AUSTIN (KXAN) — The University of Texas at Austin held a ribbon-cutting for its first dedicated esports space for students on Wednesday.
The Alienware Longhorn Esports Lounge, named for Dell’s gaming brand Alienware, is now open on the main level of the Texas Union and features Alienware Aurora R13 desktops, Alienware X and M Series laptops and a multiplayer console area.
The lounge’s purpose is to create an elite gaming environment for students to train and compete at the highest level in esports competition locally and globally, a press release said.
An esports arena is also planned to open next year and is currently under construction. The 3,300-square-foot arena will open in the soon-to-be renovated Texas Union Underground. The space will be equipped with nearly 50 Alienware Aurora R13 and R14 battle stations, a varsity room, a production center, a console game space and a viewing area.
Esports is a form of competition using video games, with the players competing individually or in teams. The Alienware Longhorn Esports Lounge will provide a hands-on esports experience for the Longhorn gaming community and host team competitions.
A partnership between Dell Technologies and UT facilitated the opening and construction of the lounge and arena.
“Our partnership with The University of Texas at Austin is focused on making a significant impact in Austin by improving access to education, powering life-changing research, and supporting our community’s unique culture,” said Kristen Nolte, senior vice president of Global Consumer and Small Business Marketing at Dell Technologies. “The Alienware Longhorn Esports Lounge is an extension of that commitment and signals the growth and opportunities we see for students in esports — from becoming professional esports athletes to game design or development professionals.”
Founded in 2010, Longhorn Gaming is the largest esports student-sponsored organization on campus with around 3,750 followers, including students, faculty members, alumni and others outside UT. The group provided input on the creation of the facility as it will offer an inclusive space for its members to compete on top-of-the-line equipment.
UT offers computer science, emergent media and design for students interested in gaming industry careers through the University of Texas Game Development and Design Program.