Earlier this week Exeter College unveiled its newest Esports Suite, bringing the total number of gaming stations up to 40. This has been made possible due to considerable investment from Lenovo, the biggest gaming technology provider in the world.
Esports is a growing industry, said to have a net worth of $3billion by 2022*, with up to 26.9 million monthly viewers** in the US alone, tuning in to watch top gamers play competitively. Exeter College now has over 300 players signed up to its Esports Academy. The Academy aims to provide students with the chance to up-skill, whether they want to be a professional player, shout caster or manage a team.
Rob Bosworth, Vice Principal and Deputy CEO, spearheaded this initiative said:
“Exeter College strives to provide students with cutting edge technology and the skills to succeed in their chosen industry. Esports is a growing industry with a wide-range of careers from team management and welfare to social media management and professional gaming. We are excited to be at the forefront of training our young people for this versatile and exciting industry.
“This state-of-the-art facility has come about due to a unique collaboration with Lenovo. This is the result of 18 months of teamwork and ambition leading to us gaining the most up-to-date and professional gaming suite in Further Education.
“By providing students with sector-leading facilities and outstanding teaching we are setting them up to succeed in the future by giving them a clear line of sight into the esports industry.”
Simon Kirkland, Lenovo Account Manager said:
“Lenovo is fully aware of the importance and further potential of esports in education, as well as the transferrable skills it can equip students with for their future endeavours and careers. The enthusiasm shown by Exeter College on this project has been amazing to be a part of, and I can’t wait to see where they take the esports programme in the future with our latest generation of Legion hardware in place to support them!”
The new Esports suite features Legion T7-34IMZ5 Gaming Rigs with GeForce RTX 3080 graphics cards. Supercharged with Ray Tracing Cores, Tensor Cores and streaming multiprocessors, the thin and light design delivers the most realistic ray-traced graphics, cutting-edge new features, and the power of AI. The enhanced Legion Coldfront 2.0 cooling system ensures that the Legion Tower 7i runs on the most soundless, low-heat, and high-performance conditions possible.
College student Jaidan is studying a BTEC Foundation Diploma in IT. Talking about the new Esports facilities, he said:
“I feel like the new room is a massive step up and it’s fantastic how they managed to get the hardware and technology because it is so advanced. It’s such a pleasure to be able to learn and play in there. How fast a PC runs can determine how well you can play the game, so with these new PCs and the new equipment we will definitely have an edge.”
Exeter College student Freya is studying A Levels in IT, Psychology and Business. Speaking about why she does Esports, she said;
“I love the community; I love the competitiveness of it as well. I like having a college day and then being able to come here and relax and compete at the end of it, it’s just fun.”
The College also unveiled their plans to host the region’s biggest Esports Festival, in partnership with Tech South West. The first South West Esports Festival took place in February this year. In 2023 five major colleges from across the region will join forces to showcase the leading role the South West can play in this booming sector.