College e-sports 'gym' for scholarship players opens at UC Irvine
Last year, the University of California Irvine announced it would offer scholarships for e-sports players.
This year, it's collaborating with a student club on campus to open an e-sports training facility and student lounge.
A lot of the students play games and sports, like e-sports.
So it's really cool to be around an environment of similar-minded individuals.
I was expecting a few years ago I would just come play with normal college players, and now I'm playing with great players, I'm happy here.
The facility itself is actually a little smaller than I expected, but it's tricked out.
So right here you can see behind me are these 60 computers, super high end MFR game computers.
The computer's definitely better than what I have at home.
Top of the line equipment, the set ups are really nice, the room looks really nice.
And if students want to pick up a couple of pointers from the best of the best, they can check out the competition corner where scholarship athletes will practice.
You'll be able to watch them practice, just kind of like how you can go to the gym and watch your basketball team practice at anything
In addition to providing a space where eSports scholarship athletes can practice and train, UC Irvine also hopes its student gamers will have an opportunity to socialize in a way they haven't before.
Bill point that they want gamers out of their dorms, out of home
And come to this arena and play in person, meet new friends, and get that real life socialization that people kind of stigmatize against gamers.
I get to help abolish that stereotype of the basement dweller which I've always hated.
Even though this facility was built at no cost to the university, it still has to make money.
Which is where students come in.
Any student can come in here any time they want, obviously during school hours and pay $4 an hour to play on these computers with their friends, with new classmates.
The profits from the arena don't just benefit the facility either.
We actually are putting money into the campus, so we already basically committed a grant to research
And we've also donated about $2,000 to the UCI hospital to help children with cancer through a charity called Gamechanger.
We really wanna be able to build a space that really meets the needs of the campus and I think this is gonna be a really good demo for it to show the campus and show the world that this is something that gamers
Students across UCI and across the nation wanna see.
I wanna further my education the most so this is a good way to do it while doing something I love.
Well I guess you could consider the UC Irvine e-sports arena as a mental gym.
Student athletes can drop by to get in a quick workout, and other students can stop by, socialize with their friends and also have a little fun.
It's the first of its kind, but I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of these facilities popping up on campuses across the country in the future.