WMU spending up to $500K on new video gaming center and eSports club – MLive.com

KALAMAZOO, MI — Gamers can take delight in Western Michigan University’s announcement of a new program, [email protected], coming to campus this fall. 

A new facility and a club team for eSports, or multiplayer video games, expected to cost up to $500,000 will be funded in part by the Transformational Initiatives Fund, which President Edward Montgomery announced during his first State of the University Address in October.

Michigan college to offer students scholarships to play video games

Montgomery asked campus members to propose ideas that build community and advance campus goals. About 60 ideas were presented, including this “pilot effort” that will bring “community-building effort to students’ recreational hours,” WMU said in a news release. 

From the $1-million fund, $250,000 will go toward the [email protected] initiative. At most, up to another $250,000 will come from general university funds. A maximum of $500,000 will go toward the video gaming facility, gaming equipment and the club team, WMU spokeswoman Cheryl Roland said. 

WMU will become one of few colleges and universities that “formally sponsor” video gaming, the university said in its news release. WMU will equip an existing location with 22 stations to be used for competitions and skill development at the club sport level. This facility is expected to open this fall, but what building will be used is yet to be decided, Roland said.

The facility, or a large computer lab, will be equipped with gamer computers, ergonomic gaming chairs, high resolution gaming monitors, headsets and special keyboards and mice, Scott Puckett, senior director of IT for Business and Finance at WMU, said in an email. 

“eSports could be looked at like any competitive sport on campus, building teamwork and a fan following,” he said.

Students interested in joining the club team will try out and be graded on their skill level.

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