WINTER PARK, Fla. – May 12, 2022 – 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 7, 2022. 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
Joe Dzaluk, President and CEO, 2022 Special Olympics USA Games says, “It is a thrill to provide Special Olympics athletes the opportunity to participate in an esports event during the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. 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.
To learn more about the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games and the full week of events and competition visit 2022specialolympicsusagames.org. To learn more about Full Sail University Armada, visit https://armada.fullsail.edu/.
About the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games
The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games is scheduled for June 5-12, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. Jersey Mike’s Subs is the Presenting Partner and Walt Disney World Resort is the Official Host. During this magical week, more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean will travel to Florida to unite in one of the country’s most cherished sporting events. The USA Games is hosted once every four years and showcases 19 Olympic-style team and individual sports and 30 events throughout the week including forums and VIP receptions. 2022usagames.org
About Full Sail University
Full Sail University is an award-winning educational leader for those pursuing careers in entertainment media and emerging technologies. Founded in 1979, Full Sail has received accolades throughout its over 40-year history, including most recently being featured on the 2021 “Top 50 Film Schools and Instructors From Around the World” list by Variety Magazine, named a 2022 “Top Undergraduate Schools to Study Game Design” by The Princeton Review, and previously recognized as the “School/College of the Year” by the Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges. Full Sail University is a graduate and undergraduate degree-granting institution offering on-campus and online degree programs in areas related to Art & Design, Business, Film & Television, Games, Media & Communications, Music & Recording, Sports, and Technology. With over 84,982+ graduates worldwide, Full Sail alumni have worked on countless award-winning projects with individual recognition including OSCAR®, Emmy®, GRAMMY®, ADDY®, MTV Video Music Award, and Video Game Award honors.