Campus, News

CSULB Esports Arena levels up

On Friday, members of CSULB administration and ASI officially opened the revamped arena in the University Student Union building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

All in attendance were treated with free food, giveaways and a closer look at the new look home of CSULB Esports.

The arena features high-end upgrades throughout, including 12 PCs, multiple Xbox Series Xs and PS5s.

A separate room doubles as a lounge and sports casting area was also added in the renovation, but will not be fully furnished until the start of the 2024 spring semester.

Students get a closer look at the brand new PCs added to the arena. They were also provided with free food and giveaways.
Students get a closer look at the brand new PCs added to the arena. They were also provided with free food and giveaways. Photo credit: Nate Martinez

The arena also has its own closed wifi network to ensure lagging never stands between a player and the game.

Considering the prior arena only offered old-generation gaming consoles and no PCs at all, this remodel has a widespread impact.

“Honestly, it’s a big momentous step forward for us,” said Kevin Nguyen, former president of the CSULB Esports Club and current member of two Esports teams.

“It allows us practice time, It allows us to bring more of our teams together and let them experience playing together in person rather than just be at home.”

As with any sports team, cohesion and chemistry are always keys to success, which are exactly what the new arena offers.

Additionally, Nguyen believes the allure of the brand new PCs will grow CSULB’s Esports club and various Esports teams.

“Seeing this, like, I think it broadens the range of everybody who gets to play,” Nguyen said.

The arena is also meant to serve more than just Esports players though.

“I think it’s a huge impact again, like Esports and the student association [ASI], just for the students that are here for the day to day,” Iraida Venegas, USU Associate Director of Commercial Business and spearhead of the project, said.

Students will be able to play whenever they choose and the space will also be available to rent for parties, giving the experience with gaming with the latest technology.

There is also a casting station for inspiring sportscasters to hone their craft in a competitive environment, especially when CSULB hosts Esports tournaments.

On top of all of the tangible benefits, the combination of the arena and casting station will provide mental health benefits as well: a safe space for students to escape and unwind with friends.

“It helps them with stress. It helps them with mental clarity like they do this at home,” Venegas said.

This was evident at the arena’s opening, as the looks of joy and excitement from Esports club and team members was universal.

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