GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has joined the world of electronic games, also known as esports, and has opened its first-ever esports gaming arena.  

The Spartan facility can host up to 48 players at a time with 12 computers in a center section of the facility to showcase esports athletes with the university.  

The esports industry has grown to more than 300 million players and is worth more than $1.8 billion an increase from the $1.5 billion it was worth in 2021.  

The industry has begun to sell out sports venues across the globe to host competitions.  

Colleges and universities across the country and globe compete for top prizes and championships. UNCG has an esports team who, before the Spartan arena, had to meet in their dorms to practice.  

Virtual gaming has grown beyond the world of entertainment, an area of focus UNCG and other universities want to expand.  

More than 100 faculty members are currently writing curriculum that touches on sports marketing within esports and sports medicine with esports athletes.

“I found out that we have some in kinesiology that have put in a grant proposal. So we are building academic programs, research programs around esports gaming as well,” said UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam Jr. said of the investment.

Sophie Priest, the president of the Esports Gaming Club, told FOX8 that she is doing research on the similarities and differences between virtual gaming and traditional sports.

UNCG’s facility is the second state-of-the-art facility at a Triad university.  

High Point University unveiled its esports arena in 2019 and has seen more than 100 individuals graduate with a specific focus in game designs.  

UNCG’s esports arena will also play host to summer camps for middle school students who want to explore the possibility of a career in professional gaming or those industries that work in connection with it.