UM-Flint to host Michigan High School Esports Spring State Finals, May 4

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Two students high fiving during an Esports competition
UM-Flint will again host the Michigan High School Esports Federation Spring State Finals, May 4.

The University of Michigan-Flint's Recreation Center will be turned into the state's largest esports arena, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., May 4, as the campus will again host the Michigan High School Esports Federation Spring State Finals.

The event is the state's largest high school esports event. It promises a day of high-octane competition, showcasing the burgeoning talent of Michigan's younger esports athletes as an estimated 400 gamers representing nearly 50 schools will vie for state titles in games including Rocket League, Overwatch 2, Super Smash Bros, and League of Legends.

While admission to the competition is free, seating is limited, with doors opening at 7:30 a.m.

The MiHSEF is a nonprofit 501(3)(c) organization that organizes and supports high-quality esports competitions for Michigan high school students. Offering a no-cost membership, the MiHSEF emphasizes academic and competitive excellence through esports, promoting teamwork and communication. Its mission is to enhance student experiences and growth in esports within safe, supportive online and in-person settings while upholding educational values.

Throughout the May 4 event, prospective college students and their families can engage with representatives from various UM-Flint academic departments who will be on-site to discuss the varied educational opportunities at the downtown campus. In addition, UM-Flint's College of Innovation & Technology will be offering tours of its state-of-the-art teaching labs and learning facilities.

The competition will feature more than 100 computer gaming stations configured on the Rec Center floor thanks to a partnership between CIT and MiHSEF.

"This prestigious event serves as more than just a competitive platform; it's a celebration of collegiate futures and a testament to the power of STEM education," said Erik Taipalus, UM-Flint information technology project management office manager who is serving as the event coordinator. "By offering esports athletes and their families an experience that honors their dedication and opens doors to collegiate opportunities, UM-Flint and MiHSEF are demonstrating their commitment to academic and gaming excellence."

UM-Flint founded its esports team as the university's only varsity-level sport in 2020 with an esports laboratory that features 20 gaming machines in addition to digital broadcast equipment and other support technologies. The team began with just 18 members in the first year but now boasts 120 students. 

For more information about the event or sponsorship opportunities, contact Taipalus at [email protected] or Dakota VandenToorn, MiHSEF president, at [email protected] learn more about the UM-Flint esports program, visit its webpage.

Robb King is the director of marketing and communications at UM-Flint. He can be reached at [email protected].