Herkimer College unveiled its new state-of-the-art Esports Center with a ribbon cutting on Thursday, Nov. 16 in front of a crowd of college and community leaders, faculty, staff, and students.
The new facility rounds out a year of excitement on campus surrounding the gaming industry, with the launch of its new business degree program, Esports Management A.A.S. The College was also host to Extra Life National Game Day, a 24-hour charity gaming marathon, held earlier this month.
“We are extremely proud of this amazing facility,” Officer-in-Charge and Sr. Vice President of Administration and Finance, Nicholas F. Laino said. “It has surpassed all my expectations.”
“And this is only the start,” Laino added. “We have plans for phase two of this project, expanding to accommodate many more gaming stations and a gallery for fans to watch the competitions.”
Located in the College’s Technology Center, the gaming hub features 13 new gaming machines, along with Nintendo Switch and SONY PlayStation 5 gaming consoles. The Center is also engineered with ADA-compliant Spectrum Esports Evolution desks and digital displays, along with other gamer-ready technology and support.
“I’m happy the esports team now has a facility to match their skills and championship record,” College Board of Trustees Chair Michael Stalteri, Sr. said.
Esports, involving professional or semi-professional competitive gaming, is a billion-dollar industry and has seen tremendous growth in recent years, both in terms of viewership and revenue. Recognizing the potential for job growth, Herkimer College launched its Esports Management degree program to position graduates for careers in events management, broadcasting, facilities, game day management and operations, public relations, marketing, and sales.
In 2020, the College solidified its commitment to the popular esports movement by launching the Generals esports athletic program. As a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association Esports (NJCAAE), Herkimer College stands at the forefront of over 600 teams and 1,500 student-athletes participating nationwide. The Generals esports team has achieved success, clinching a national championship in Call of Duty Gunfight in addition to securing three top-four finishes and a top-eight placement across various games over five seasons of competition.
To learn more about Esports Management A.A.S., visit Herkimer.edu/esportsmgt.