UC Irvine debuts the first public college esports arena in the US

0
456

The University of California, Irvine , is serious about esports. This fall it will officially launch a competitive-gaming initiative, complete with scholarships and an already-decorated League of Legends team, and it’s just finished construction on a 3, 500-square-foot esports arena that’s set to open Friday, Sept. 23rd. The arena is packed with 80 gaming PCs loaded with top eSports titles, a webcasting studio and viewing screens. The arena will serve as a home base for the university’s gaming community and a place for its competitive players to train. It also represents another step forward for collegiate esports across the country. “Esports is the future of competition. Period, ” UCI’s Acting Director of Esports Mark Deppe says. “It transcends language, geography, race, age, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical ability and many other identities. In five years many more schools will official programs and more structure will be in place to regulate and provide guidance to schools. Esports also has a huge opportunity to learn from the successes and shortcomings of traditional sports and provide a model for collegiate competition in the 21st century.” Deppe hopes the arena will be 100 percent cost-neutral. UCI spent $250, 000 to build it over the summer, and it will be open to the public and students for $4 an hour; UCI hopes the revenue from its hourly use will cover administrative costs. The arena will host 25 student staff members, while other students can volunteer to assist in coaching, analysis, streaming and production roles. UCI’s arena is backed by iBUYPOWER, which provided all of its gaming PCs, and Riot Games, the studio behind League of Legends . As part of its esports initiative, UCI is offering 10 scholarships, valued at $15, 000 each, to its competitive League of Legends players. The global esports market is valued at $612 million, with an audience of 134 million, according to SuperData , and it’s only predicted to grow. Universities across the United States are diving into this emerging market with scholarship programs and competitive teams. Student players bring home some real prizes when they win: Heroes of the Storm ‘s college tournament offers the winners free tuition , while the League of Legends North American collegiate championship grants $30, 000 to each winning player and $15, 000 each for second place. At UCI, players get to keep any earnings from competitions. Mark Deppe, @UCIesports acting dir., unboxes 1st computers to arrive for UCI #esports Initiative.

See more here:
UC Irvine debuts the first public college esports arena in the US

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.