Radford University’s new Esports Center provides unique opportunities for students

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 9:44 PM EDT
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RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - “The last two years, the Esports club on Radford’s campus was the largest club on campus,” said Doug Benedict, Assistant Director for Esports at Radford University.

It’s no secret that the world of esports has exploded over the last few years, including on Radford University’s campus. University leaders picked up on that and in September opened the 1800-square-foot Radford Esports Center. It’s a space that those in the club and all students can call home.

“All the PCs in here, we have 41, 38 ETI I9 processors, 32 gigs of ram, we have our own dedicated network in here so the internet is way better,” laughed Benedict.

A major piece of this facility is just giving students access to equipment they might not have on their own, or might not even be able to afford.

“Socio-economic barriers are one of the hardest things to overcome for especially our students to engage with high powered technology. They never had a space on campus where they could go, they could hang out and do what they love to do and now it’s revitalizing student leadership,” said Benedict.

Besides access, the space really is about community.

“Usually if you meet someone and they game, it’s a personal thing. You know they’ll have their PC or they’ll have their console in their room or their dorm. But having a space designated for that really shows how many other students are really interested,” said Viktoria Seitzer, a freshman at Radford.

It’s not just about gaming, though; leaders of the space want what’s learned there to extend beyond these students time on Radford’s campus.

“I want students to be able to engage with whatever they want to in a space like this. So we don’t just use it for gaming, we can use it for research, we can use it for competitive coding. Ideally people get the chance to find a new passion that maybe they weren’t going to get to find without access to this,” said Benedict.

Radford is proud to be leading the way in access to esports that isn’t rivaled by many universities in Virginia. The space stays active on social media. If you want to follow along you can find them on Twitter and Instagram at “Radfordesports” and their Twitch channel can be found here.