Midland University unveils new arena for competitive video gaming – Lincoln Journal Star

FREMONT — Midland University, the first college in the region to elevate video gaming to a varsity-level competition alongside traditional sports, unveiled a new eSports arena Wednesday.

Located on the third floor of Midland’s Olson Student Center, the eSports arena was specially designed for competitive gaming.

Warrior eSports team members are able to compete on an elevated level, allowing spectators to view the action from below. LED lighting that can be adjusted for optimum viewing of screens has been installed in the three-tier tray ceiling. The arena also features a “smart board,” which head coach Ben Nabity can use to map out strategy, the university says.

Overall, the arena has 20 workstations, including 10 with dual monitors so team members can follow the action of more than one competition at a time. Each workstation comes equipped with ergonomically designed Arozzi gaming chairs, headphones and other gear.

Midland recently began its second eSports 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. At the time, Midland was one of five colleges across the country to offer athletic scholarships to participants. That number is expected to reach 60 by the end of the year.

Students put hours of practice into mastering their craft. And hardcore gamers can be injured, too: acquiring carpal tunnel and tilting, entering a state of mental confusion and frustration.

“The games that we play and the games that are chosen and selected for eSports are games that require team play, team coordination, team communication and team discipline,” Nabity said.

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