CORRECTION: This is an updated version modified on May 3 at 4:12 p.m. to reflect accuracy within the story regarding Karen Soh’s job title, Justin Huang’s position in the club and who the guest speakers were on the Twitch and esports panels during SIEGE.
When Cal State Fullerton student Susie Law dealt with the stress of frequently moving around as a kid, she found solace in GameCube, spending many of her childhood hours playing “Super Mario Sunshine” with her brother.
Law, a fourth-year business major, found a love for video games that she has spread through CSUF by creating a community as both president of the League of Legends Club and the main curator of Student Interactive Entertainment Gaming Expo (SIEGE), that was held for the second time at CSUF on April 21.
“I decided to convert my passion for video games and share that with others to create these experiences. I want (people) to experience what it’s like to have that community and have people to play with,” Law said.
SIEGE filled the Titan Student Union to the brim with gaming tournaments, demos, merchandise booths and speaker panels. As the participants roamed around enthusiastically checking out the different attractions, Law frantically maneuvered through the hall, making sure everything was going to plan, constantly receiving friendly greetings left and right.
“SIEGE is her baby. It would not happen if it was not for Susie,” said Kendra Liu, vice president of outreach with the CSUF League of Legends Club.
Liu said Law has become a well-known and well-liked figure in the CSUF gaming community, constantly being stopped on campus to engage in conversation. Her outgoing and proactive personality was integral in planning SIEGE and expanding it into a massive event.
“(It’s Law’s) ability to reach out to people, especially for those that feel slightly uncomfortable at first. She drags them out and makes them feel welcome,” Liu said.
The idea for a local area network event at CSUF called “Outplayed!” originally came to fruition in 2016 and was led by then CSUF League of Legends Club President Charles Bang.
In 2017, Law and her friends wanted to continue the tradition, but looked to expand it by turning it into a gaming expo, bringing in game demos, artwork and speakers. One of the main qualities of SIEGE that Law is particularly proud of is the fact that it is entirely assembled by students on campus.
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“We exist to unify the gaming community,” Law said. “We really try to showcase student talent.”
Though Law was at the forefront of the expo, collaborations between the League of Legends Club, Smash Club, Gaming & Esports club, Video Game Development Club along with other contributors and sponsorships helped bring several components of SIEGE together.
Suffice it to say, Law’s connections with the gaming community on campus extend far beyond just the League of Legends club, but she still shares an especially strong bond with fellow members.
“League of Legends has always been a place where I’ve gone to find community. It’s definitely been a home to me for these past years,” Law said.
These friends from the club along with other gaming clubs on campus came together to help Law in the orchestration of SIEGE, brought together by a common passion along with her friendliness and charisma.
“She really cares about the members and she puts her whole heart into it,” said Justin Huang, a fifth-year computer science major and vice president of operations for the CSUF League of Legends Club. “She leads us to victory.”
SIEGE’s panels played a major role in bridging the gap between the industry and the public, hosting speakers like Karen Soh, a senior in-game cinematic artist for Blizzard Entertainment. Newly emerging fields like Twitch and esports were covered by notable guest speakers like Tori Wood, Travis Gafford and Avi Bhuiyan, each prominent in their respective fields.
In spite of the stress that comes with organizing the expo, Law was very pleased with this year’s outcome and hopes the event will become a lasting tradition even after she leaves campus.
Law said the continual growth of video game culture along with the emergence of esports have opened up more opportunities and career paths. For those like Law who hope to find a profession in the gaming industry, she said she feels optimistic.
“Before if you liked video games, you might have felt hopeless that ‘I can’t work in video games because all you can do is make games,’” Law said. “But there’s so much more than just that.”