With the development of a competitive esports environment over the last decade, prospective students are looking to colleges and universities to adopt esports and gaming into their curriculums, student-life activities and programs. Ahead of the curve and acting as pioneers of collegiate esports, Columbia College recognized that it was key to create an accessible space where 1) students of all levels and interest could engage in gaming and 2) competitive esports athletes could form teams and compete at the collegiate level.

Technology +

Originally an old soccer facility, the “Game Hut” quickly became the hub for Columbia’s comprehensive gaming program — and has grown exponentially with each expansion of the program. With Dimensional Innovation’s expertise, the custom-designed and LED-lit space houses PS4, Xbox and gaming PCs, available to both the general student population and the campus’ competitive team. “We started looking into collegiate eSports a little bit more, what type of options, and if that was something that would be viable on our campus,” Bryan Curtis, Columbia College esports director, said. “We found that there was an established league already and ‘League of Legends’ was the most popular game in the world.”


As the fourth school in the United States to offer esports scholarships, the Game Hut became an extension of leadership’s push to create a space for the gaming community. As both a recruitment tool for recreational and competitive gamers, students are flocking to the space and love spending time there with friends and colleagues. During the HUE Championship—a collegiate gaming event with a $50,000 prize—Columbia’s team rose to the top and were able to put their earnings back into the esports program, facilities and scholarships.

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