like and how esports can be leveraged for community engagement and enhancing tourism in Myrtle Beach.”

Teams will compete for a $6,000 prize pool.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate competitions will take place on March 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and there is no registration fee. Registration is open to all Horry County high schools.

Rocket League competitions will take place in person on March 10 from 4 to 10 p.m. and March 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Events will be streamed live on Twitch.TV/Shenandoahesports.