CARSON (CNS) - Cal State Dominguez Hills will unveil a facility dedicated to the university's esports program Monday, embracing a phenomenon once derided as youthful folly that is now considered a staple strategy to benefit enrollment, retention and career readiness.
The Toro Esports Academy, located on the second floor of the Leo F. Cain University Library, will serve the entire university and offer practical classroom space and a competitive arena for students with 38 gaming stations and three broadcast stations, all equipped with state-of-the-art cameras and gear.
The new space will provide students the opportunity to learn game building and gaming theory, access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math disciplines and increased student engagement while addressing issues of equity, inclusion and academics, university officials said.
"It's a huge recruiting tool and gets the school international media coverage that dwarfs what most of our traditional sports receive," Nicholas Bulum, senior editor with the CSUDH Communications and Marketing office, told City News Service.
"What started as a group of CSUDH student enthusiasts playing video games in sporadic open spaces has evolved into the spectacular, world-class facility we officially open (Monday)," CSUDH President Thomas Parham said.
"CSUDH recognizes the immense potential esports has for students -- it empowers them to innovate, compete, collaborate, and create content within a new and burgeoning industry, providing them with transferable assets to assist them in better managing their academics, and functional skills necessary for their future careers."
Monday's dedication ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. followed by tours of the facility and live student gaming events between students from CSUDH, Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Fullerton until 6 p.m. Grade 6-12 students from the Compton Unified School District will participate in exhibition games.
CSUDH's esports teams compete nationally in college-exclusive competitive leagues each semester. Some of the most popular competitive esports titles include Call of Duty, League of Legends, Overwatch 2, Super Smash Bros., Rocket League, Valorant, Apex Legends and Alumni.