FREMONT, Neb. – Packed with innovative touches with competition in mind, Midland University has unveiled a new arena for its eSports team. As the first university in the region to elevate eSports to a varsity level sport, Midland’s competitors now have a space to call home.
Located on the third floor of the Olson Student Center, the eSports Arena was especially designed with competition in mind. Warrior eSports team members are able to compete on an elevated level, allowing spectators to follow all the action from below. LED lighting that can be adjusted for optimum viewing of screens has been installed in the three-tier tray ceiling. A “smart board” is available for Head Coach Ben Nabity to map out strategy.
“Our new eSports Arena is the optimum space for our eSports team to practice and compete,” Nabity said. “The surroundings and equipment is designed to provide maximum comfort so our players are able to concentrate on developing winning strategies.”
Overall there are 20 workstations with 10 set up with dual monitors, allowing team members to follow the action of more than one competition at a time. Each workstation comes equipped with Arozzi gaming chairs, which feature ergonomic design inspired by championship motorsports, and headphones and other gear supplied by Accessory Power.
Midland recently began its second season, competing this year in League of Legends, Overwatch and Hearthstone. There are 21 students on the Warriors eSports roster.
One of the fastest growing collegiate team activities, eSports has been gaining popularity since Midland first introduced it as a varsity level team in 2016. Back then, Midland was one of five colleges across the country to offer athletic scholarships to participants. That number h is expected to reach 60 by the end of the year.
With 31 varsity sports that offer opportunities to more than 800 student-athletes, Midland University is home to the largest athletic department in Nebraska. In the past two years, Midland has added eSports, powerlifting and men’s and women’s swimming to its ranks of intercollegiate programs.
Founded in 1883, Midland University is a private liberal arts college located in the heart of Fremont, Nebraska. The close-knit campus is home to nearly 1,400 students, including more than 250 who are involved in the performing arts.