The Future of Sports: Digital Gaming: Slavin Center Renovates New eSports Lounge
by Kyle Burgess ’21
Assistant News Editor
Providence College is known for offering a wide variety of extra-curricular organizations and clubs, with something that appeals to every member of the College’s student body.
Recent school years have seen several additions made to an already extensive list of options for students to partake in, chief among these being the College’s eSports team.
The team is actually a larger club, which any student can join, that is then divided into teams, each focused on a different game.
League of Legends and Rocket League are the two games sponsored by PC and officially licensed for players to play in the Big East, but the team is also registered in other leagues for non-PC sponsored games as well, according to Michael Fanelli ’20.
“A lot of teams are student-run,” said member Noah DeRossi-Goldberg ’22, “they organize practices [and] organize matches.”
PC’s leap into the competitive gaming sphere has seen these Friars take on familiar Big East foes such as Villanova University and Xavier University, as well as new opponents like Columbia University and the University of Ontario as they battle with 300 schools in four major conferences.
With the prospect of facing long-established programs in conference play, it quickly became evident that the team would need a permanent place to call home and cutting-edge equipment to keep pace with the competition.
Under the direction of the Dean of Students Steven Sears, renovations to the Balfour Unity Center began in 2019 with the purpose of rededicating the space as an eSports lounge.
Sponsorships helped to secure upgrades in all departments, from gaming chairs to state-of-the-art computers and even jerseys.
These funds will also ensure that the 80-member roster will travel to participate in all major competitions and tournaments, squaring off against competition in the Big East, AVGL, ECAC, and TESPA conferences, with each league culminating with a national championship.
“The transformation of the Unity Center to the new eSports and Gaming Center will be completed in the very near future,” Sears explained. “This is a very exciting time for our student body and a great addition to our co-curricular activities.”
Dean Sears also revealed that viewing parties during major eSports events will take place in McPhail’s, allowing classmates and peers to cheer on their fellow Friars as they face off on a new, digital stage.