Students level up at upcoming UNI-Con



Panther eSports, Panther Tabletop Gaming and Dueling Panthers are partnering to host UNI-Con on Saturday, Nov. 10 in Maucker Union.


While the football season continues, many students will be headed to an entirely different type of game this weekend. Instead of signs and jerseys, they’ll be bringing their controllers and consoles.

On Saturday, Nov. 10, Panther eSports, Panther Tabletop Gaming and Dueling Panthers will host UNI-Con, a gaming convention open to all students and community members from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m in Maucker Union.

The event is sponsored by Tespa, the Cedar Falls Tourism Board and NISG. Paw Pics Photography Club will be taking pictures at the event.

Both casual and competitive games will be represented and the event will feature a 50/50 raffle at 6 p.m. Tournaments will be held for “Overwatch,” “League of Legends” and “Super Smash Bros” (both the Melee and Wii U versions). Food will be served from noon until 5 p.m. and drawings for door prizes will occur at 7 p.m.

“For the door prizes, Riot Games is sending us some stuff and Tespa is sending us some stuff,” said Chad Schafer, junior social science teaching major and programming director for Panther eSports. “Tespa will be sending us some ‘Overwatch’ gear and stuff like that, and then Riot, of course, will be stuff that will be ‘League of Legends’-focused.”

Schafer added that proceeds from the 50/50 raffle, which would normally go to Panther eSports, will be donated to the UNI Veterans Association to help fund their upcoming PTSD conference.

Many other games will be present at the convention, including “FIFA,” “Madden,” “Fortnite” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.” Board games and card games like “Coup,” “Secret Hitler,” “Catan,” “Magic: The Gathering,” and “Yu-Gi-Oh!” will also be featured. There will also be a room dedicated to a short “Dungeons and Dragons” campaign.

While everyone is busy gaming, Schafer said he looks forward to being able to take in the atmosphere and excitement at the event.

“I always like the hours between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. at this event because that’s when pretty much every single tournament has started, or has been going on for awhile,” Schafer said. “That’s usually the time period of the day when you can walk around anywhere and see at least one person playing something.  It’s really fun to just see, between 100 to 200 people in one area that are all focused on games.”

In order to make sure that everything goes smoothly, Schafer will be serving as a “runner” for the event. He doesn’t want to be in any of the tournaments or be designated to a specific game.  Instead, he’ll be walking around the  Maucker Union and making sure everyone is having a good time. 

Schafer sees the event as an opportunity for students to connect with one another.

“We’ll actually have several other colleges taking their competitive teams,” Schafer said. “Hopefully, what I would like for people to get out of the event is communicating with other people from other colleges and learning what their eSports programs are like. Also, just being able to play games with other people that you wouldn’t necessarily play games with.”

While consoles, computers and board games will be provided, Schafer encouraged students to bring their own games to enjoy and share with others.

More information for the event is available on the UNI-Con 2018 Facebook page.