Windsor

St. Clair College upping its game with massive new esports facility

St. Clair College is building a new esports facility it says will be unique in Canada.

Facility expected to open in January as part of $23M campus expansion

St. Clair College is building an esports facility as part of a $23-million expansion to its main Campus. (Submitted by St. Clair College)

St. Clair College is building a new esports facility it says will be unique in Canada.

The school says the 4,572-square-metre facility will be the biggest publicly accessible space of its kind in the country.

The facility is expected to open in January at the school's main campus in South Windsor. It's part of a $23-million campus expansion.

The college has a varsity esports team, where students participate in competitions involving games such as Overwatch and League of Legends. It also has an esports club for enthusiasts, and an esports administration and entrepreneurship program aimed at preparing students for careers in the rapidly expanding industry.

Shaun Byrne, the director of esports at St. Clair College, said the new facility will offer all the amenities to provide for these three distinct groups.

"Over the last few years esports has grown to be a billion-dollar industry with pro teams earning millions of dollars in prizing. Students at over 300 schools in North America are earning scholarships to compete against each other, including us at St. Clair College," he said on CBC Radio's Windsor Morning.

LISTEN: Shaun Byrne of St. Clair College joins Windsor Morning 
There's a new home for the Esports program at St. Clair College. Guest host Peter Duck speaks with Shaun Byrne, the director of Esports at St. Clair College. 8:22

According to the school, the facility will boast 64 gaming PCs, training facilities, a competition stage, an esports classroom, five soundproof rooms for streaming and a console-gaming lounge.

Just a handful of schools in Canada have esports programs but interest is growing quickly, Byrne said.

"We're a little bit ahead of the curve at St. Clair, and we hope to stay there with this new facility," he said.

With files from Windsor Morning

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