What is the Esports Room and When Will it Open?


With over 834 Discord members and a sizable community of active club participants, Seattle University Esports and Gaming is the largest student-run club on campus, holding weekly meetings every Friday.

Aaron Casarez, a second-year pre-business major, had an overwhelmingly positive personal experience with the club.

 “It’s really great to have a community that is there, it’s so large—it’s like a second-home, third-home. Every Friday, if I need somewhere to go, I can be there. Everybody’s nice,” Casarez said.

With the Esports and Gaming club attracting a prominent plurality of the student body, there has been a push from students and faculty alike to create an on-campus space for the club to gather for meetings, tournaments and other esports related activities. Steve De Bruhl, assistant director of design and construction with facilities services at Seattle U, noted that students were the catalyst for production on the esports room. 

“It was a request from the Esports club, who had been meeting in a variety of different spaces on campus and residence halls and what-have-you, and bringing their own equipment,” De Bruhl said. “It was a rather cumbersome activity for them to set up and organize. So, there was interest from the club and university, since it was a very popular request to have a space where they can go.”

Casarez explained the potential for the room to become a communal hub for gamers and those who are interested in integrating themselves into the community. 

“Esports, every year, becomes more and more developed and I think it’s important for any school, especially at the college level, to have [a space for] that. There is a lot of potential for students who want to play and learn, to be a part of a team,” Casarez said.

If you find yourself wandering onto the third floor of the student center, you will see the esports room clearly labeled and presenting a paper flier stating “Coming Soon!” With a history of an uncertain opening, the flier begs the question – is it coming soon?

“Last year I was shown the blueprints, and [the club president] thought it was going to be done by the time we came back [from summer break]. I don’t know the exact timeline, but I know the deadline has been pushed back at least a few times,” Casarez said. “I’ve been patient but I am a little frustrated.”

When asked about the reasoning behind the delays in the room’s opening, De Bruhl elaborated on supply chain issues that have contributed to the extended deadlines of the room. 

“It was our intention to have it ready and available by the start of fall quarter. But because of the supply chain issues we’ve been having, and that everyone’s been having…we just, as of last week, got the last pieces of furniture. We ordered those in May of last year,” De Bruhl said.

Despite the continued delay of the room’s opening, Kirsten Schumacher, director of University Recreation, is optimistic about the future of the esports room, and is looking past the series of struggles that have slowed the process of opening.

“I want the room to be a space that anyone, student, faculty, staff, can walk into and use during its open hours. It is a drop-in, recreational space to play games,” Schumacher said. “My goal for it is that it can be for a person who is interested in gaming and has never gamed before, or doesn’t have the resources to have a gaming computer, to come and play. Or for an ‘I’m wildly competitive and stream on Twitch’ kind of gamer.”

Despite the precedent of uncertain opening dates and frustration from gaming club members surrounding delays, Schumacher offers an optimistic picture of the Esports room timeline.

“I will stand with a very general projection of the month of February. We are edging ever closer,” Schumacher said.

A gaming and community space on campus is a long-held dream for students like Casarez who have been anticipating its opening. While a number of uncertainties remain for the esports room, with shifting timelines and supply chain problems still a potential concern in February, the approaching opening stands to alter the future of the Esports and Gaming Club.