Norman, Okla. – It’s all fun and games for a good cause this weekend at the Tom Love Innovation Hub. Gamers of all ages and skill levels are invited to participate in the inaugural Sooner Extra Life gaming marathon Nov. 2-3 at the Tom Love Innovation Hub on University of Oklahoma Research Campus in Norman, and Nov. 4 at Sooner Mall’s Immersion House and Loot and XP in the Normandy Creek Shopping Center. The weekend event includes video games on multiple consoles and virtual reality, as well as board and role-playing games. A donation of $10 is suggested, and all proceeds for the weekend benefit the Children’s Hospital Foundation.
“We are proud to partner with the Esports Association at OU and support the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Oklahoma through the inaugural Sooner Extra Life event,” said Tom Wavering, executive director of the Tom Love Innovation Hub. “OU has a strong history of supporting the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Oklahoma through Soonerthon, and we are excited to expand the ways in which students, faculty, staff and the community can support this critical institution.”
Some of the many games include Smash Brothers, League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Rocket League and Dungeons and Dragons. Cosplayers are encouraged to come in age appropriate, gaming character attire, and participants are welcome to bring their own board games, video games and consoles, laptops and PCs.
Hard-core gamers are encouraged to drum up financial support for their gaming endeavors via the Sooner Extra Life fundraising website at bit.ly/SOONEREXTRALIFE, much like runners obtain support for walk-a-thons.
Extra Life, a charity movement started in 2008 to help the Children’s Hospital Foundation, is an annual event where gamers across the globe raise funds during a 24-hour live stream of all sorts of games. This year, the Esports Association at OU and the Tom Love Innovation Hub are joining the fray and taking it one step further by hosting an array of games and tournaments.
Although specific games and tournaments will be highlighted, additional games of all sorts will be offered throughout the weekend for anyone not participating in tournaments. All tournaments will feature custom-made trophies and commemorative plaques from the Innovation Hub’s own Fabrication Lab, and many also feature participation prizes. Prizes will be distributed on a first come basis, so players are encouraged to sign up early.
From 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, the Smash community of the Esports Association will be hosting Smash Brothers tournaments for Melee and Smash 4. And while the Innovation Hub is asking for a $10 donation to participate in the weekend’s activities, the Smash tournaments are available at no extra cost.
Meanwhile, four Dungeons and Dragons games will run throughout the night. All experienced levels are encouraged play for a short 2.5-hour session. An additional $5 donation is recommended to participate, due to a limited availability of player slots.
The tournament continues Saturday morning with a League of Legends 1v1 tournament bracket kicking off at 9 a.m. The Innovation Hub will offer shoutcasting during the tournament for visitors, and those who lose early can play in the loser’s bracket for a small donation.
The Innovation Hub also will offer an Overwatch Hammond wrecking ball tournament racing across payload maps to take first place.
After the conclusion of those tournaments, a Rocket League 2v2 tournament with live shoutcasting will start at 11 a.m., as well as a Pokémon Showdown tournament. Both tournaments will have the option to enter a loser’s bracket with a donation.
At 6 p.m., the Overwatch World Cup Finals begin, so the Esports Association will be hosting a watch party for the World Cup at that time. At 8 p.m., the Innovation Hub will launch a Rock Band concert to round off the night.
For those less inclined to go head-to-head, Just Dance will be available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., organized Hearthstone casual games start at 9 a.m. and Jackbox Party Pack games will be available from 12:30 to 8 p.m.
Those who participate in tournaments will receive tickets that can be cashed in for anything from snacks to silent auction bids for gaming paraphernalia. Tournament winners will receive additional tickets, but tickets also can be purchased for $1 each. Silent auctions run Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
A number of vendors will be set up at the Innovation Hub on Saturday, including The OKC Escape Room, which is bringing an escape trailer. Half of $20 admission costs for The OKC Escape Room trailer will go to the Children’s Hospital Foundation.
The fundraising gaming festivities continue from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday in two other Norman locations: Sooner Mall’s Immersion Hub and Loot and XP.
Additional information about Sooner Extra Life is available online at http://www.sooneresports.org/2018/10/29/sooner-extra-life/ and a Facebook page is available for RSVP information at https://www.facebook.com/events/2756339824392158/.
The Tom Love Innovation Hub is located on the University of Oklahoma Research Campus at 3 Partners Place, 201 David L. Boren Blvd., in Norman. The Innovation Hub’s website is http://www.ou.edu/innovationhub.