The computer lab at University Village had its grand opening September 7, which includes an Esports lounge open to all registered students as well as standard computer lab equipment and services.
According to team leader Matthew Asay of the Elizabeth Hall computer lab location, the technology available to students in the new esports lab makes gaming their number one priority. “The esports lab has higher-end MSI gaming computers and monitors with high refresh rates and higher resolutions,” Asay said.
He also mentioned that a 65” 4K television is available to students who wish to bring their consoles to plug and play, as well as gaming chairs and other arrangements for a more relaxed setting.
“It really is geared toward the Esports Club, and all gamers on campus,” said Asay.
Computer lab supervisor Sarah MacKay came up with the idea to collaborate with the Esports Club to revitalize the University Village location since it hasn’t been receiving as much attention as they would have wanted in the past.
“It had very low usage,” said MacKay. “Esports are a huge thing right now. They have lots of scholarship and student retention benefits and opportunities for students.”
According to MacKay, it was this consideration that led to them approaching the Esports Club. “It is still a computer lab; it is still open to all students for academic purposes. But this location is completely tailored to gaming,” said MacKay.
To Esports Club president Brayden Vera, the collaboration with the computer labs team has been a huge milestone for him and for the club as a whole. “After getting this lab, the next step is to try to get scholarship opportunities for our varsity teams for playing esports on campus,” Vera said.
“The computer labs have always been supportive of the Esports Club,” Asay said. “We’ve hosted some of their tournaments over the years in our open labs on campus and fully encourage people to use our computers to play games as they like.”
Asay said sees the grand opening of the esports lab as a “soft open” for the location.
The Esports Club’s goal is to help foster and grow the competitive and casual gaming community at Weber State University and help better prepare their club members for official esports sponsorship and the competitive gaming environment and lifestyle.
Vera said the club hosts events and tournaments for students and community members.
“We also run trials for varsity and junior varsity team to compete with other colleges and local tournaments,” Vera said.
“I think Weber State, for the last 2 to 3 years, has been very supportive to all of their clubs and organizations,” Vera said. “I think sometimes their leaders don’t know their assets, or who to talk to. That’s why it’s so important that they ask around for these opportunities because you don’t know who will support you if you never ask.”