The Ferris esports team is leveling up when it comes to their new home, which will include modern technologies and promotion of the sport.
The Center for Virtual Learning will be home to the first purpose-built esports arena in Michigan, according to the CVL website. It will include dedicated spaces for esports production, such as a production room, commentators’ room and support for the fastest-growing campus club sport. The esports team is coordinated by Jonathon Eaton, who has seen the team grow from 20 students to over 400 students.
“The CVL will be a huge boom to Ferris esports,” Eaton said. “Having a home for gamers in the heart of campus will allow a community to develop and for players to build even stronger connections with one another.”
The $29.5 million project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2023. It will allow for enhanced production for hosting live events and bigger crowds. The completion date does mean that current students who soon graduate will not be able to use the center during a school year.
Kyle Wilkowski, head coach for the League of Legends team here at Ferris explained that he is “disappointed” in missing out on the CVL. Wilkowski, a junior in accounting and finance, said he will be back to check out the CVL and the esports team when it is completed.
The future of the Ferris esports team will mirror traditional athletics. A director, coaches, support staff and scholarships for students and broadcast personnel will be present.
When it comes to Ferris, the team is growing year after year. There are over 300 students in the teams’ discord channel. They also have another 300 students in the Super Smash Bros. Club, making esports the biggest sport and RSO on campus.
“Esports provides a safe and friendly gaming atmosphere for students to engage with,” Andrew Peterson, Interim Executive Director for Online Learning, said. “The current student population enjoys everything from social games to highly competitive games versus other universities.”
The esports team hosts the Michigan Bandwidth Bowl every spring, where all Michigan teams come and compete. The Michigan teams they compete against are Michigan Technological University, Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University and the University of Michigan.
The teams compete to earn points for their respective school and to see which Michigan university has the best all-around team.
For more information, go to Ferrisesports.club or visit their Twitch at Ferris esports.