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NC State Esports

With generous state support, we’re building a leading college esports program — and tapping into a multibillion-dollar industry.

The Red and White From State, Now Online

Competitive multiplayer video gaming, or esports, is a fast-growing phenomenon, valued at more than $1 billion globally and attracting tens of millions of viewers worldwide. The global video game industry generates annual revenues approaching a quarter-trillion dollars, making it larger than the worldwide film industry and all North American sports combined.

As a leading STEM university situated in a regional hub for video games, NC State is uniquely ready to contribute to — and compete in — these emerging industries. Gaming and esports open up a world of rewarding career possibilities for our students, as well as new opportunities for research, teaching and statewide engagement.

With the backing of the North Carolina General Assembly, we’re launching a dedicated college esports program, building an on-campus esports arena and acquiring a mobile esports platform to support competitions and activities statewide.

$12 Million for a Campus Esports Arena

The State of North Carolina has allocated funds for one of the largest collegiate esports venues in the U.S.

$4 Million for a Mobile Esports Experience

The General Assembly also allocated funds for a mobile platform to provide all North Carolinians access to esports.

Current Roadmap

  • The arena, which will be located in Mann Hall, is expected to open in late 2026.
  • The mobile platform procurement and upfitting process is currently underway.
  • Cody Elsen joined the NC State University Libraries as esports program director in November 2023.
  • Elsen and the Libraries are taking the lead on program development, in collaboration with the College of Engineering and the Office of Information Technology.
  • The NC State Gaming and Esports Lab opened in the Hunt Library in January 2024, serving as an incubator for esports research, teaching, learning and student involvement.

NC State Esports will be a powerful outlet for Wolfpack pride and success. With keyboards, mice and controllers in hand, we can take on all the rest.

“Community, collaboration, careers and competition are the four pillars of the NC State Esports program, and the esports facilities at NC State provide a space for these to flourish.” — Cody Elsen, program director

Explaining Esports — and Its Impact

Esports is driven by video game fans’ passion for seeing their favorite games played at the highest level by the best players, both at in-person tournaments and online via streaming platforms such as Twitch.

NC State Esports will give students the chance to harness that same passion while learning new skills and building community with their Wolfpack. As the program expands, it will help them to prepare for careers in the gaming or tech industries — or for careers in marketing and sales, event planning, digital production, community management and more.

The program will also support interdisciplinary research, student engagement, wellness and recreation, partnerships and community-building. The Research Triangle area is home to several acclaimed video game developers and publishers, including Epic Games, the creators of the Unreal Engine and hit title Fortnite. The mobile platform, meanwhile, will help bring esports to other parts of the state, in keeping with the university’s land-grant mission.

Finding Your Wolfpack: Esports

The NC State Esports program is built on strong foundations, including the existing Esports Club, a student-led community of hundreds that competes against other collegiate clubs — and creates valuable social opportunities for everyone who loves gaming.