Oct. 1, 2019
Contact: Liz McCune, mccunee@missouri.edu, 573-882-6212

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The home of one of University of Missouri’s newest competitive teams now has a new name. Under a recently signed agreement, the headquarters for Mizzou Esports will be named the MSI Training Facility. This name comes from a new partnership with MSI, a leading computer hardware and gaming company that has been training and partnering with more than 20 professional esports teams since 2008.

Mizzou Esports player playing with MSI equipment.

The partnership with MSI equips the Mizzou Esports team with state-of-the-art gaming systems.

“We created this program so our talented student athletes could compete against other collegiate esports programs while representing Mizzou,” said Kevin Reape, head coach and general manager of Mizzou Esports. “We’re already off to a great start, and thanks to MSI, our teams will begin competing at an entirely different level.”

Under the partnership, MSI will be outfitting Mizzou Esports with state-of-the art gaming systems for its inaugural year of competition, as well as providing funds to bolster the program.  Reape said the funds will be used to outfit the facility with a public gaming space for the campus community, high-end broadcasting capabilities and a spectating area for fans.

“MSI is gaming and one of our goals is to help nurture and train tomorrow’s athletes by giving them the tools to improve and succeed,” said David Chou, vice president of sales at MSI. “We are honored to partner with Mizzou and are committed to seeing the team succeed not only in tournaments, but in fully developing their talents.”

The Mizzou Esports team.

The Mizzou Esports team has already shown itself to be a front contender in games like Rocket League, Overwatch and League of Legends.

Mizzou Esports players compete in three games: Rocket League, Overwatch and League of Legends. In September, Mizzou Esports won its inaugural Rocket League tournament, claiming the crown ahead of 80 other collegiate teams. In addition, the Rocket League team recently qualified for league play in the Collegiate Rocket League season and will be one of 16 teams competing in the Western Conference. The Overwatch team was recently chosen to participate in the 2019 Overwatch Varsity Invitational. Only 12 out of more than 100 applicants were chosen to compete because of “the strength of their campus esports programs.” League of Legends will be focusing on the Midwest Collegiate Series, traveling to colleges across the Midwest through the fall and spring semesters for competition.

“Mizzou students have shown time and time again that they truly excel when they’re doing what they love,” said Bill Stackman, MU vice provost for student affairs. “Our students will benefit greatly from a partnership with an organization that cares so much about the future of collegiate esports.”

Mizzou Esports plans to use the resources and equipment from MSI for a “pay-to-play” public gaming space for all MU students. With this, students will be able to game on MSI computers for an hourly rate. Student groups and departments also will be able to rent out the entire space for their own events. During the off-season, the facility will host summer camps to help students and potential recruits develop their skills.

The University launched the esports program in December 2018 by joining the National Association of Collegiate Esports. Since then, Reape has been assembling an award-winning team of talented gamers. Members of the teams live in Brooks Hall and have scholarship packages to attend MU.