6 Key Ideas for Designing an Esports Space
- June 9, 2022
- Anthony Bowie
Academic esports, or a competitive school video-gaming team, is the next big extracurricular opportunity for today’s students. Esports offers the same social and emotional learning benefits as traditional athletics and can also provide a pathway to teach topics like literacy, STEM, and career and technical education. Currently, there are more than 200 universities offering nearly $15 million in scholarships to high school students for esports talent, so implementing an esports team at your school can give students––who may not have other athletic scholarship opportunities––a chance at securing college funds through their talent and passion.
Creating an academic esports team at your school can lead to many opportunities for student athletes and designing an effective esports space is key to an engaged and successful team. While designing your esports lab space, there are several factors to keep in mind to ensure a functional and engaging space.
As popularity and participation in esports grows, you can gradually establish and invest in a space where the team can meet. Start with a multi-purpose space, such as a makerspace or media space that can also flex to a gaming room or be utilized by CTE programs. Old computer and science labs are a great place to start, with an already effective gaming room layout and ergonomic seating for players.
Esports requires players to sit at a computer for several hours, so it’s important that gamers are able to maintain a comfortable and healthy posture while they play. Ergonomic, height-adjustable chairs with armrests, adjustable cushions, and back support are ideal for esports applications. Desks and tables with sit-to-stand capabilities are also recommended to allow gamers to change positions throughout their practice or match time.
As a very sedentary extracurricular activity, it’s important to consider the health implications of esports in your esports space design. Students need space where they can stand up, move around, and stretch between games, which can help mitigate the sedentary state of video gaming. Players also can benefit from a lounging area where they can put up their feet and give their eyes a break from screens after an intense match.
The esports shoutcasting station is the command center for gaming competitions, and it is a crucial part of what makes esports so engaging. When designing the esports shoutcasting station, it’s important to include plenty of space and power outlets for mixers, keyboards, stream decks, and other technologies that help these team members capture game plays.
Comfortable and collaborative meeting areas where athletes and coaches can strategize and debrief are necessary for a functional esports space. These areas are a good place to offer soft seating to encourage a relaxed environment of collaboration. Whiteboard table surfaces and/or mobile whiteboards can both support brainstorming and strategizing in these areas. Large monitors are also beneficial, as they enable team members to watch and analyze different gameplays.
Esports spaces should reflect the virtual fantasy worlds and innovative style of the games that students compete in. Complimentary colors on laminates, fabrics, chairs, and table frames can coordinate with students’ backlit color-changing keyboards. Adding custom embroidery of your team logo on soft seating throughout the space can set a tone in the space that cultivates team pride. No matter where your esports space is located, keeping in mind the creative energy of gaming can help you shape the space into an exciting and engaging place for students to play.
MiEN Company can help you power up and press play when designing your winning esports space. The MiEN design team can help you create a space that is engaging and functional on any budget. Whether you’re adding a gaming zone into a makerspace or starting from scratch to design a state-of-the-art esports space, we can turn your vision into reality!