An Extra Life: Pickaxes compete for charity

At 9 a.m. on Feb. 29, Cameron University’s esports team, the Pickaxes, attended the Extra Life charity tournament at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.

The University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) collaborated with Extra Life for a fundraising event centered on gaming.

Donations went to the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, which partners with Extra Life.

Competitors from other schools in the state such as UCO and independent players alike displayed skills in their game of choice.

The Pickaxes made their local debut in two games: Rocket League and Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Rocket League is a soccer/racing fusion game that requires team communication and intimate knowledge of the game’s physics engine.

Since Rocket League matches only use three members, the six members present from the Pickaxes separated into two teams to compete in the bracket.

The bracket started in a best-of-three game format, but due to time constraints and event scheduling, later matches changed to a best-of-one, double-elimination bracket.

Both teams ended up facing off with this format; for the final results, the Pickaxes took tenth place in the Rocket League division.

The Smash Bros. Ultimate division also saw two CU team members against each other in a one-on-one match, knocking one of the members out of the tournament.

From the Pickaxes, Thomas “Steel” Bishop placed highest in the Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament. He won tenth place and just barely missed the top eight bracket.

The team experienced close calls throughout their individual matches, and all were eliminated through last hit situations in the preliminary pools.

The event included several games spanning a few genres: Tekken and Smash Bros. Ultimate as the fighting game representatives, Call of Duty and Fortnite as the shooting game representatives (Call of Duty being first-person, Fortnite being third-person) and Rocket League as the sole racing representative.

Several live streams showcased matches across multiple setups, allowing remote attendees to watch and donate from home.

The large number of observers and players built an atmosphere of community amongst diverse areas of gaming.

The Pickaxes aimed to prove themselves with a strong start for their competitive careers, and it’s a sure thing that the Pickaxes will keep getting up again to play another game.

Since the charity’s birth in 2008, Extra Life has raised over fifty million dollars for ill and injured kids through uniting gamers.

For more information about Extra Life’s charity events, visit

For more information about CU esports, contact John Cunningham at 581-7944.

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