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"To see major institutions like Point Park, the Penguins and Cavs Legion all be involved with on-campus esports was truly incredible. Seeing my alma mater make this kind of effort into esports makes me incredibly excited for the future of both esports and Point Park! Point Park is the perfect place to cultivate a thriving collegiate esports scene."

Ryan Bailey '14, broadcast reporting alumnus and esports specialist/commentator, Skillshot Media

Point Park University hosted the Steel City Showdown — the first major esports tournament in Pittsburgh history — May 11-12 at its Pittsburgh Playhouse with more than 500 participants and spectators.

Teaming up with Point Park were the Pittsburgh Penguins, CAVS Legion GC, Pittsburgh Knights and AbleGamers Charity, while the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, iHeart Media and Walmart served as sponsors.

“The event was a huge success and the first of its kind for both Pittsburgh and Point Park. We brought together three professional sports teams while raising money for AbleGamers,” said Steve Tanzilli, J.D., dean of the Rowland School of Business and chair of SportsPITTSBURGH’s Esports Task Force.

The Steel City Showdown featured competitions in three games — Super Smash Bros., NBA 2K and NHL'19 — with monetary prizes for the winners.

In addition to the competitions, Point Park broadcast reporting 2014 alumnus Ryan Bailey, an esports specialist/commentator for Skillshot Media, talked at the event about his experiences working in this growing field.

“To see major institutions like Point Park, the Penguins and Cavs Legion all be involved with on-campus esports was truly incredible. Seeing my alma mater make this kind of effort into esports makes me incredibly excited for the future of both esports and Point Park! Point Park is the perfect place to cultivate a thriving collegiate esports scene,” Bailey said. 

Point Park students, faculty and staff volunteered at the two-day event with duties ranging from ticketing and check-ins to social media coverage and distribution of prizes.

“The Steel City Showdown furthered my love of events, and opened my eyes to a lot of different career opportunities. I got the chance to speak with a Red Bull representative. She gave me some amazing insights into jobs I could excel in based on my degree and work experience in the hospitality industry. Without this experience, I may have never made that connection and had that conversation,” explained Charlotte Primrose, a senior business management major and graduate of Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy High School. 

“It’s amazing to see what the esports industry is growing into, especially in Pittsburgh and at Point Park University. The participants were so excited to be at the event!” Primrose added.

“Steel City Showdown was a blast for me. The event went smoothly and it was a lot fun to meet new people while playing the games we all love. I would love to come back and participate in this event many more times!” said Matthew Whitaker, a 2019 sports, arts and entertainment management graduate from Hazard, Ky.

For students interested in learning more about the sports field, Point Park University offers a course titled The Business of Esports, taught by Instructor Charles Berry, J.D., owner and attorney of Charles Berry Consulting.

Steel City Showdown in the News

The Steel City Showdown received extensive newspaper and TV coverage both before and at the event. Check out the links below.


More About: business management, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, broadcast reporting, Rowland School of Business, Downtown Pittsburgh, sports, arts and entertainment management, Pittsburgh Playhouse, Pittsburgh Playhouse, esports