Conestoga news

November 7, 2022 7:47 AM

New esports hub opens at Waterloo campus

Conestoga’s Athletics & Recreation department has opened a state-of-the-art esports facility at the college’s Waterloo campus. 

The new state-of-the-art esports facility at Conestoga’s Waterloo campus opened November 7.

The first of its kind in the region, the hub is strategically located within one of the fastest-growing tech sectors in North America and home to the college’s School of Applied Computer Science & Information Technology. The facility opened to full capacity on November 7 and includes 36 gaming PCs, a six-player competitive desk, access to gaming consoles and a control room for live-streaming productions.

“The new esports hub provides an incredible opportunity for student engagement and academic excellence,” said Trish Weigel Green, associate vice-president of Student Affairs. “This is just the beginning of esports at Conestoga.”

Esports is a rapidly evolving industry in the country. Reports indicate that 61 per cent of Canadians actively participated in gaming in 2020. The college is working with Explore Waterloo Region to engage gamers and establish the region as a renowned esports destination.

Through Athletics & Recreation, Conestoga launched a competitive esports program in 2020, integrating collegiate esports into traditional post-secondary athletics. Condors esports provides a varsity student-athlete experience with teams ranging from sports-based to battle arena genres and competing in various North American leagues. Student-athletes have access to coaching, prioritized facility practice and competition times, team apparel, and scholarships.

“The esports ecosystem allows Conestoga to provide students with a number of things we excel at: amazing spaces, state-of-the-art technology, high-quality programming and exceptional student experiences,” Weigel Green continued. “Investing in opportunities for students to learn and play while preparing them for future careers was an easy choice to make. Our new esports hub is evidence of our continued investment in providing leading-edge experience to our community.”

The Esports Hub will host weekly programming, events, and open lab time to students, with plans to engage the broader community in the future. The space will also support Conestoga’s new Esports Marketing and Event Management graduate certificate program launching in fall 2023, providing students with access to hands-on learning.

“Having a dedicated facility creates a unique ecosystem for Conestoga Esports Marketing and Event Management students,” said Aaron Blair, chair to the college’s School of Business. “The Esports Hub will provide students with an immersive learning experience. Graduates from the program will have honed their knowledge and skills to have an immediate impact upon graduation.”

The Esports Hub is located in room 2A28 at the Waterloo campus. For more information, contact Zack Dodge, Esports Operations Supervisor.  

For more information about the competitive esports program, visit Condors esports.