At the beginning of this crazy and unprecedented year, I was naively writing about the new practice facility that would host the Greenville University E-Sports Program. This article was published back in February, a month where the coronavirus was growing overseas, especially in China, but life in the United States was still “normal,” to certain extent. Since then, things have changed, but life is still going.
In the previous Papyrus article addressing the Greenville SMART Center’s inauguration, it was mentioned that the basement, which is the place that will host the gaming Panthers, was still under construction. There were some aspects linked to the flooring and some water-related issues that required immediate attention before any activity could be performed in that space. After all the insecurities and doubts that the pandemic brought to the university and all institutions worldwide, the facility is now ready to be used by all student-athletes playing those games offered by the program. For those curious readers interested in visiting, the main entrance is located on the south side of the SMART Center.
Last week, team leaders, captains, and Head Coach B.J. Fink started moving all the material to their new home; gaming computers, screens, desks, and chairs are now a part of the new basement view and landscape. Now is the time that every gamer has waited for since the acquisition and remodeling of the building that is located in Greenville’s main square. Students are able to enjoy the new studio for their team practices, which is an incredible upgrade from the reduced dimensions of the former program headquarters underneath the Union. The e-sports program currently enjoys the same material. However, the more space and capacity of the SMART Center has opened up an unlimited number of possibilities for the program to grow, such as the potential the number of gaming stations or the creation of other sections that could be included in the near future.
Considering the requirements that the COVID era has imposed on all indoor social gatherings, the practice spots are limited and significantly separated from each other. Even though the present disposition of tables is very distant from original plans, the truth is that students are grateful that they are given the opportunity to keep practicing and doing what they love. In matters of taking advantage of every inch of the new office, it is noticeable that more tables can be placed and strategically distributed to fit more people. According to Head Coach Fink, “The studio has the potential to host eighteen people playing simultaneously, but the restrictive environment that we are immersed in restrains our room to maneuver.”
Greenville students and the community cannot wait to see the outcome of the university’s investment, which provides an excellent home for the e-sports program. However, it seems that meaningful results will have to wait until life returns to normal.
Media by Wyatt Moser.