The two-story building features 54 gaming personal computers, 37 more than were at Hansen. There is a six-seat coliseum on the main floor for competition, along with two play places (or practice rooms), a HyperX Broadcast Studio, a conference room for meeting and analyzing film, and offices for three full-time coaches and seven student workers in support roles such as coaching, graphic design, video production and broadcasting.
“I wouldn’t have known about this school if it wasn’t for this program,” said freshman Sameer Alan of Jesup, Ga.
Jackson Gilles of Minnesota said the new facility provides a “camaraderie thing” for the IWU team.
“I value, especially now (because of COVID-19), in-person actions together,” he said. “Being able to experience the actual motions of people instead of just playing online is something that is really important and coming together as a team in order to establish a successful program.”
The facility was constructed during the pandemic with health and safety in mind. There is plexiglass between computer stations and containers with lids at each station for players to store their keyboards. Masks are required at all times in the building.
IWU has already made its mark in the esports world. The League of Legends team won the UCI Best Coast Invitational title last fall with wins over the 2018 national champion, the 2018 national runner-up and the 2019 national runner-up. IWU was ranked as high as No. 12 in the ESPN College League of Legends coaches poll last spring.
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