England’s Staffordshire University has unveiled plans to enhance its esports offerings through a £2.9 million investment in dedicated facilities. Situated on the Stoke-on-Trent campus, the new facilities will also include equipment from Panasonic and EVS.
The project will be developed, constructed and installed by the broadcast solutions expert, Digital Garage. This expansion will include a custom-made esports arena and a studio equipped with broadcast galleries. It’ll also be in response to the increasing number of students enrolled in the University’s forward-looking esports program, which has been redesigned through collaboration with both students and industry professionals.
Esports Course Director Dr Ying-Ying Law says, “The Esports industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace and it is important that we reflect this in our updated course curriculum and that our teaching covers the skills, knowledge and behaviours that will help sector progression. We have carefully considered what our graduates need to succeed in the future and through our revised course curriculum, our students get to examine both the theoretical and practical approaches to production, media, events, communities and management.”
Creating new opportunities for students
As a component of their senior year project, students in the Esports program have collaborated with respected industry collaborators such as car manufacturer Alpine and a team that is currently participating in the F1 circuit, on the Alpine Community Cup Series.
The expansion of esports facilities within the University’s Beacon building will provide flexible teaching areas where students will have the opportunity to use more than 80 devices, including specialised esports-configured workstations. This enhancement will also include upgraded connectivity between rooms and a focus on Esports aesthetics and design, which will incorporate lighting, furnishings, and artwork from student events.
“We are excited to be expanding our Esports footprint in Stoke-on-Trent. This will give students greater access to our facilities, enabling them to immerse themselves in the latest technology and complete more practical work and extra-curricular activities. We cannot wait for our students to experience the transformed spaces in Beacon,” said Russell Campion, associate professor in the School of Digital, Technologies and Arts at Staffordshire University.
The new facilities are expected to be completed by the spring of 2024. This expansion of esports is part of a continuous effort to invest in campus transformation projects across the University’s various locations.