The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M players watch fireworks after Texas A&M’s game against Ole Miss on Friday, April 19, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
The sun will come out
April 21, 2024
Texas A&M players watch fireworks after Texas A&M’s game against Ole Miss on Friday, April 19, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
The sun will come out
April 21, 2024
Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
When it rains, it pours
February 24, 2024
Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024
Incoming journalism professors Mariano Castillo and Flora Charner sit with former student and Battalion staff member Ken Sury at the FJSA Hall of Fame reception ceremony held in the J. Wayne Stark Galleries in the Memorial Student Center on Friday, April 19, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
A&M welcomes new journalism professors from CNN, Dallas Morning News
Ana Renfroe and Stacy CoxApril 19, 2024

At a ceremony honoring Aggie journalists, Texas A&M announced it will welcome three new journalism professors in the fall. New hires will...

LSU QB Jayden Daniels (5) runs with the ball during A&Ms game against LSU at Kyle Field on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (Cameron Johnson/The Battalion)
2024 NFL Draft: Ranking every first-round graded quarterback
Mathias Cubillan, Sports Writer • April 21, 2024

As the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit is closing in, a microscope gets placed on the prospects who play the sport’s most valuable position. Featuring...

Texas A&M players watch fireworks after Texas A&M’s game against Ole Miss on Friday, April 19, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
The sun will come out
April 21, 2024
Members of the 2023-2024 Aggie Muster Committee pose outside the Jack K. Williams Administration Building. (Photo courtesy of Aggie Muster Committee)
Orchestrating a century-old tradition
Sydnei Miles, Head Life & Arts Editor • April 18, 2024

As Muster approaches, the Aggie Muster Committee works to organize a now century-old tradition. These students “coordinate every facet” of...

Texas A&M professor Dr. Christina Belanger teaches her Geology 314 class on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, in the Halbouty Geosciences Building. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Opinion: Stop beating the dead [virtual] horse
Eddie Phillips, Opinion Writer • April 22, 2024

Snow days were my favorite days of grade school. I would wake up extra early to stand in my living room to peer through the glass toward the...

New esports facility could ‘level the playing field’ for Aggie athletes

A&M to build campus at former Macy’s in Post Oak Mall
Texas A&M Esports members at the esports lounge at Legends Event Center in Bryan. Photo provided by Alex DeLape.

Texas A&M has been working behind the scenes to acquire the former Macy’s at Post Oak Mall for an esports campus conversion. Now, the Texas A&M Esports club is one step closer to having an athletic facility to call its own.

Texas A&M Esports, or AME, is a student organization for casual and competitive gaming enthusiasts that boasts almost 2,800 members. Despite being one of the largest clubs on campus, AME has no dedicated meeting space, AME President and sport management senior Alex DeLape said.

“Anytime we do any sort of meetings, it’s in whatever we can book,” DeLape said.

In August 2022, the City of College Station acquired the vacant Macy’s at Post Oak for over $7 million. Months later, AME announced A&M entered negotiations with College Station to lease the space for the esports campus, which would be overseen by the A&M School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts.

A&M has been quiet since the announcement, but the project is slowly moving forward.

On Feb. 8, bidders and prospective contractors met with A&M staff to view former Macy’s space before the project proceeds. The meeting was held to attract qualified contractors for the campus. A&M will complete its construction proposal for the space by Feb. 24.

During the meeting, interim dean of the A&M School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts Tim McLaughlin spoke to KBTX at Post Oak Mall. McLaughlin said the esports facility would be used to host tournaments but will also include educational spaces for classrooms.

“We’ve had the club team for a while,” McLaughlin said to KBTX. “Getting facilities is the next step, and this facility, if realized, will be something completely significant for the community and the university … we would have a beautiful facility, state of the art, setting the top of what’s expected at the collegiate level and something that contributes to the community.”

The facility is expected to house over 400 desktop gaming stations, along with offering retail areas for food, clothing and computer hardware.

Courtesy photo of Texas A&M Esports President Alex DeLape.

DeLape said while the news surrounding the facility is exciting, many AME members are taking it with a grain of salt. However, DeLape said adding the facility could be a step in the right direction to address AME’s growing needs.

Compared to other varsity sports, esports teams compete against other schools, regardless of division assignments or classifications. While schools can enter multiple teams or “rosters” for competitions, AME can’t match the resources other teams offer, DeLape said. Aggie esports athletes have to rely on their own resources and student volunteer coaches.

“When it comes to the teams we’re going up against, [they have] dedicated equipment, dedicated internet connections and most of them are even on scholarships,” DeLape said. “They’ll have a coach that is paid to be there.”

AME receives no university financial support, and currently, AME cannot offer scholarships or dedicated resources to any esports athletes due to a lack of funding. DeLape said Aggies have to pay to be a part of AME, which can cause talented esports athletes to accept admission offers from other colleges.

DeLape said AME would be grateful if it were even given a room with just 10 computers for its members.

While he said the lack of a dedicated space is the biggest factor limiting AME’s growth, DeLape said one of the next big steps to expand AME would be securing scholarships for esports athletes.

Texas A&M Esports athletes pose at Kyle Field in May 2023. Photo provided by Alex DeLape.

In the meantime, DeLape said AME is building a relationship with Legends Event Center in Bryan, which has an esports and gaming lounge. Although it helps to have the space occasionally, DeLape said not all members have reliable off-campus transportation.

The esports facility may have public access areas for non-esport athletes, however, DeLape said he hopes AME will have dedicated training spaces for its competitive teams or roster members.

When A&M asked what specifications the esports campus would require to meet students’ needs, AME surveyed current and former members. DeLape said many Aggies are looking for a consistent space to practice for competitions or to create content, such as streaming.

DeLape said AME will have to wait and see if the facility will help level the playing field.


Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *