The tremendous growth of esports is nowhere more evident than at Western Michigan University, which opens an esports facility on Friday.

WMU's eSports Arena, formerly The Little Theatre. (Google StreetView)

The building formerly know as the Little Theatre, on Oakland Drive at Oliver will have its grand opening on Friday, October 5th from Noon to 2pm.

At the official ceremony, William Garetto-Balmer, the president of the Esports @ WMU Club will talk about esports and the WMU students who compete in esports at the intercollegiate level. Demonstrations of esports technology are going to follow the remarks.

That technology includes 36 gaming machines with high-resolution monitors, headsets, special keyboards and mice, and ergonomic gaming chairs. Twelve of the machines are used as competition computers while the remaining 24 are used for practice. All are positioned on stage in front of auditorium seating for up to 190 people. The arena also features two large projection screens so spectators can follow game play and music as well as specialized lighting to heighten the gaming experience for both players and spectators. -WMU release

WMU says the purpose of having an esports facility "is to extend WMU's community-building efforts so they encompass students' recreational hours. Funding has come from a grant from WMU President Edward Montgomery's Transformational Initiative Fund and relevant vice presidential areas. The University is exploring opening up the Esports Arena down the road to additional WMU students as well as area high school teams and community groups."

BONUS VIDEO