NDSU Unveils New Esports Lab

Ndsu has officially begun their soft-launch of the redesigned Esports Lab. The lab, earlier located in Memorial Union, has moved to the third floor of Ladd Hall, including all new amenities and state-of-the-art technology. 

This new location has been assembled in such a way to accommodate students not only to game recreationally, but to do homework, hang out with friends, participate in tournaments and streaming as well. Highlights to the facility’s amenities include 20 brand new computers, a Playstation 5, Xbox series X, Nintendo Switch, as well as older consoles such as Nintendo Wii and an original Xbox console. “We’re so excited to offer some of the more nostalgic titles for students” Said Joseph Cleys, the faculty member heading the new space. 

The NDSU Esport Lab will be open to all as well as offering services such as reservations. “Organizations and individual students can make reservations too, so even if they’re looking to have some friends come in and play the console games or use the computers, they can make those reservations through the Memorial Union,” said Cleys. 

The Esports Lab, now located in 316 Ladd Hall, will be hosting an official grand opening February 15th from 4pm to 7pm, welcoming the campus to this newly renovated space, with the official ceremony taking place at 4:30pm. 

For daily access to the Lab, students are only required to bring an NDSU ID to enter. To keep this space free to enter, a proposal for a fee increase was sent in an email to students as well as an invitation to an open forum to educate students on this proposal. This forum will take place Friday January 26th at 4pm in the Anishinaabe Theater, students are able to attend as well as watch the livestream or recording of the meeting. Students will have access to a survey to collect feedback on the fee increase as it is still in its proposal stage. 

NDSU currently houses multiple esports clubs available to students as well as the NDSU discord server which hundreds of students have now joined. Cleys highlights the goal for the Lab to build community by hopefully beginning game nights to assist in the community draw, and encourages students to come forward with new esports clubs. In terms of student involvement with preexisting clubs, NDSU will officially be offering an esports class which will be held in this new facility, giving students more opportunities to explore the world of esports. 

In the beginning stages of the opening, student feedback will prove to be an important determining factor in certain decisions such as hours and clubs. “We’re also just looking for that student feedback. We’ve set the hours and if students have suggestions on what hours might work better, we’re always open to that,” said Cleys 

Finishing touches are still being put on the space in terms of elements such as mounted wall monitors, RGB lights, and much more. “In this space, the addition of another casting card and meeting table so that this space is really designed to house every esports need we would have for tournaments or events,” said Cleys. 

Key dates for students to look out for once again are the open forum for the fee proposal on January 26th, and the grand opening ceremony on February 15th. 

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