Troubles that we faced with the occurrence of the coronavirus unfortunately have not bypassed the Games. Aware that under the circumstances of this unforeseen situation we all bear some of the responsibility in combating the epidemic spread, we gave great attention to this problem. Given the rapid occurrence of new cases of disease across Europe, including Croatia, with the recommendation and decision of official bodies, due to size and the international nature of this event, we regretfully decided that would not be responsible that STEM Games 2020 take place.
On this long and challenging journey to actualization of the event to remember, our great strengths of the organization have been working tirelessly since August. As a result of the effort, Games this year would be fully prepared to rise to an even greater level and face the new challenges of today!
In order to bring students closer to the real problems that bother scientists and engineers today, our mentors have thoughtfully designed tasks that require a broad knowledge, interdisciplinarity, and teamwork. In solving them, competitors simulate a real work environment and have the opportunity to interact and collaborate with a unique pool of industry experts and academia professionals. This year's mentors have gained their experience and education at impressive international institutes and universities in Croatia, England, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia and the USA. Along with this diverse background, competitors could consult and collaborate with ingenious mentors and provide useful advice, both to solve arena problems and for further academic and business life improvement.
In addition to the four STEM Arenas, another arena has been introduced this year. Given the strong interest in esports competition that was part of the additional program last year, at the Games 2020, esport would flourish because it would be held as an official part of the competition for the first time, in the eSport Arena. About 40 teams would test their gaming skills in one of four video games (League of Legends, Pro Evolution Soccer, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Hearthstone). In addition, students outside the official part of the competition could compete in eSport community tournaments in Tekken and FIFA. As a highlight of the competition, after 2 days arena would undergo a complete transformation and 2 stages for the finals with a large audience space would be set up. The competition would be accompanied by a stream with comments from our casters from their stream set. After the competition, participants would be able to relax with the Switch and PlayStation 4 consoles on site.
In addition to showing tactics, focus and speed in a digital environment, competitors would also have the opportunity to show these skills on the field as well. Although the choice of sports so far has offered something for everyone's taste, the Games have expanded the line-up with another sport. With futsal, basketball, handball, volleyball, beach volleyball, rowing, cross country running and chess, table tennis would get his twin brother so the contestants could try their hand at tennis!
We can proudly say that we have expanded the boundaries of the STEM Games competition as for last year’s number of 17 faculties has grown to 23, and the new faculties that decided to join in are: Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Department of Mathematics), University North - University Center Varaždin, University of Dubrovnik, University of Zagreb (Croatian Military Academy and Faculty of Geodesy), SS. University of Cyril and Methodius in Skopje (Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology) and University of Ljubljana (Biotechnical Faculty).
From Kaiserslautern all the way to Skopje, our participants would meet halfway on the new location of Games 2020, in the charming Istrian town of Rovinj where the Maistra Hospitality Group would be host of the coming days of the competition. At this location would await us a large outdoor pool, beach nearby, superb Istrian cuisine and various additional activities such as mini golf or badminton.
Indeed, we would welcome this year's Games armed to the teeth with new knowledge, challenges and a competitive spirit. But with all the ingenious things that would expect this year's participants, our faithful followers don't have to worry! The organization is moving on, and the new even greater and bigger Games will be ready in 2021. And by that time, follow on social media with what surprises the organization has been ready to push the boundaries of the Games and what to expect next year!