By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY – As Oklahoma City University’s esports arena nears completion, mural artist Andrew Horner (aka APSE) will join the OCU community for a discussion on his work in the arena. The artist talk will take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 8 with both Zoom and Twitch livestreams.
As reported by AJ Willingham of CNN, esports describes the world of competitive, organized video gaming. Competitors from different leagues or teams face off in the same games that are popular with at-home gamers such as Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Overwatch and Madden NFL.
“These gamers are watched and followed by millions of fans all over the world, who attend live events or tune in on TV or online,” Willingham writes. “Streaming services like Twitch allow viewers to watch as their favorite gamers play in real time, and this is typically where popular gamers build up their fandoms.”
As part of the Color Cartel graffiti duo, which specializes in gallery work, murals, graphic design, and live event painting, APSE travels from Austin, Texas, to create commissioned murals.
He and his partner, IVA, have completed hundreds of pieces of artwork, spanning from New York City to Honolulu, Hawaii.
“Iva and myself creating our first mural in 4 months,” Andrew said. “The Covid scare and shelter in place orders seemingly crushed years of built momentum,” he added.
“After two months I sent out several resumes. Silence,” he declared. “You’d think I was in a sound proof room or something – it became weirdly disorienting. I dove into modifying my car and making art, and I will say I’ve never been happier with both. Then about two weeks ago phone calls started.
“People are wanting to commission pieces again,” Andrew added. “We suddenly find ourselves with a packed schedule. The relief and gratitude brought me to tears. The life we have built as artists is going to continue.”
APSE has joined the team preparing the new esports arena for Team NOVA, OCU’s esports team. The club facility will house gaming systems, state-of-the-art web streaming and audio-visual production equipment, and retro gaming systems. APSE’s mural will complete the space’s retro arcade look.
OCU’s event policy, which became effective Sept. 30, prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people. In accordance with this policy, this event will not be open to the public.
For more information about esports at OCU, visit okcu.edu/esports.