UCI eSports Arena Opening – Collegiate eSports Facilitated by Manufacturers

By Published September 25, 2016 at 8:30 am
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System integrator iBUYPOWER, peripheral maker Logitech, motherboard maker ASUS, and Riot games joined forces to aid UCI in opening its new eSports arena. The venue makes UCI the first top 200 public school with an eSports program, and opens the door for its participation in collegiate eSports tournaments. To our knowledge, there are presently nine other US universities with eSports programs that may allow for future 10-way contests at a collegiate level.

The university's arena hosted CLG Red & Blue teams, Immortals, and Selfless this weekend, alongside manufacturers nVidia, NZXT, ADATA, and iBUYPOWER. The venue contains sixty systems – a split between mITX Revolt 2 boxes and ATX NZXT N450 boxes – with Intel i7-6700K CPUs and GTX 1080 FE GPUs. Logitech has equipped each box with a G410 TKL keyboard, G303 mouse, and G430 headset, ASUS provided the Z170 motherboards, and iBUYPOWER did the system assembly (and provision of the Revolt 2).

As for the program itself, a total of ten scholarships are presently being awarded based on performance to League players. Each scholarship has a value of $5600 toward school attendance, and the ten winners are placed on a school LoL team to compete at a collegiate level. The scholarship will be refreshed annually, and the school hopes to expand its games coverage to include Overwatch and Smash in the future (though notes that this is not a guarantee).

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As for the systems, iBUYPOWER has committed to refresh the systems every two years with the latest hardware, allowing complete compatibility with whatever happens to be the modern gaming standard for 2018. That said, a GTX 1080 isn't exactly necessary for LOL, CSGO, and Overwatch – but it will grant future mobility as the school accommodates more titles.

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Above: The NZXT EnVyUs case.

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Darren Su and Tyrone Wang of iBUYPOWER, accompanied by Peter the Anteater.

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Riot has also added to the eSports arena's value. The company is using the same skins system that they've deployed in PC Bangs in Asia, so students logging into the UCI arena's computers will be temporarily granted access to all of the League of Legends skins. This is assigned on an IP level, making it possible to gain temporary access for a user's own account (not just a local arena account).

Learn more about the venue, which resides in the Student Center ZOT Zone, over here: http://www.esports.uci.edu/uci-esports-arena.php

Editorial: Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke
Video: Andrew “ColossalCake” Coleman

Last modified on September 25, 2016 at 8:30 am
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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