Cal Poly esports teams are getting an upgrade after receiving six new computers from Generation Esports.
The SLOverwatch Club was one of the recipients of the Generation Esports Learn and Build STEAM (LABS) Program, which supplies 25 esports labs to schools across the U.S. to help integrate esports into their communities.
“Having the computers on campus is really a game changer for esports here,” said Rebekah Lee, president of Cal Poly SLOverwatch.
The group of Overwatch players makes up one of the many esports clubs on campus, part of Cal Poly’s esports council. Other clubs in the council play a variety of games, from Riot Games’ League of Legends and VALORANT to Super Smash Bros. and Counter-Strike.
Prior to receiving the new computers, club members had to practice at home using their own equipment. Not only did this increase the risk of communication issues in game, but students without the proper equipment didn’t get to play.
The new machines will give club members more access to the technology they need to participate.
“We can all game in the same room together, and those of us who can’t afford fancy computers can play, too,” Lee said.
The esports council is working to further diversity and inclusion so that interested students can join and feel at home, even without personally owning the necessary gaming equipment.
“I couldn’t say that esports are accessible,” Lee said. “There’s a huge personal entry barrier. But with these computers for the club to use, we can work toward more equity and inclusion.”
Now that the new computers are secured, SLOverwatch is working toward finding a communal space for the team to practice together in person.
Computer science and software engineering Assistant Professor Stephen Beard is the SLOverwatch club’s adviser.
“Gaming can be a powerfully inclusive tool for community building,” Beard shared.
“This donation of six machines gives us the start of a space where anyone, regardless of equipment, can gather to bond with their fellow students over a round of their favorite game.”
The Cal Poly esports teams are committed to bringing people together through the gaming community and creating a safe space for diversity and inclusivity.
By Taylor Villanueva