Update: Ekali will headline Conquest 2018 at USC tomorrow night and Tierra Whack will be Conquest's opener.
Leila Kashfi and Logan McQuade, directors of the USC Concerts Committee, confirmed that they did not get permission from the fire marshal to burn the bear this year due to recent fires in California and air quality. McQuade said, "it's understandable."
The story was updated at 3:33 p.m. on Nov.14.
If you've walked along Trousdale or crossed through the USC village on your way to grab some coffee for class, you may have noticed that the Tommy Trojan and Hecuba statues are being closely guarded by the USC Helenes. That's because USC Conquest is only two days away and the annual rivalry football game against UCLA is on Saturday.
This year's Conquest is sponsored by Abercrombie & Fitch, who is providing 4,000 LED wristbands for the concert at the end of the rally. Students can also look forward to a League of Legends tournament throughout the festivities.
Esports, or competitive online video gaming, will be added to the festivities. Esports varsity teams from USC and UCLA will battle in League of Legends starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday. The game is hosted by USC Esports Union and USC Games. The USC varsity team that will battle tomorrow is called SC legends, which belongs to USC Esports Union.
"We are going to be broadcasting three games of League of Legends on the big Imax screens that we have on the sides of the stage," according to Kira Stiers, the Co-Director of USC Concerts Committee.
Keanu Concepcion, USC Esports Union Director, said they want to build up a community for people to play games on campus.
"We are hoping that by having out event at Conquest, we can make an impact on people there at Conquest to show that we're a part of the USC community," Concepcion said. "We're here to give students an outlet to play game, have fun, and meet friends."
Concepcion also said Esports Union will expand its inclusion.
"Right now, It's just League of Legend, but tomorrow we will be announcing our inclusion of varsity program for Overwatch, Hearthstone and Super Smash Bros," he said.
Summoner School is another USC's League of Legends club and independent from SC Legends. Amanda Fan, the president of Summoner School, said Summoner School will be at the game tomorrow to cheer for SC Legends.
"it's very exciting to see that USC is taking steps to legitimize collegiate Esports. And I'm itching to see what they'll be doing at Conquest," Fan said.
The USC Song Girls, the football team, the Trojan Marching Band, USC Spirit Leaders, and other student performers and athletic teams will come to the rally on McCarthy Quad from 5 pm to 11 pm on November 15th. As usual, you can expect food trucks, carnival games, jousting arena, a Ferris wheel, bonfire, a concert and, of course, the burning of the bear.
The committee has not yet disclosed the lineup for the concert.
The The USC Helenes, a women's service organization, will take the lead on many of Troy Week traditions. Currently, they are guarding Tommy Trojan and other school landmarks twenty-four hours a day and the organization will also bring in the victory bell during Conquest, instead of the all-male service organization Trojan Knights.
Some USC students are excited for this year's celebration of school spirit.
"I usually go to Conquest for the concerts," said USC student Juan Moon in an interview. "I am not really into the burning of the bear, but Conquest is a great time."
Here are some rules you should know before going:
The event will follow the USC Coliseum bag rules, meaning all bags that are larger than a small clutch or purse need to be clear.
Each USC student is limited to one guest and all attendees will need to present a photo ID at the entrance once they arrive.
Update on Nov. 14 6:48 p.m.: We added quotes from Keanu Concepcion, the director of USC Esports Union. We also clarified the relationship between two League of Legends clubs, Summoner School and SC Legends.