STORM LAKE, Iowa — Buena Vista University has added esports to its roster of competitive teams and programs and has begun constructing an E-Sports Arena in the Harold Walter Siebens Forum.
“It’s very exciting to be able to start an esports program at BVU,” says Trevor Berneking, BVU Director of Esports and Intramurals, who aims to direct the multiplayer video gaming activity on a club level for the first year while building it to become another competitive enterprise for the Beavers. “I’m grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to see what our students can do in an area that continues to rise in interest.”
BVU staff members surveyed members of the student body last fall and received 200 responses as students disclosed what games they currently play, and at what levels. The Animae Gaming Society, an organization that met weekly on campus to play a variety of games, helped develop a Mario Kart league in February for 12 students, an activity that showcased how students could field a competitive team for BVU.
“We plan to spend time recruiting in our first year while having a limited playing schedule,” says Kevin McIntyre, BVU Vice President of Enrollment Management. “We’ll expand upon that foundation in our second year. We know that this is a place of high interest among our students.”
BVU, which is putting tables, chairs, headsets, and other gaming equipment in place in Siebens Forum Room 7B, a space to be called the Esports Arena, will base its program model on the National Association of Collegiate Esports.