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University of Wisconsin-Superior Opens Esports Facility

A new 1,600-square-foot sports arena with high-tech computers will accommodate the university's growing esports program, which is slated to transition into a full varsity program in the fall.

(TNS) — The University of Wisconsin-Superior unveiled its newest sports arena on Thursday, March 28. The esports gaming room in Swenson Hall is a 1,600-square-foot space that houses a dozen high-tech computers and room to grow.

Members of the official UWS esports team have a 6-1 record in Wisconsin Collegiate Rocket League play and hope to branch out into additional online games such as League of Legends, Super Smash Bros and Valorant.

UWS Dean of Students Harry Anderson said the college is proud to offer one of the first formal extracurricular esports programs in the region.

"Esports has had a remarkable growth over the past few years. It's garnered a massive following worldwide, making it one of the fastest-growing sports globally," Anderson said. "Not only is it growing rapidly, esports has the ability on a college campus to build community, foster social-emotional learning skills and connect students to STEM fields in education."

Many of the skills needed for competitive esports, such as communication and playing a specific role, can transfer to the work world and regular life, said co-esport coach Brady Stocker.

"Our students can build friendships across our campus due to having similar interests," Stocker said. "Without this space and club, who knows if these team members would have connected?"

Club president Martin Jezierski, a freshman, said the new esports lab will put UWS on the map.

Roughly 40 prospective or current students have expressed interest in joining the esports team, which is slated to transition into a full varsity program in the fall. That includes Sullivan Gayken, a freshman from El Paso, Texas, who started school at UWS this semester. He chose Superior because he has good friends here, and he was interested in the esports team.

"They're putting a lot of effort into it," said Gayken, a psychology major. "I think that's really cool, and it in turn makes me want to put a lot of effort into it."

Jezierski said he'd like to add more competitive teams, particularly one for the first-person shooter game Overwatch.

"My hopes for the team in the future are to simply get as many people involved as possible, have more games fielded with teams to play across the leagues, and build a bond amongst the community of UWS esports that will grow for years to come," Jezierski said.

The space will also be open to the campus community during open rec hours throughout the week.

"Anyone with a common interest in gaming, whether it be competitive or just want to come together and just play a game with some friends or whatever, this lab is open to them," Jezierski said. "We want to be more than welcoming to the people who are interested in this space."

Renovation of the former computer lab into an esports arena was a team project involving the facilities management staff, information technology department, marketing and communications, math and computer science department and campus recreation staff. The cost to launch the new esports gaming room was $53,000.

A campus flier offers a QR code students can use to register for the esports team. Visit the UWS esports page on the college website,, under the student life tab or email for more information.

©2024 the Superior Telegram (Superior, Wis.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.