Recent visitors to Full Sail’s campus may have noticed some unusual activity in and around the sound stages located in Building 2. The area formerly occupied by the Film Production MFA is undergoing a major conversion from a film set to a brand new esports arena.
The facility, known as “The Fortress,” will be the new home of Armada, Full Sail’s collegiate-level varsity esports team. The 11,200 square-foot arena will feature room for 500 fans, making it the largest esports arena to date to occupy a college campus.
“Not only will it be the largest collegiate esports arena, but the Fortress will also house incredible technology aimed at delivering the best esports experience, including the latest generation live video equipment by Ross Video, Sony video monitors and cameras, giant high-resolution LED screens by Absen, multi-zone loudspeaker systems by L-Acoustics, media servers by Green Hippo, and high-bandwidth dedicated internet connectivity to guarantee the best game-playing and viewing experience for our audience,” said Luis Garcia, Vice President of Emerging Technologies at Full Sail University.
Full Sail began the design phase for the project in early 2018, breaking ground at the beginning of the summer. The space has a projected completion date of early 2019. Although The Fortress is the first space of its kind on campus, Full Sail has hosted a number of esports events in the past, including the Major League Gaming (MLG) Fall Invitational (2013), the MLG Call of Duty U.S. Championship (2014), the Madden NFL 15 Ultimate Team Championship Featuring NFL Quarterback Cam Newton (2014). The Full Sail Live venue currently serves as an official Hearthstone Fireside Gatherings location. Students were also recently treated to a visit from the Florida Mayhem, Florida’s only team to compete in the Overwatch League as a member of the league’s Atlantic Division.
In addition to the Fortress, a separate dedicated practice space will offer student athletes a place to commune and prepare for upcoming tournaments. All told, Full Sail is dedicating over $6 million of direct capital investment to the esports initiative.
“We are excited about these additions to our campus as we continue to strive to make Full Sail the premier destination for students who want to pursue careers in gaming and the various aspects of the live events industry; ranging from the business aspects of sports management, and the IT behind synchronized gaming within esports, to shoutcasting, live production, game creation, entertainment business and more. In addition, these efforts support a leading global destination for students who want to participate in the esports lifestyle as part of their college experience, be it as a top competitive player, a casual player, or a social follower and fan of esports,” said Ken Goldstone, Chief Operating Officer, Full Sail University.
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