SWOSU Establishing eSports Program and Arena
Construction will soon start on a new eSports arena at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. The arena and eSports program will be located in the Wellness Center.
Southwestern Oklahoma State University is joining one of the fastest-growing segments in sports and entertainment by starting a competitive (or scholastic) eSports program on the Weatherford campus.
Construction will soon start on a new eSports arena that will be located in the Wellness Center. It is expected to be finished by the Fall 2020 semester with construction beginning this spring.
eSports, or electronic sports, is a competition that involves team-based video games. With the new eSports program, SWOSU is excited to offer students another means of re-enforcing student engagement while collaborating within teams. eSports connects people from around the world through gaming.
“This phenomenon engages younger, tech-savvy students and SWOSU will be part of the excitement being established at universities and K-12 schools across the world,” said SWOSU President Randy Beutler.
Directing the SWOSU program will be Dean of Students Joshua Engle. Coach of the eSports student competitors will be SWOSU Computer Science faculty member and Computer Club Advisor Hayden Harrington.
SWOSU expects to compete in the following games: Super Smash Bros, Rocket League, League of Legends, Overwatch and Counter Strike.
“The main goal is to create a team headquarters for gamers on the SWOSU campus and to let people learn more about eSports,” Harrington said.
“We plan to help shape the eSports competition in western Oklahoma and other areas, providing students with insight into the kind of skill sets that will be useful,” Engle said.
The new arena will have a large renovated space with stadium seating, large digital viewing screens and competitive high-end gaming PCs with direct high-speed internet. The arena, which fits up to 160 people, will have event space where spectators can watch eSports competitions. The program will also feature streaming so students, regardless of their location, can watch and cheer for SWOSU’s team.
SWOSU will look to establish partnerships with companies to help generate revenue and growth for the program.