Thursday, January 4, 2024

Through Bold Careers program, UTS and Roadrunner Gaming are creating esports professionals

Through Bold Careers program, UTS and Roadrunner Gaming are creating esports professionals

Zach Beesley, president of UTSA’s Roadrunner Gaming, mentors SAISD students at the ESIX Arena.

Spotlight on UTSA's mission to create career-ready Roadrunners

SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 — University Technology Solutions’ (UTS) Bold Careers Program and Roadrunner Gaming at UTSA have teamed up with San Antonio theme park Six Flags Fiesta Texas for a one-of-a-kind internship project that brings esports and experiential learning under one arena.

In May, Six Flags Fiesta Texas opened a new esports experience arena called ESIX that combines high-tech gaming and hands-on learning opportunities for UTSA students. With UTSA just across the street, the theme park tapped members of Roadrunner Gaming, a UTSA student organization, to help support the setup of the esports operation as consultants and help with the design. Roadrunner Gaming is dedicated to community development in esports, competitive gaming and console gaming.

Since ESIX’s grand opening, Roadrunner Gaming has received sponsorship opportunities to continue serving the UTSA esports community. Companies such as Dell Technologies Alienware and Rackspace have reached out to support Roadrunner Gaming’s ideas and keep the esports projects ongoing. These projects include an esports lounge on the UTSA campus, esports courses and continuing Roadrunner Gaming events at the Six Flags ESIX Gaming Arena as well as on the UTSA campus.

“Our goal is to bring the world of esports to the UTSA campus and help students connect with the resources available.”

SAISD summer camp students enter the ESIX arena at Six Flags Fiesta Texas to hone their esports skills with Roadrunner Gaming.

“University Technology Solutions is committed to helping students cultivate the skills they need to succeed in a technology-driven workforce. The partnership between Roadrunner Gaming and the Six Flags Fiesta Texas executive team has been an outstanding opportunity for the UTS Bold Careers program and has helped open the door to projects for our students with the UT System and Rackspace,” said Vanessa Hammler Kenon, UTS’ associate vice president of technology compliance and community engagement.

“Roadrunner Gaming has held fundraisers outside of campus to earn support for the organization with the help of local cafes such as Boss Tea, which allows the students to host tournaments,” added Zach Beesley, a UTSA cybersecurity major and president of Roadrunner Gaming.

UTS Bold Careers students are also using the ESIX arena to reach out to the next generation of college students. This summer, the division hosted an esports program event for 150 middle school esports summer camp students from the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD). In addition to providing an exciting and educational experience for the students, the camp highlighted eSports' growing relevance and potential in education and career opportunities.

The SAISD students enjoyed a unique opportunity to explore the world of competitive gaming and entrepreneurship and gain insights into the rapidly growing esports industry. They visited Six Flags Fiesta Texas’ ESIX facility, met with gaming professionals and members of Roadrunner gaming, and enjoyed immersive gaming experiences.

Learn more about the UTS Bold Careers Program.
Learn more about the UTSA Classroom to Career initiative.

UTS, Roadrunner Gaming and ESIX will continue to look for ways to grow the breadth and diversity of its experiential learning opportunities to inspire and nurture the next generation of talented gamers, foster a passion for esports and encourage students to pursue careers in this dynamic field.

“As a student working with ESIX, I find the experience amazing. It allows me to provide my unique perspective on the program and share my insights as a Roadrunner gamer,” said Jacques Ballou, a UTSA cybersecurity major and vice president of Roadrunner Gaming. “Our goal is to bring the world of esports to the UTSA campus and help students connect with the resources available. This presents a wonderful opportunity to expand my network and connect with fellow technicians.”

By 2028, UTSA aims to have 75% of its students participate in one or more experiential learning opportunities. Initiatives such as the UTS Bold Careers Program are helping the university to reach that goal.

— Annu Paavani Chemata Venkata and Maria Regina Chapa

UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
the official news source
of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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