Ready, Player One?: SLU Opens New Esports Gaming Lab
It’s game-on for Saint Louis University’s latest effort to enhance the on-campus experience for students: a state-of-the-art Esports Gaming Lab in Busch Student Center.
SLU celebrated the opening of the new gaming lab on Tuesday, Jan. 28, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by students and University leaders, including University President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., and Nicholas Chiu, director of SLU’s new Esports Program.
"Our entire ecosystem is amazing," Chiu said. "This space is just the beginning. Once we're able to grow and grow, to eventually incorporate even more things, I think esports can be the biggest thing here at SLU."
The opening marks the latest stage in SLU’s quest to launch a “varsity-level” program for competitive video gaming, also known as esports.
"Whenever we cut a ribbon on a new space or building, it's a step forward," Pestello said. "It demonstrates how we're progressing as an institution. As I said before, we are a student-centered institution. So I can't wait to see the success of this team, the fun you will have and how you will use this as another opportunity to recruit talented, capable students to this fine University."
A State-of-the-Art Lab to Grow SLU Gamers
Located on the lower level of the student center, the renovated space features 12 stations for computer gaming and three large TV monitors for popular gaming consoles Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
The lab will serve as the home for the new varsity esports team. It will also be open for general student use when the team isn’t practicing.
This space is just the beginning. Once we're able to grow and grow, to eventually incorporate even more things, I think eSports can be the biggest thing here at SLU."Nicholas Chiu, director of the SLU esports program
SLU’s investment in the varsity program and lab recognizes the increasing interest in esports among students and the growing number of gamers on campus. There are more than 125 collegiate esports programs nationally.
Students who are selected to play on SLU’s varsity team will be eligible for up to $2,000 in scholarship. SLU’s Division of Student Development provided the resources to start the program.
An advisory group of students, faculty, staff and administrators has been formed to guide SLU’s esports efforts.
Want to Get Your Game On?
Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of more than 13,000 students on campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of nearly 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good. Learn more at www.slu.edu.