USC Aiken unveils new E-Sports lab

Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 11:26 PM EDT
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AIKEN, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- E-Sports have been growing around the country. More and more high school, college, and even professional gaming leagues are popping up. USC Aiken is joining elite company with their new E-Sports lab.

“You only see huge gaming labs like this at huge universities,” said student body president and League of Legends captain Samuel Boyd.

“This is much more than just that playing games in the basement or spending time by yourself playing individual games,” said Doctor David Morris, the club’s advisor and team coach.

USC Aiken’s new gaming lab is for both the pacer’s competitive league of legends and Overwatch teams, as well as their club teams. It cost $208,000 to renovate the basement of the Pacer Commons, and $77,000 for technology. The room also features its own AC so all of the equipment can stay cool. The 2019 team that won the Peach Belt’s League of Legends championship mostly played remotely, from dorm rooms to other locations. Now the team has a real home.

“I think overall it’s 100% amazing to see the administration that probably doesn’t understand what’s happening in any of the games, and they’re still willing to take the leap of faith and be like, ‘ok, our students love this and are doing well at this. They can bring us good things too, so we’re going to support them.’ and they’ve gone above and beyond with that,” Boyd continued.

The lab also helps bridge the social gap and technology gap between players, giving them a competitive edge over their competition.

“One of the big advantages of this space in particular is the competitive area which you can see back there. Which allows the teams to sit and play together. To have conversations about what’s going right, what’s going wrong.”

The team can still play remotely in the event of another COVID or other form of shutdown, but the state of the art facility just goes to show how much E-Sports is growing in the country.

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