Inaugural Esports Event OP Live Changes the Game for Dallas

SMU Guildhall and eGency Global have teamed up to present the first-ever Dallas esports event, coming this weekend.

Whether you’re a hard-core gamer or you’ve never picked up a controller, OP Live has something for everyone. 

Video game professionals, amateurs, and everyone in between will gather this weekend for the first-of-its-kind celebration of all things gaming. There will be two main events: an Overwatch collegiate tournament on Saturday and a Fortnite Pro-Am Bounty Royale Brawl on Sunday.

“I wanted to have a large Esports event or a large gaming event up here in Dallas that was the long-term equivalent goal of what music is to SXSW in Austin.”
Mark Nausha

Along with the Fortnite and Overwatch events, there will be free-to-play video game stations, a “hackathon,” a presentation of games created by SMU Guildhall students, and much more. 

Mark Nausha, the deputy director of the SMU Guildhall GameLab, came up with the idea for OP Live Dallas. “I wanted to have a large Esports event or a large gaming event up here in Dallas that was the long-term equivalent goal of what music is to SXSW in Austin,” Nausha says. “That’s my goal for OP Live.”

Within a year, his dream is becoming a reality. Nausha met up with eGency Global Marketing Coordinator and Esports Strategist Marcos Suarez, and the plans quickly came into motion.

Now, the Esports event is about to make its debut with the largest collegiate Overwatch tournament in North Texas.

OP Live gives attendees the chance to meet up with some of their favorite gamers, and compete with them in the Fortnite tournament. Professional players such as Dimez from Mavs Gaming, EFFECT from Dallas Fuel, and Gorilla from Team Envy will all be in attendance, as well as several celebrity streamers and cosplayers.

There will even be “Powered Talks” for attendees that want to get into the enterprise world of video gaming, which will feature industry professionals giving advice on how to transform a hobby into a career.  

Mark Nausha dreamt up the concept for OP Live, and within a year, his idea was put into action. [Courtesy: Mark Nausha]

If parents are unsure of what video game terms meanbut know that their kids doparent-friendly events are offered as well. Parent workshops, which OP Live’s website refers to as “Parent Lost & Found Talks,” will be available for parents interested in learning more about the gaming industry.

“We’re doing our best to provide something for anyone that approaches this,” Nausha says. “That’s been our philosophy from day one.”

Although it may seem like all fun and games, there’s a charitable component to the weekend, too. OP Live Dallas is partnering with Extra Life, a division of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, to raise money and awareness that gaming can be for a good cause. 

Nausha has major plans for future OP Live events. He wants to continue having this event in Dallas, but hopes to eventually expand with Esports weekends across the country.


OP Live Dallas will take place at the Irving Convention Center on Sept. 22-23. Ticket prices range from $25 to $150, but the event is free for children five and under. To register and find more information, check out the event website here

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