BROWNWOOD – October 20, 2020 – Howard Payne University recently opened an esports lounge that will host a club available to all interested students. Esports describes competitions played on multiplayer video games either in virtual or in-person contests. The program is the first of its kind at HPU.
“Providing the best student experience is a priority for us at HPU,” said Hunter Sims, director of athletics at HPU. “We are excited to continue offering opportunities that allow our students to get connected in campus life.”
The lounge is equipped with 12 workstations, comprised of AKRacing gaming chairs and iBUYPOWER gaming computers. The 2020-2021 academic year will be used to gauge student interest in the esports club, with plans for the organization to evolve into a competitive HPU esports team. Esports is coed and there is no limit to the number of students who can compete at the club level within HPU’s program. Students will compete both on an individual basis and in teams ranging from two to six players, depending on the game.
Games currently under consideration for competition include League of Legends, Rocket League, Overwatch, Fortnite, Super Smash Bros., NBA2K and Hearthstone.
“I am honored to have been provided the opportunity to lead the esports club,” said Tony Heiser, esports coordinator and part-time assistant baseball coach. “We are excited to provide a tight-knit community through the platform of gaming. The club will provide both a competitive and social atmosphere, catering to the wants of our members.”
The club originated as part of a project by senior computer information systems (CIS) students that was presented to HPU leadership in the spring semester. Dr. Lester Towell, chair of the Department of Computer Information Systems and faculty sponsor for the club, emphasized that the program was made possible by the work of numerous HPU departments and offices.
“The proposal presented by the CIS seniors was well received by the HPU administration and many departments worked collaboratively over the summer to complete the esports lounge prior to the start of classes,” said Dr. Towell. “Continuing the plan laid out by the CIS seniors, this year will be used to evaluate student interest levels, conferences, and leagues so that HPU can kick off a competitive team next fall.”
Cutline: HPU recently opened an esports lounge to host a gaming club for students.