Esports arena to hold grand opening today

After being anticipated for months, the grand opening of the new esports arena in Bluff Hall will be held from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. today.  The ceremony will be open to all students, faculty, staff and alumni, and food and refreshments will be provided.

Inside the arena, there is a collection of 12 high-end gaming computers and two televisions for students to attach their own systems and play. Phil Leyerer, Campus Recreation’s coordinator for club sports, said they want this new space to be a place where any student is welcome to show up and enjoy themselves, not just a spot exclusive to esports teams and clubs.

“We know there’s so many casual gamers, and we have a lot of students who are interested in gaming but might not own a gaming computer or a console. That’s the group we want to invite,” Leyerer said.

At the grand opening, Natalie Hawkins, assistant director for recreational programs, said members of the esports club will be showing off their respective competitive games. However, she, like Leyerer, said this is not the only crowd they are hoping to draw to the new arena.

“This isn’t just for esports or club members to go and practice there. We aren’t just stopping there,” Hawkins said. “We’ve been reaching out to multiple different groups on campus, and we’re hoping this expands by word of mouth to other people to be a space for everyone to come.”

For any further questions about the esports arena opening, email Natalie Hawkins at nrosale@siue.edu.

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