Gaming equipment in Champlain College's Esports Center

Champlain College Debuts New Esports Arena

Champlain College celebrated the grand opening of a state-of-the-art esports arena at its Miller Center Lakeside campus in Burlington, VT. 

The new facility is home to Champlain’s varsity and club esports teams. In addition to supporting students in competitive play, the esports program paves the way for students to learn about and gain experience in the multi-billion-dollar video game industry, and cultivate skills in related fields such as marketing, graphic design, broadcast media production, communication, business management, and more. 

The space is equipped with over 24 PC stations, a training room, digital media stations, and a full broadcasting suite. “Our new esports arena rounds out Champlain’s incredible game offering and gives students the opportunity to explore the game industry at every level,” said Christian Konczal, director of esports at Champlain College. “This is a space where our student community can come together to prepare for the highest levels of competitive play and a variety of game-related careers.” 

Varsity esports at Champlain launched in spring 2022 and currently has teams competing in Valorant and Rocket League. In its first NECC season, Champlain placed second overall in Valorant and third overall in Rocket League. Varsity esports athletes are eligible for scholarships based on performance. Champlain’s club team is also highly ranked—its Overwatch team was the 2022 NECC National Champions of their division.

The esports arena is an important asset in Champlain’s comprehensive game experience that includes the new varsity and longstanding and highly successful student-driven club teams, career-focused game academic programs, and a dedicated career advisor for game majors. 

Champlain College was the first college to offer a four-year academic program in video game development in 2004. Today, Champlain’s robust Game Studio academic majors represent every aspect of the game development industry, including Design, Programming, Production Management, Art and Animation, and, new in 2021, Business & Publishing and Sound Design. 

Ranked as a top 10 game design school by Princeton Review, Champlain immerses students in a cross-disciplinary, collaborative setting that provides the real-world experience of producing, designing, programming, and publishing games. Students can also study abroad at Champlain’s campus in Montreal, a global game development hub. Champlain graduates can be found working at game studios all over the country, including Rockstar Games, Velan Studios, and Bungie.

The video game sector is booming – and projected to continue its exponential growth. PwC’s 2022 Global Entertainment and Media Outlook predicts the global gaming industry will be worth $321 billion by 2026 – citing virtual reality (VR) and gaming as powerful growth drivers. This means more in-demand jobs and career opportunities for esports players and game students.

Graduates of Champlain’s game programs already see an 85% hiring rate into gaming-related jobs within 6 months of graduation. This expansion in the college’s game facilities and programs will help students be well-positioned for careers in the industry.

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