University of Cincinnati Esports highlights eventful first year

Milestones set new standards

The University of Cincinnati Esports Innovation Lab (ESL) had an action-packed first year.

In August 2022, UC opened the esports lab in the 1819 Innovation Hub. Since then, the lab has become a hub of activity, providing a home base for the UC Esports Club and a tournament venue for statewide esports programs, benefiting gamers and STEM students.


In its first academic year, the ESL attracted diverse visitors, including community members, faculty and students. During this time, the ESL:

  • Hosted 40 events for organizations ranging from corporate partners to public schools to esports teams and clubs
  • Welcomed over 5,000 visitors
  • Saw more than 1,000 individuals 
Extensive studies have unveiled captivating findings that esports serves as a magnet, drawing in students with an inherent interest in STEM majors.

Patty Moser Director of experience, events, esports

On campus

The UC Esports Club used the lab as a dedicated practice space for in-person tournaments and a place to connect with others.

ESL also attracted participation from various schools within the university, including:

  • College of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Lindner College of Business
  • Design and Architecture Art and Planning
  • College of Medicine


UC connected with academics by joining forces with Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) to establish the Esports High School Speaker Series. This initiative aims to spotlight collegiate esports prospects, providing insights and guidance to schools interested in developing their own esports programs.

"Extensive studies have unveiled captivating findings that esports serves as a magnet, drawing in students with an inherent interest in STEM majors,” said Patty Moser, director of experience, events, esports. “This vibrant ecosystem provides exciting gaming experiences and exposes students to a world of limitless possibilities awaiting them at UC.”

Alliances and events

The new E-Sports Innovation Lab at the 1819 iHub.

CPS students visit the Esports Lab. Photo/Brad Walsh

The ESL has proactively formed alliances with the following organizations to expand its reach into the gaming and academic communities:

  • Esports Ohio
  • Cincinnati Fear
  • Cincy Esports Collaboration

ESL hosted Cincinnati Fear for competitive video gaming, utilizing the new state-of-the-art broadcast studio space that streams digital Twitch events. Additionally, ESL was the host site for local and regional tournaments, such as the Esports Ohio Quarter-Finals.

Noteworthy equipment updates

Over the last year, in response to needs identified within the gaming community, UC. invested in the following new equipment:

  • New broadcast studio
  • Microphones-handheld and headset
  • Five large wall-mounted TVs
  • Additional new consoles
  • Campus shuttle to 1819 Innovation Hub

Corporate partners of the 1819 Innovation Hub, such as The Kroger Co., Great American Insurance Group and KAO to name a few, have access to the ESL for team-building events. The broadcast studio is designed to stream live esports tournaments on Twitch but doubles as a location to film video interviews and host podcasts for students, faculty and staff.

Looking ahead

As esports heads into the next quarter, a greater focus will be paid to evolving relationships formed in the community and on campus this past year.

“Our commitment continues supporting our community as we strengthen alliances within esports and academia,” Moser said. “The UC Esports Lab illuminates pathways to success extending far beyond the confines of its consoles to the realms of animation, game design, broadcasting and beyond. Students gain invaluable skills to unlock a multitude of career prospects, aligning perfectly with the diverse and expanding recruiting efforts UC offers to the region.”

Featured image at top: Students play a game in the University of Cincinnati Esports Innovation Lab. Photo/Greg Glevicky

UC Esports Lab

To learn more about scheduling corporate and educational team buliding events in the UC Esports Lab email us

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