The University of California, Irvine, is taking gaming to a new level with its e-sports and gaming initiative, which will include a state-of-the-art arena with high-end gaming computers, a stage for League of Legends events, and live webcasting. The arena is scheduled to be ready for use by the fall.
League of Legends is among the most popular video games in the world, according to a report for Tech Insider. UC Irvine will also offer up to 10 academic scholarships to students on the team, while providing nonteam students with a place to play.
“UCI e-sports will be built on four pillars: competition, academics, entertainment, and community,” Thomas Parham, vice chancellor for student affairs, said in a university release. “We hope to attract the best gamers from around the world, and our academic programs in computer gaming science, digital arts, computer science, engineering, anthropology, law, medicine, neuroscience, and behavior create a strong foundation for research and inquiry related to gaming.”
The 3,500-sq.-ft. arena is scheduled to have 80 custom gaming computers equipped with the most popular video game titles. The space will be made available to classes and research projects, as well as serving as a hub for social and competitive gaming.
“It has been a dream for many of us on campus that UCI recognize the importance of e-sports and create a space and a program that cater to the large community of gamers at the university,” said Jesse Wang, president of The Association of Gamers. “The e-sports team and arena will ensure that UCI continues to be a leader and trendsetter in collegiate e-sports.”