New Esports Arena Debuted at Champlain

The Champlain College gaming community is celebrating a new state-of-the-art esports arena at Lakeside campus.

On September 15, Champlain College celebrated the grand opening of its state-of-the-art esports arena at our Lakeside campus. 

The new facility is home to Champlain’s varsity and club esports teams, supporting students in competitive play. The esports program paves the way for students to learn about and gain experience in the multi-billion dollar video game industry. At the same time, students also cultivate skills in fields such as marketing, graphic design, broadcast media production, communication, business management, and more. 

The space includes over 24 PC stations, a training room, digital media stations, and a full broadcasting suite.

“Our new esports arena rounds out Champlain’s incredible game offering and gives students the opportunity to explore the game industry at every level,” said Christian Konczal, Director of Esports at Champlain College. “This is a space where our student community can come together to prepare for the highest levels of competitive play and a variety of game-related careers.”

Director of Esports at Champlain College Christian Konczal cuts the ribbon at the opening ceremony of our new esports arena on Thursday, September 15, 2022. Photo by Ben DeFlorio.

Varsity esports at Champlain launched in spring 2022 and currently has teams competing in Valorant and Rocket League. In its first NECC season, Champlain placed second in Valorant and third in Rocket League. Varsity esports athletes are eligible for scholarships based on performance. Additionally, Champlain’s club Overwatch team is highly ranked—as the 2022 NECC National Champions of their division.

The esports arena is an important asset in our comprehensive game experience, which includes the new varsity and longstanding and highly successful student-driven club teams, renowned career-focused game academic programs, and a dedicated career advisor for game majors. 

This is a space where our student community can come together to prepare for the highest levels of competitive play and a variety of game-related careers.

Christian Konczal, Director of Esports

Champlain College was the first college to offer a four-year academic program in video game development in 2004. Today, Champlain’s robust Game Studio academic majors represent every aspect of the game development industry. This includes Design, Programming, Production Management, Art, and, new in 2021, Business & Publishing and Sound Design

Champlain immerses students in a cross-disciplinary, collaborative setting that provides the real-world experience of producing, designing, programming, and publishing games. Students can also study abroad at Champlain’s campus in Montreal, a global game development hub. Champlain graduates are working at game studios all over the country, including Rockstar Games, Velan Studios, and Bungie. These are just a few of the reasons Champlain was ranked as a top 10 game design school by Princeton Review.

All Champlain students, faculty, and staff were invited to the grand opening to see what Champlain College Esports players, coaches, and staff have been up to in the new space. Photo by Ben DeFlorio.

The video game sector is booming — and projected to continue its exponential growth. PwC’s 2022 Global Entertainment and Media Outlook predicts the global gaming industry will be worth $321 billion by 2026, citing virtual reality (VR) and gaming as powerful growth drivers. This means more in-demand jobs and career opportunities for esports players and game students.

Graduates of Champlain’s game programs already see an 85% hiring rate into gaming-related jobs within 6 months of graduation. This expansion in our game facilities and programs will help students be well-positioned for careers in the industry.

Want to learn more about esports at Champlain College? Click here.

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