Bond University will unveil a new high-performance eSports Hub devoted to competitive video-gaming at its annual Open Day this Saturday.
The state-of-the-art facility will be used for the first time as 1000 prospective students converge on the Robina campus.
“Bond, as always, is innovative and likes to be ahead of the curve,” Vice Chancellor and President Professor Tim Brailsford said.
“eSports has taken the world by storm. Who would have thought that in less than a decade we would now have professional competitions, global audiences, global leagues, and games and activities of all types, all the way from simulation around physical sport through to high-level strategic thinking games.
“I am very pleased with what we are doing here and as we have progressed from the physical to the virtual this is very much consistent with the ideology of Bond University, which is why we must always be highly engaged in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the digital era.”
Located in the heart of the university, the hub is equipped with 12 high-performance gaming machines, a training and coaching facility for analysis and strategy and the ability to stream to Bond’s 500-seat theatre for an audience.
“It is not simply about playing games, it is about embedding it into the whole experience at Bond and the higher education system,” Bond’s Director of eSports James Birt said.
“Initially it is about having the facility to enable the high-performance sporting aspect and the ability to train at an elite level.
“The ultimate goal would be for this to be a hub for high school students to come in and train and be part of the Bond community, be able to use it as an experience and pipeline to show that eSports and gaming is a pipeline into higher education.”
Bond’s Director of Sport Garry Nucifora said eSports was a welcome addition to the elite sports program.
“We’re already getting enquiries from professional teams and professional entities to partner with us,” Mr Nucifora said.
“It is really about, ‘if you build it, they will come’, and this is certainly a demonstration of that.
“I think we’ll look at the games that are the most respected and then develop teams, where we can put teams into tournaments both domestic and international.”
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Professor Keitha Dunstan said Bond University would also be launching several new degrees at its Open Day from 2pm Saturday.
“Our new transdisciplinary degrees will provide graduates with a breadth of understanding and enhanced soft skills, as well as in-depth disciplinary expertise to enhance their employability,” Professor Dunstan said.
“In collaboration with our industry partners, we have created project-based programs that provide authentic workplace-embedded learning experiences for all students.”