WCTC to celebrate new esports lab with grand opening on Tuesday, Sept. 19
PEWAUKEE, Wis. (Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023) – Waukesha County Technical College will celebrate its new, cutting-edge esports gaming facility with a grand opening event on Tuesday, Sept. 19, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Building B, main Pewaukee campus.
The event will include a tour of the modern WCTC Esports Lab, details about the equipment and gaming stations, demonstrations of esports games and a short presentation at 11:30 a.m.
Designed to offer students the ultimate competitive gaming experience, the 1,800 square-foot lab features 18 fully equipped Alienware Aurora R15 gaming stations plus high-end streaming equipment, along with sophisticated headsets, mechanical keyboards and mice. Visitors can also enjoy a dedicated Smash Bros gaming area, including a Nintendo Switch OLED paired with an 85-inch monitor.
Esports at Colleges on the Rise
Esports at the collegiate level has been growing at a booming rate, and it provides an opportunity for students to engage in extracurriculars, meet new friends and participate in competitions against teams at other colleges and universities. It also gives students the chance to hone their time management, problem solving and critical thinking skills.
“Many of our collegiate peers in Wisconsin have adopted esports,” said Ian Sheeley, WCTC’s esports coordinator and coach. “It is a way for students to connect with each other as well as have the chance to compete against many other colleges in the area.”
Games planned for esports play include Valorant, Counter Strike, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros, League of Legends, Fortnite and others.
The lab will host bootcamp-style tryouts for each game, which will include two-hour, in-house scrimmages for all students interested in that specific game, Sheeley said, noting esports will fill as many teams as possible.
For example, in a game like Valorant, there are five people on a team: five players on varsity, five players on junior varsity (JV), five players on JV2, JV3, and more.
“Players will be selected based on their in-game rank, as well as how they perform at the bootcamp,” Sheeley said, adding that a 2.0 grade point average is mandatory for a student to be on a team.
WCTC to Join National Conference in Spring
In spring, WCTC Esports will join the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), which is a national conference of colleges, similar to the NCAA, and WCTC teams will begin participating in tournaments. Players who win NACE tournaments are eligible to win scholarship money. Games will also be broadcast live to WCTC Switch and YouTube channels, and on game day, fans can watch at spots in and outside the lab.
Beyond competitive gaming, WCTC plans to use the space to host recreational gaming, summer camps, tournaments and academic classes focused on IT data, security and marketing.
>> To learn more about esports at WCTC, visit www.wctc.edu/esports.
Waukesha County Technical College, the leader in workforce development, prepares learners for success within the region and global economy. The College offers more than 170 areas of study including associate degree, technical diploma, apprenticeship and short-term certificate programs. Customized training for employers is also available. To learn more, visit www.wctc.edu.