Campus photo showing students walking down Diversity Way

by F. RODRIGUEZ | Wednesday, Jun 19, 2019

The new Student Union, which is currently being renovated, will bring an exciting addition to the Boca Raton campus of Florida Atlantic University. This dedicated space for gamers will make FAU the first public university in Florida to have a competitive esports gaming center as well as official competing teams.

This initiative will allow students to enjoy gaming in an exclusive and high-tech environment. The eSports Arena will be equipped with 40 - 50 top of the line computers, and a competitive console gaming area. By supplying students with the appropriate resources and guidance, FAU hopes to achieve a more prominent presence in the gaming community that will build toward a recognizable program.

Julie Tomanio, president for the FAU eSports Gaming Club, expressed that “the gaming community at FAU is extremely large. We conducted an email survey, and over 3,000 people responded that currently play videogames competitively or casually. It should be noted that this is only the people who responded to their emails, there are a lot more hidden within the campus.”

Building this arena at the Student Union brings many benefits; in addition being one of the highest foot-traffic areas on campus (approx. 100,000 unique visitors), it is also the center of student and visitor life. “We hope that this new space will welcome all gamers. Whether competitive or not, to come together and share a similar interest in a safe and fun environment” stated Julie. But the arena is only the beginning. The gaming industry has grown drastically in the past decade and continues to expand. In fact, revenues will reach an impressive $1.1 billion in 2019.

“Plenty of leagues and tournaments now have huge audiences, so companies are positioning themselves to directly monetize these gaming enthusiasts” says Newzoo CEO, Peter Warman. “While this began happening last year, the market is constantly expanding on its early learnings. The result: 2019 will be the first billion-dollar year for electronic sports, a market that will continue to attract brands across all industries.”

Esports is dominated by teenagers and people in their 20s, and offers a more promising career than ever before. FAU Career Center liaison for the College of Engineering, Jennifer Fabricius, tells us there’s already opportunities in the professional world for gaming enthusiasts. “We actually have a Computer Science alumnus who helped build the famous console game: God of War,” says Jennifer. “Students can take courses such as CAP 4028 – Game Programming, or other development courses through the field of engineering.” There are opportunities all the way from videogame design to script writing. “Students who want to pursue a career in the esports industry, your time is now!” affirmed Mitchell Roshel, the liaison for the Career Center and College of Arts and Letters. “Our college offers courses such as computer animation and videogame studies.”

FAU sees the value and potential behind the eSports industry and wants better access for students who are interested in this field. The eSports arena is just one of the many exciting initiatives coming to the new FAU Student Union. For more information on the eSports arena, visit The New U page.