Two years ago, Kutztown University student Connor Ellis proposed a $35,000 project to convert an unused campus room into an esports venue. But the university wasn’t ready to fund its video-game club — yet.In January, Ellis’ esports team, Kutztown’s largest student recreation club, began competing in League of Legends, Overwatch and other games in a $250,000 arena that underscored what universities now see as valuable investments. Esports have landed — with high frame-rate graphics cards and memory-foam gaming chairs — at Kutztown.
“As we move into the future, students are going to choose universities that have facilities like these,” Kutztown President Kenneth S. Hawkinson said. “And universities that are not leading the way will be left behind.”Kutztown on Thursday dedicated its new esports arena, housed in a converted conference room of the McFarland Student Union, by introducing Hawkinson to a game called Rocket League. The project, which Hawkinson said cost about $250,000 in student fees and took a year to complete, brings Kutztown into the competitive world of multiplayer video gaming.
More than 170 colleges nationwide offer esports as varsity programs, some of which distribute scholarships. DeSales University added varsity esports in 2019 with its own dedicated arena. Esports have a governing body (the National Association of Collegiate Esports), a national tournament sponsored by ESPN and $16 million in annual scholarships and aid, according to NACE.Though it has no plans to offer esports as a varsity program, Kutztown did expand on Ellis’ original vision. The new venue has 14 gaming terminals, two 70-inch wall-mounted monitors, a dedicated slice of university bandwidth and chairs featuring back and neck pillows, gel-cushioned armrests and the Kutztown esports logo.
Ellis, a 21-year-old senior from Montgomeryville majoring in computer science, founded Kutztown’s esports club with about 50 members in 2018. Back then, he carried his PC from the dorm to a campus meeting room where the club could com[…]
eSport Viral is the creation of Brian from Debt Discipline. Our goal here at eSports Viral is to curate the best news, reviews, and recommendations from the world of gaming. A one-stop shop if you will for the online, multiplayer, and competitive video game community to find the latest and best information.