Watchworthy Wednesday: UCI Opens eSports Arena

Now that the University of California, Irvine has opened the first eSports arena of its kind at a public college, student-gamers soon will be doing battle against the enemy Lexus in “League of Legends” tournaments under big screens to cheering fans.

The new 3,500-square-foot arena is outfitted with 80 custom gaming PCs, luxurious ergonomic chairs and a webcasting studio that will broadcast matches. Home to UCI’s elite new “League of Legends” team, the arena also will host summer camps and other special events, and is available to anyone who wants to play for recreation for about $4 per hour.

Some of the best “League of Legends” players in the world applied to be part of UCI’s inaugural team and five, who met the university’s admissions requirements, were selected and awarded partial scholarships. Five more will be selected later this fall, said Mark Deppe, acting director of UCI eSports.

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