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Carolina eSports teams clash at NC State

“We’ve never had an event this big, pretty much, in the southeast region at all. And so we wanted to do something for ourselves,” said Ryan Griffin, president of UNC-Chapel Hill eSports.

Clash of the Carolinas

The event, called Clash of the Carolinas, will take place in N.C. State University’s Talley Student Union and will feature four tournaments in League of Legends, Hearthstone, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Around 2,000 to 8,000 participants are expected at the free public event, which will have smaller, unofficial tournaments in a variety of games as well as stations for casual play.

Clash of the Carolinas will be hosted by the Carolina Collegiate eSports Committee, a collective of club presidents from colleges in North Carolina and South Carolina, and Operation Supply Drop, a nonprofit aimed at supporting veterans.

Operation Supply Drop

Ray Whitaker, chief operations officer for Operation Supply Drop, said the nonprofit’s goal for the event is to connect veterans with communities that they may have missed out on in the military.

“This thing is truly about bringing veterans to families, connecting them with college students, with other gaming enthusiasts that happen to be around the Raleigh area,” Whitaker said.

Operation Supply Drop will be raising money at the event to donate video games to deployed service members, pay for fun “Thank You Deployments” trips for veterans and create supportive “teams” to help veterans reconnect with civilians.

“Operation Supply Drop — our mission in life is to support veterans. That’s what we’re here to do,” Whitaker said.

Creating the Clash

Griffin created the Carolina Collegiate eSports Committee in summer 2015 after meeting fellow eSports leaders during a retreat with national collegiate group The eSports Association.

“I decided to reach out to as many leaders in North and South Carolina as I could find to try to put on an event, since we in North Carolina don’t really see a whole lot of events,” Griffin said.

Justin Thompson, the Durham Technical Community College representative for Carolina Collegiate eSports Committee, said he was originally thinking too small and is very proud of the newly formed organization.

“The Clash of the Carolinas is just huge. I didn’t think 16 college students from across two states would ever make something this big.”

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