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Full Sail to Host First Special Olympics USA Games Unified Esports Invitational

Full Sail University is honored to announce in collaboration with the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games global broadcast partner ESPN, it will fully produce the first ever 2022 Special Olympics USA Games Unified Esports Invitational on Tuesday, June 7th. Taking place at the university’s on-campus esports arena, the Full Sail University Orlando Health Fortress, the event will air live on ESPN3, in addition to streaming via the Special Olympics Twitch channel, and Full Sail Armada’s Twitch.

The invitational will combine both in-person and virtual competitors. Teams are made up of three individuals and will include two Special Olympics athletes and one Unified partner participant. Three members of Full Sail Armada’s varsity Rocket League team and one member of Full Sail Armada’s leadership team will serve as Unified partner participants. Each team will play Rocket League – a cross-platform game that can be played from a desktop, laptop, Xbox, PlayStation, or Switch. Teams are selected based on esports experience, and all member of a team must be at least 13 years of age or older.

The three Full Sail Armada varsity Rocket League members include:

  • Tyler “Slinkie” Johnson – Computer Animation Bachelor of Science
  • Seth “Skitlz” Hoecker – Film Bachelor of Science
  • Kevin “Kevurnio” Patel – Game Design Bachelor of Science – Student Director of Esports and Armada Club President

“It is a thrill to provide Special Olympics athletes the opportunity to participate in an esports event during the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games,” Joe Dzaluk, President and CEO, 2022 Special Olympics USA Games said. “Partnering with Full Sail University elevates the overall experience for both athletes and spectators. I encourage the community to come out and watch this exciting event and cheer on Special Olympics athletes.”

The production capabilities within the Full Sail University Orlando Health Fortress, alongside the university’s longstanding community involvement and thought leadership in esports, allowed for Full Sail University to emerge as the standout location to host an event of such high caliber. Home to Full Sail Armada, the Full Sail University Orlando Health Fortress, is the university’s on-campus collegiate esports arena, with seating and structures that can be arranged to support numerous types of events. The arena has a seating capacity of 500, a concert-level PA system, and its LED wall will support dynamic presentations and graphics. To date, the Full Sail University Orlando Health Fortress remains the largest collegiate esports arena in the nation.

“The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games remain an iconic, impactful, and cherished national event celebrating a more inclusive world through the love of sport,” said Sari Kitelyn, Director of Esports and Project Development at Full Sail University. “We’re honored to collaborate with the USA Games as they embark upon this esports invitational.”

Several students across numerous Full Sail University entertainment media and emerging technologies degree programs will gain real-world experience in play-by-play commentating, production support, and other behind-the-scenes roles during the esports invitational. For example, current Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting student, Quinn Sherr, will co-cast the event alongside university alum Byran Flores (2021, Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting graduate).

Additionally, Full Sail University alumni will serve in several other capacities at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games Unified Esports Invitational including: Tracy Wiu, serving as host and emcee, Media Communications BS (2018) and Business Intelligence MS (2021), and Jessica Reider, serving as a Unified partner,Media Communications BS (2018).

USA Games supporting partner Aquatik Esport’s president, Andrew Bouley is a Full Sail University graduate (2019, Media Design MFA graduate) and together the Aquatik team, known for hosting the state-of-the-art esports tournaments, is proudly supporting the Invitational.

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