SIUE student, Ryan Pree, competing in the collegiate Call of Duty competition.

EDWARDSVILLE – Participation in competitive online gaming has become increasingly popular, with opportunities for building community with other players and showcasing gaming skills nationwide.

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SIUE’s Esports team is gradually making its mark in the industry, most recently finishing in the top five overall during the collegiate Call of Duty (CCL) spring season.

The team went undefeated in the main portion of the CCL league consisting of 205 teams. Subsequently, the team progressed to a bracket of 60 teams which would later participate in a playoff of 32 teams. Eight teams proceeded to the final, represented in-person at Columbus, Ohio. SIUE Esports team members who traveled to Columbus included Ryan Pree, Drevin Day, Mohammad Khan and Michael Simpson.

“I was proud as ever when our team finished in the top four among many strong programs,” said Wilke, of St. Rose, president and manager of the SIUE Esports Club. “We started the Call of Duty portion of our club in 2019.”

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“I am incredibly proud of our club’s success this year,” shared Pree, of Elburn. “I joined the club almost three years ago just looking for a group of friends. Now, we are one of the most competitive teams in collegiate Call of Duty.”

Wilke underscored the value of sufficient resources for sustaining the team and achieving greater feats in the future. He noted the significance of winning at this time, as the team is recruiting more athletes to strengthen its competitiveness.

The SIUE Esports Club, housed in Campus Recreation, was established in 2013 and has approximately 200 student members. The club offers both competitive and recreational Esports opportunities, with eight varsity teams participating in various regional and nationally-recognized leagues. The SIUE Esports Arena opened in January 2020 in Bluff Hall.

To learn more about Esports at SIUE, visit

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high-quality education that powerfully transforms the lives of all individuals who seek something greater. A premier metropolitan university, SIUE is creating social and economic mobility for individuals while also powering the workforce of the future. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of more than 13,000.

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