Western Washington University is host to multiple esports teams but lacks an esports lounge.
Recent graduate Pedro Kuhn is a member of the Rocket League esports varsity team at Western. While it likely would be very expensive, having a gaming lounge would potentially be a huge help for teams on campus, said Kuhn.
“It would definitely be much nicer to have that space available to us, and would make practice a lot more purposeful,” Kuhn said. “It would really be an attraction to gamers at Western and the Rocket League players in the club for sure. That’s the dream, really.”
Jenn Cook, the club activities manager at Western, has been working on the potential for a gaming lounge for years.
The potential for a gaming lounge in the near future is unlikely due to the potential cost, said Cook.
“The hang-up is that this will cost up to $300,000 to make happen. Without some serious donations or a student fee initiative, we can’t do this well anytime soon,” she said.
The President of Rocket League Club, fourth-year Kanyen Sherwood, believes that an esports lounge would not only improve the gameplay of club members but their ability to form communities.
“I’m really good friends with some people from Washington State University, and they love their esports lounge,” Sherwood said. “If we had an esports lounge it would be so much easier to coordinate and play together, have people meet their teammates and make new friends.”
WSU third-year Ethan Lyons, a member of Washington State University esports, would often take advantage of the University’s esports lounge.
“I was on the Overwatch team,” Lyons said. “Most of us would end up in the lounge.”
The esports lounge at WSU is extremely high-tech, Lyons said.
“They have 36 different Alienware rigs,” he said. “They also have a few consoles, they have a PS5, an Xbox and a Switch – with TVs for all of them.”
The esports program at WSU is extremely large, Lyons said.
“All of this is run through the WSU esports club, which is the largest club at the university,” he said. “If I remember correctly it has about 1,500 students.”
The massive amount of esports club members at Washington State University is likely due to the university’s gaming lounge, Lyons said.
“A lot of students who want to participate don’t have the necessary equipment to participate,” he said. “Giving students the ability to have that equipment is definitely a boon.”
Western's Rocket League Club President Sherwood feels left out, as many of the schools he competes against all have the advantage of an esports lounge.
“I don’t think I would switch schools depending on it, which is the bad part, why include an esports lounge if it’s not going to sway that many students,” Sherwood said. “But when almost every other school has one now, it kinda sucks that we’re left out.”
Theron Danielson (he/him) is a campus news reporter for The Front this quarter. He is in his second year, majoring in Journalism with a minor in Theatre. His writing interests include sports, radio, and student-led events. He enjoys musical theatre, watching anime, and yelling at the TV while watching sports.
You can reach him at email@example.com or on instagram @therondanielson.