Three years removed from its initial launch, Minnesota State’s Esports team is starting to unveil some new changes to its facility.
There are four primary facets to the facility located in Wissink Hall. The first is the training area, which has been up-and-running since the launch of the program. The training area is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and it expands a little bit during the summer break periods. All enrolled students can use the computers and the room. However, after 4 p.m., the Esports team has reserved the room for varsity practice. To locate the training area, look for the glass doors with “ESPORTS” written on them, right next to WH 121G.
The second, and newest, addition to the Esports facility is the competition stage. Mitch Wallerstedt, Chief Operations Officer and Esports Program Director, envisions this new room as a necessary addition that will serve multiple purposes.
“We have too many students that have competition time scheduled during the same time that we have practice for other titles,” said Wallerstedt. “But what this new room allows us to do is pull those competitive matches out of the training facility and do them on stage, so that we’re not having conflicts with scheduling from that perspective.”
Another function of the competition stage is for viewing purposes. In the past, families and friends have only been able to watch MSU Esports on their Twitch channel, but now with more monitors and space, in-person viewing is an option.
“If you want to have that live in person experience, rather than watching the Twitch stream, you can now come in and cheer for your favorite player or favorite team,” said Wallerstedt.
Apart from family and friends coming in and using the new functions, Esports is looking to expand more into the community.
“We will have a high school tournament that’s organized by a different group, but we can provide facilities for things like the high school league,” said Wallerstedt. “So that’s the type of thing that we’ll be able to facilitate here is bringing high school students from across the state in so they can play their in person events here.”
In the future, Wallerstedt and the rest of the Esports team also hope to create “flexible seating, community space, collaborative work areas” in the open area in front of the training room, which is currently on pace to be done around the time winter break rolls around. This space would not be exclusively for Esports, but for all attending MSU.
“We can make this a multi-use area for different students and recognized student organizations (RSOs) to do some of their public events,” said Wallerstedt. “We are hoping to redo some of the carpeting and order furniture for this phase to be in high gear and ready for students to use by spring semester.”
The final part of their operation is the media room, which is also the main broadcast center for all university media. In this room, the shoutcasters can film and broadcast their commentary on Esports events, as well as any other live media produced by IT Solutions coming from this area.
“For example, the President’s videos that go out, he works with our video production on putting those together,” said Wallerstedt. “We’ll work with them, and others, on some of the video production stuff that they use here in some of those media pieces.”
Getting back to the events of the MSU Esports team coming up, they will host the October 21 Rockstar Energy Collegiate Esports Invitational featuring over 20 schools from around the region.
MSU’s Esports team features approximately 50 students that are part of one of the varsity rosters or as a sub. That includes the titles of Call of Duty, Rocket League, League of Legends. Valorant, Overwatch, Super Smash Brothers and iRacing.
“We’re always interested in new suggestions for games. One of the things that we have on our interest form is a student request form,” said Wallerstedt. “That’s something that we’re always looking at for different options and opportunities.”
Header Photo: This area will be seeing a lot of turmoil in the coming months. With the training facility, competition stage, media room and the soon-to-come community space areas, Esports is looking out for everyone. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)
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