eSports lab showcased as among nation's best

February 13, 2023

Full view of eSports lab

The university's new eSports lab was featured as among the best in the country by an industry magazine.

The state-of-the-art, 830-square-foot space in the Rocky Top Student Center was featured for its modern, tech-savvy design with LED linear pendants and state-of-the-art gaming technology.

American Institute of Architects partner Chris Bockstael discussed what it was like to build the “digital den.”

“We designed the room as a contemporary, fun and interactive place for team and individual eSports and gaming,” said architect Katelyn Chapin, of Svigals + Partners. 

The space was carefully designed to offer an intimate feel while offering a space that felt modern and dynamic using bright colors and effective accent lighting, she said. 

The lab offers 24 gaming spaces laid out in four rows of six seats to allow for requisite five-person team gaming and accommodate a four-person gaming console and monitor for club members. There are also mobile whiteboards and lecterns positioned around the room to support teaching and coaching — as well as suspended and wall-mounted monitors.

Prior to the space's opening, the eSports athletes competed from their homes.

"Club members have since shared their excitement for the future and the impact the eSports hub will have on their college experiences," said Chris Bockstael, partner at Svigals + Partners. "But the proof is in the results. Earlier this spring, the eSports team was crowned the 2022 MAAC Champions following a dramatic come-from-behind victory, and earned a spot in the national championship."

He said seeing the impact on students reminded him of his core mission.

"The bonding and positive memories this environment has enabled is the reason I got into architecture in the first place," Bockstael said.

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