Johnson C. Smith University’s Esports and Gaming Program to Host Its First HBCU Esports and Gaming Summer Camp for High School Scholars

By: Johnson C. Smith University

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Johnson C. Smith University’s Esports and Gaming program will host its inaugural Esports and Gaming Summer Camp for high school gamer-scholars from June 26 to 29 on the campus of JCSU.

“As the first HBCU to launch an Esports and Gaming Summer Camp specifically for high school gamer-scholars, we are elated to position youth to not only explore their esports and gaming passions, but to also unlock their understanding of the unlimited career pathways that await them within the esports and gaming ecosystem,” said Dr. BerNadette Lawson-Williams, JCSU Esports and Gaming Summer Camp director, professor of Sport Management, and founder/advisor of JCSU’s Esports and Gaming program. 

The camp will feature speakers representing a myriad of leading global esports and gaming corporations such as Activision Blizzard and the NBA 2K League. There will also be a number of discussion sessions and field trips to meet industry professionals at some of Charlotte’s most prominent esports and gaming facilities and organizations such as the Charlotte Esports Hub and the Hornets Venom GT. The Hornets Venom GT is the NBA 2K League affiliate team of the Charlotte Hornets, who recently named JCSU’s Esports and Gaming program the 2023 recipient of its Hornets Venom GT Scholarship.

JCSU’s Esports and Gaming Summer Camp will utilize educational, entertaining, and experiential activities to expose its campers to the business side of the esports and gaming industries, as well as industry career pathways that will equip them with the tools necessary to excel beyond their controllers. Special offerings will include a game truck visit by Game Truck Charlotte and an AR/VR experience by XRVR, LLC. Campers range in age from 13-17 and represent 13 high schools from surrounding counties such as Mecklenburg and Cabarrus, and as far as Loudon County, Va. 

JCSU’s Esports and Gaming program is nested under the University’s College of Business and Professional Studies and is comprised of an academic program, Esports lab and a highly competitive Esports Club.

“I am excited to welcome all participants to our JCSU Esports and Gaming Summer Camp,” said Dr. Alphonso Ogbuehi, dean of the College of Business and Professional Studies. “We hope they will take advantage of this unique program, the first of its kind at an HBCU. Our faculty and staff are excited and we look forward to a successful camp. I would like to thank Dr. BerNadette Lawson-Williams and the entire Esports program faculty and staff who have worked hard to make this event a reality.”

About the Esports and Gaming Program

Since its inception in Jan. 2020, JCSU’s Esports and Gaming Trifecta (ESG Trifecta), has made a formidable imprint in the collegiate esports and gaming ecosystem. It is widely recognized as the blueprint for HBCU Esports. It continues to dominate in the esports and gaming ecosystem and on the collegiate landscape. It has also acquired local, state, regional, international, and congressional acclaim. Among its accomplishments include being featured on ABC, NBC, and CBS and in notable publications such as the: Washington Post, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and EdTech Magazine, among many others. It was also nominated for the 2021 Esports Collegiate Award, the first HBCU to partner with Riot Games, co-produced the historic HBCU Esports and Gaming Week event in partnership with Activision Blizzard, launched the first online HBCU Esports team store and co-produced the first ever HBCU Esports Conference and Career Expo to be hosted in a blockchain ecosystem, in partnership with MetArena, a technology company based in St. Petersburg, Fla.