OU’s new Esports Arena to open in fall

Published 5:52 am Tuesday, May 17, 2022

ATHENS — After months of planning and collaborating with students, Ohio University’s new esports arena has been completed with a grand opening planned for fall 2022 semester.
The OU Esports Arena is a comprehensive experiential learning and competition space dedicated to the growing industry of esports, allowing for students to play, learn and work in an environment that fosters professional growth and relationships.
“Video games and esports are billion-dollar industries that have grown exponentially in the last five to 10 years, yet the number of trained employees for jobs in this industry do not meet the demand of it,” Jeff Kuhn, Ph.D., director of OU’s esports program, said. “We want to prepare our students to get these jobs in the industry and the best way to do that is by providing them with experiences using equipment they would use in jobs.”
The OHIO Esports Arena includes several components focused on the different positions within esports, such as a 12-seat competition area, broadcasting center, and a 30-seat co-curricular space where students, faculty, staff and alumni can get together to play games and network. The entire arena is dedicated to esports fans, providing a bigger space for them to come together and be a part of a larger community.
The broadcast station includes an announcer desk, where students can announce games, and a production and editing room where students can manage live streams broadcast on Twitch and YouTube.
There are also 30 state-of-the-art PC computers. Each computer has an RTX 3080 GPU, 32 GB of RAM, and a 240Hz 1080p monitr. The arena also includes Xboxes and Nintendo Switches for students to come in and use.
The arena is made up of industry standard production equipment used in professional esports settings to help students get experience using the same type of equipment.
“I’m most proud of the help we’ve received from students since the beginning to make this arena a reality,” Kuhn said. “They have been a part of every decision and have been involved in designing the space, as well as setting up and running the broadcast equipment and helping with the computer specifications.”
Nearly 350-400 students make up the Ohio University esports student club, with over 1,000 students, faculty, staff, prospective students and alumni in the Discord channel. Of those students, 25-30 were involved in actually helping get the space up and running.
Students from the sports administration program in the College of Business have also been doing practicum and gaining experience managing esports.
To learn more about esports at Ohio University, visit https://www.ohio.edu/scripps-college/mcclure/esports.

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