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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Gearing up for the Rocket League Rev Up

Josephine Dunmore
McKenna O’Donnell, a junior mechanical engineering major, plays Overwatch on Wednesday in the Esports Arena. NASCAR Chicago Street Race is partnering with NIU Esports to put on the Rocket League Rev Up Saturday. (Josephine Dunmore | Northern Star)

DeKALB – Buckle up for Rocket League, Chicago Street Race simulators, a NASCAR pace car, Matt Bussa and prizes from Chicago Street Race which are all coming to NIU. 

NIU ESports is partnering with NASCAR Chicago Street Race from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the ESports Arena in Altgeld 100 to put on the Rocket League Rev Up event. 

During Rocket League Rev Up there will be a Rocket League tournament on PC’s in the arena. People can pre- register before the event.  

Connor Vagle, director of Esports, said the tournament is open to students and community members and is the only part of the event that requires registration.

“That’s gonna be casual prizing or giveaway for most creative team name and tournament placing, that sort of thing,” said Vagle.

The prizes will be merchandise for the Chicago Street Race.

There will also be casual Rocket League play throughout the arena that does not require pre-registration. 

NASCAR Chicago Street Race will  provide a simulation machine for people to race the Chicago Street Course virtually.

Matt Bussa, a professional eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series driver for Kevin Harvick Inc., will  attend the event.

“He’s going to come in, show people how to use the simulator, kind of give some tips on what they’re doing well, what they need to do to improve in the race,” Vagle said.

This is the first time NIU Esports has partnered with the NASCAR Chicago team. 

“Being the first college program to work with the NASCAR Chicago team is in a way a humbling experience and we are very excited to be in that role,” Vagle said. 

Andres “Jinx” Melendez, a senior business administration major and a member of the Rocket League team at NIU, said the event is a great experience for anyone who loves racing. 

“The NASCAR Chicago Street Race and Rocket League partnership is a great collab for both communities,” Melendez said.

Vagle said the event will be exciting and family-friendly for anyone looking to have a great Saturday. 

Ryan “Sappy” Clark, a sophomore statistics and mathematics major and player on the NIU Rocket League team, said he thinks this is an amazing opportunity for Esports at NIU. 

“It’s a great opportunity for the casual and competitive players to have a good time playing Rocket League with one another,” Clark said.

PC’s are provided for players for Rocket League, but participants must use their own account. 

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