SUNY Canton esports set to play historic all-women's Overwatch match tonight
Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 3:04 pm

CANTON — SUNY Canton has scheduled its first all-female collegiate esports match against Stephens College, a women's college in Columbia, Missouri.

The two colleges will face off in Blizzard's Overwatch at 7 p.m. Thursday Dec. 6, with Canton's team playing from the college's Esports Arena in Nevaldine Hall. The event will be livestreamed at www.twitch.tv/sunycanton.

SUNY Canton is among the first colleges in the nation to recruit an all-women's varsity esports team.College officials said that this is the first known collegiate esports matchup where both teams are comprised entirely of women gamers.

"Nationally, and in the college ranks, the majority of eSports participants are young men," Said Head Esports Coach Robert J. Snow. "We've been fortunate to have the strong leadership of team captain Emily A. Oeser, who jumped at the chance to assemble an all-women's team and ensure we were including our female competitors who wanted to compete in varsity esports."

Upon creation of the team, Oeser and Snow began looking for other all-women's teams to compete against. They discovered the Stephens College team and reached out to their co-coach, Ernest Utterback, to orchestrate a match. Stephens has played a successful season against more than a dozen traditional mixed-gender teams.

"The beautiful thing about esports is that women and men can compete equally against each other whether its coed or single gender teams," Utterback said. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to compete against SUNY Canton as they seek to expand their offerings to more women."

SUNY Canton's Overwatch coed team, which includes members of the all-women's team, recently won the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championship after completing an undefeated season during conference play.

"Esports skills are based on teamwork, sound decision making, mental acuity, skills and reflexes," said SUNY Canton Director of Athletics Randy B. Sieminski. "We are tremendously proud of all the success that our teams have had since their inception, and we're pleased to be participating in this historic event featuring two all-women's teams."

All online matches are powered by Extreme Networks, the college's partner in competitive gaming.