Do you have an interest in gaming and Esports? The new Nexus Esports lounge at the Wellness Center is the place to be! Mike Wozniak, Coordinator of Campus Recreation here at the University of North Dakota gives the latest about the new addition to the Wellness Center.
Wozniak explains how the idea of building the new Esports Nexus lounge was from students at UND, who supported the new idea and how it will build a new community.
“We had quite a few very passionate students come forward with an idea to increase the Esports presence on campus. “Wozniak said. “They were looking for ways to build community and offer ways for those who did not bring their computers with them to college to still keep playing the games they love. We got great support from the division, including from Cassie Gerhardt, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Involvement & Parent Programs, and Dr. Cara Halgren, the Vice President of Student Affairs, and moved forward with construction and programming!”
The new Esports Nexus will provide a variety of different services for students from 12 PCs with popular titles. Wozniak explains what kinds of products the Esports Nexus will have equipped for students and how to utilize them.
“Our Nexus will have 12 top-of-the-line PC’s and peripherals (keyboards, headsets, etc.), and our facility software, ggLeap, allows for access to many titles as soon as they log in.” Wozniak said. “They can either use their own login information if they own the game, or they can use one of our accounts, so they won’t have to purchase any games they don’t already have. At launch, we will have over a dozen popular esports titles, and we will be adding more every day. For example, we heard that students want to play The Sims, a title we did not originally think of adding, so we will be looking into adding that very soon.”
So, who can use the Esports Nexus lounge? Individuals that are members of the Wellness Center are able to utilize the Esports Nexus lounge, but reservations are available if members from the community or groups want to reserve it and use its services.
Wozniak explains how the Esports Nexus can be utilized and the hourly charge compared to other gaming centers.
“Upon a user’s first visit, they will be given 3 free hours to give the Nexus a try.” Wozniak said. “After that, they will have to purchase time at the Wellness Center front desk. However, prices are as low as $2/hr (industry average is closer to $3.50/hr), so we feel that it is very affordable for our students. They will then take that receipt to the Nexus and our Esports Attendants will load the time onto their accounts.”
The grand opening of the Esports Nexus lounge will take place on March 5 from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will have many exciting events for students to take part in.
“Our Grand Opening event will have free snacks, great door prizes, including an Amazon Fire Stick, Echo Show 5, and UND Hockey jersey, to name a few.” Wozniak said. “We will also be holding a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Tournament, with a $100 Amazon gift card for the winner ($50 for 2nd place, $25 for 3rd). If anyone is looking for more details, check out our website at www.und.edu/esports, and use the link on that page to join our Discord for updates on all of our programming and facility news.”
The Esports Nexus will be open Monday-Friday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Wellness Center is located at 801 Princeton Street Stop 8365, Grand Forks, N.D. 58202-8365. They can be contacted at 701.777.WELL or emailed at [email protected].