As of today, Tecnológico de Monterrey is both the first Mexican and Latin-American university to open a space totally dedicated to playing electronic sports. Named the Borregos eSports Arena, it is located on the ground floor of the institution’s Guadalajara campus Wellness Center and is ready to welcome gamers.

The 150 square-meter (m²) area is equipped with state-of-the-art computers for eSports thanks to a collaboration with Dell and its subsidiary Alienware, who contributed their “best desktops, the Alienware Aurora R7” and a complete “Alienware ecosystem featuring everything from special ergonomic chairs with speakers in the sides to headsets, mice, keyboards, and 25-inch monitors,” noted Yuzel Ahumada, Dell Mexico marketing director, in an interview with Tec Review.

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The Borregos eSports Arena is divided into three spaces:

The Alienware Arena

For team games of up to six participants with two 75-inch screens to display everything that is happening on the game computers and eighteen places for spectators. 

Alienware Strategy

With a communal lounge and gaming area comprising three high tables with three benches per table and two gaming spaces for three players each.

Multipurpose gaming space

With eight gaming positions and a space for classes, lectures or training sessions with a speaker’s podium and a 75-inch screen.

These facilities “were designed with three very clear purposes in mind,” explained Ahumada. “The first area is a classroom, which is a laboratory for gaming, learning and creating. A middle area with computers both for gaming and interactions, and even for bringing in personal portable computers. And a third area dedicated to competitions and tournaments.”

These facilities will be used by the Zaga Talento Collegiate team representing the Guadalajara campus, but they will also be available to the rest of the Tec community for them to take up this discipline and play.

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“ESports are endorsed by the National Student Sports Commission (Spanish acronym: CONADEIP) and, as such, the activity is now registered as an official sport,” said Mario Adrián Flores, vice-president of Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Western Region. “The Tec now possesses a suitable space for the entire student community and people for whom eSports is an everyday reality.”

Zaga Talento Collegiate, whose members are Arturo Jiménez ‘Maleki’, Rodrigo Zermeño ‘Zerrotd’, Daniel Rubio ‘Harnex’, Emilio Altamirano ‘Miño’, Pablo Gutiérrez ‘Rapid Killz’, and Carlos Rueda ‘Fuz Wiper’, agreed.

“We started off as a team that played on Saturdays at home, each of us bringing his own computer. It’s a surprise that the Tec has invested so much in us now, but it’s also motivating; it’s a huge responsibility resting on our shoulders now because we have good computers in the same place where we are all going to be able to get together and play,” they explained.

“Not only are the computers of the highest quality, the space has been specially built for the team to practice in. Being here is very different than everyone playing at home. It gives the team more credibility. At last we’ve got our own home, our stadium,” they added.

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 Why give eSPorts a space?

In 2019, eSports have generated more than a billion dollars globally with spectators numbering over 130 million and rising. In Mexico, this market segment is worth 1.4 billion dollars, according to the Newzoo consulting firm.

“We are the second ranked country in the video-game market. This makes us very relevant and, as a result, we’ve been given a great opportunity,” commented Yuzel Ahumada.

“But the reasons for the Tecnológico de Monterrey’s interest in this goes way beyond its popularity or the fact that so many people are gamers. That’s not why; it’s because of the benefits derived from doing it correctly,” explained Óscar López, director of Student Leadership and Education (Spanish acronym LIFE: Liderazgo y Formación Estudiantil) at Tecnológico de Monterrey.

ESports “are another way for students to achieve better self-improvement by developing leadership, interpersonal, listening, critical thinking, time-management and teamwork skills along with respect, tolerance, self-confidence, resilience, fair-play and ethics,” said Flores while underscoring the lucrative entrepreneurial opportunity that future graduates could have in this industry irrespective of their areas of expertise. “It impacts practically every course of study we have at the Tec,” he went on.

Juan Francisco Aguilar, general director of Dell Technologies México, said he agreed that electronic sports unlock all these soft skills “that organizations are looking for today and that it is crucial to develop,” and added that eSports also empower students to “immerse themselves more deeply in all matters pertaining to technology.”

“For example, Dell has used gaming to test many technologies than can already be found in different industries, such as virtual reality and augmented reality. Now we see them in medicine, architecture, design, and so on. And it doesn’t stop there; they also help promote problem-solving instincts, such as how to combine mind-management issues with certain game-solving strategies. It means unlocking all the power and talent of the next generations,” he added.

Aguilar concluded by underscoring that this is the “first building block” in a virtuous circle where “talent is attracted to the university and that developed talent is then attracted to the entrepreneurial world in future.”

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