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Introduction

The OU Esports & Gaming Complex, comprised of a gaming venue and developmental clinic, serves the whole of the Univeristy of Oklahoma’s gaming community and beyond. These spaces are the result of the goals of student and staff gamers at OU since 2016. While we have quietly launched aspects of this space, in Spring of 2024 we bring the venue side online making the complex fully functional for the first time as we open the doors for daily operations. We’ll get right to it at the top, but if you want all the details keep going as we highlight and detail all of our spaces.

Planned Renovations

In June 2023, the OU Board of Regents approved the renovation project of our complex. We are affectionally calling the complex in its current form, “The Preview,” as more than 50% of the functionality of the renovation is already in our retrofitted current state. Once floorplans and design are fully done we will absolutely be sharing it with all of you.

Reference: OU Board of Regents Meeting Minutes, June 2023

Quick Specification Overview of The Entire Complex

Quick Venue Overview (Community)

In the Venue and on the Floor at all times:

  • 20x Gaming PCs
  • 2x Oculus Quest 2 VR stations
    • 2x VIZIO 50″ TVs (4K/120)
  • 1x Racing Sim Rig
  • 10x Nintendo Switch’s
  • 4x Samsung Frame 55″ TVs (4K/120/Freesync)
    • 4x Sony Playstation 5’s
  • 2x Custom PC emulators
  • 2x General Use PCs for students only
  • Multi-purpose meeting & production room
  • Console production space
  • Vinyl listening station

The venue section below fully outlines all specs, preloaded games, and imagery of all areas.

Quick Clinic Overview (Development

In the Clinic and the standard configuration:

  • PC Teams Room
  • Console/SIM Teams Area
  • Production Studio
  • Streaming Studio
  • Media & News Office
  • Break Room

The clinic section below fully outlines all specs and imagery of all areas.

Location & Reservations

Location: 114 4th Street, Suite 126, Norman, OK 73072 (Google Maps Link)

Want to plan your next event with gaming or have your event streamed? Whether in our venue or elsewhere on campus let us know what you’re thinking and we’ll work to make it happen. Whether you are an individual student, staff, faculty, student org, university department, or campus partner hit the button below to go to our OU home for daily operations, pricing, and membership package information.

About Our Lab Management Solution

SENET is a robust cloud based lab management software by ENESTECH. It is geared towards the growing esports and gaming spaces everywhere but especially in educational environments. Allowing for automation of gaming hardware to aid in keeping software updated, workflows efficient, and analytics documented, SENET is invaluable to organizing our venue aimed to serve the OU population of students, staff, faculty, alumni, fans, and campus partners.

Overview

The Esports & Gaming Venue is designed to be our community space with full day operations and open to the entire campus. During select events and timing of the year it will also be open to peer K-12/collegiate peers, friends and fans of the university, and specific audiences such as tailgates, weekly & monthly events, and other unique programming.

Areas Descriptions

Venue Vibe Check

With the original space before being an open air retail store our venue is definitely unique in it’s “preview” state. Our walls are filled with the history of our 2016 origins, events, milestones, and more. We encourage any visitor to take some time to look at our celebration of student founders to present. We even have a wall by the listening station which shows photos from the current school year. Knowing we were going to renovate these spaces in the near future allowed us to focus on maximizing value and opportunity while ensuring we were only investing our resources in direct impact resources. This ensures we are maximizing the renovation energy when it comes.

Console Areas

Console Daily Floor Configuration

Playstations, Xbox, Nintendo, Retro Oh My…. Consoles for many households are the starting point into gaming together and individually and we cherish that. The arguments between PC vs Console is irrelevant to us as they both have their strengths regardless of the amounts of those strengths. Our standard configuration will retain this on the floor during normal days of operations:

  • 4x Samsung Frame 55″ TVs (4K/120hz/VRR/Freesync/HDR/Speakers)
  • 4x Asus TUF Gaming VG259QR 24.5″ Monitors (1080P/165hz/VRR/Freesync/Speakers)
  • 4x Playstation 5s (2 on TVs + 2 on Monitors (Monitors not pictured))
  • 1x Xbox Series X (on Monitor – Not Pictured)
  • 1x Xbox Series S (on Monitor – Not Pictured)
  • 8x Nintendo Switches (4 on TVs + 6 on Monitors)
    • You are welcome to use our docks with YOUR Switch!
  • 2x Custom PC Emulators (2 on TVs)
    • Emulators can play games dating back to the original ATARI, arcades in the malls, and currently all the way up to the Playstation 3 era upscaled to 4K.

Total Console Inventory for Events

  • 3x Playstation 5’s Digital Editions
  • 2x Playstation 5’s Disc Editions
  • 5x Playstation 4 Pro’s
  • 2x Xbox Series
  • 10x Nintendo Switches
  • 2x PC Emulators (All can play up to PS3 games)
    • * We can convert the entire PC space into emulators in under 15 minutes making this number go to 25 total for retro gaming events.
    • Ryzen 3rd gen or new and GTX1080 or higher GPU
  • 10x 24″ 60hz monitors in box for expansion or deployment at your site

Total Game Inventory

  • Playstation
    • 5x Street Fighter 6, 5x Guilty Gear Strive, 2x Madden ’24, 3x Dragonball Fighterz, and other select titles.
  • XBox
    • List TBD.
  • Nintendo Switch
    • 10x Smash w/all DLC, 5x Mario Kart, Sports, and other select party titles.
  • Emulators
    • QR codes to submit requests for different games and the list of games in our emulators.

Gaming PC Areas

Overview

The PC Gaming spaces are designed to allow gamers to explore the world of PC gaming whether it is for the first time or as a seasoned gamer. We preload the games we develop on our intercollegiate esports side, but everyone is welcome to install whatever they want to play. All popular game launchers are preinstalled and we actively welcome submissions for new games to keep installed at all times. We do NOT wipe our machine installs unless we need to make room for an event that requires something or we need to free up space in general.

Why two different PC areas? In Summer 2023, alumni donated hardware to get our development side functional ASAP as we knew new things were coming. So when the new MSI PCs came in we took 5 of the 20 and put them in our development spaces. With our upcoming renovation plans all hardware will be at the MSI tier of specs or greater as we increase capacity. For now, the “VALUE” PCs are intended for gamers who may not need the strongest of hardware to enjoy their games and provides an opportunity to save a little money and still get gaming PC access in our space until we upgrade everything.

(15) High End PC Specs

CPU: Intel i7 13700KF
RAM: 32GB DDR5
STORAGE: 2TB NVME GEN4
GPU: MSI RTX 4070Ti 12GB
MONITOR: Asus 24.5″ VG24VQR 1080/165hz/VRR
KEYBOARD: MSI GK50 TKL
MOUSE: MSI GM41 Lightweight V2
MOUSEPAD: MSI Agility GD30 (450mmx400mmx3mm)
HEADSET: HyperX Cloud III
OTHER: MSI Aegis RS 13NUF-439US

(5) Value PC Specs

CPU: Intel i7 8700
RAM: 16GB DDR4
STORAGE: 1TB NVME GEN3
GPU: Radeon RX5700XT or Nvidia RTX 2070Super
MONITOR: Asus 24.5″ VG24VQR 1080/165hz/VRR
KEYBOARD: MSI GK50 TKL
MOUSE: MSI GM41 Lightweight V2
MOUSEPAD: MSI Agility GD30 (450mmx400mmx3mm)
HEADSET: HyperX Cloud III
OTHER: Dell Precision 3630 Workstations

Multipurpose Room

The Multipurpose Room is intended to be used for the following functions:

  • General Meeting Room (10 seat)
  • Development Esports Team Tape Room (10 seat)
  • Production Space (2 casters/1 producer)
  • Tabletop/Chess Space (2-3 setups)
  • Food & Drink Staging for bigger events
  • Storage for bigger event

Vibe Check: Art on the wall of this room are curated historical moments from leadership impacts for our overal department.

SIM Racing Rig

SIM racing is a unique opportunity in gaming, brought to life through student initiative and thorough justification in our culture. Our setup includes custom-built racing rigs, complete with high torque force feedback steering wheels, shifters, controls, and the same sort of chairs you would have in a real-world racing car making it an extremely authentic and thrilling experience. Currently, we have two such rigs; the other one is situated in the development clinic. Following our renovations, both rigs will be positioned adjacent to each other, enhancing accessibility and user experience.

Here are the specs:

Student Workstations

The student workstation space is 2 all in one Dell PCs meant for study, homework, or research usages and will have no cost associated with them. Coming in an hour early for an event? Stay on top of your studies and just login with your 4×4 and go. These are dual screen setups with a good amount of desk surface area to get work done.

Production Spaces

Being able to stream gameplay is a standard now so making sure we have the capability to do so allows us to do fundraiser, provide more value for sponsors, and create more perks for student orgs and departments to leverage our space for their events. For competitors, this is also a key bonus as they can go back review their gameplay and we can clip highlights for promotional material. There are 3 areas in our venue that are set up for quick production and streaming needs. The one pictured is intended for console capture and production, with one bay for the gameplay, one for the production desk, and the last for the casters.

Booth Space

Geared towards console production for esports competitions. This is used weekly by our Smash and FGC communities as a prime example of how it gets leveraged. The specs are below:

COMPUTER: Rzyen 7 5700G/16GB/1TB + 2x 24″ Monitor
CAPTURE CARD: AverMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus
AUDIO MIXER: Focusrite 2i2 3rd Gen
CASTER HEADSET: 2x Audio Technica BPHS1 Broadcast Headset
CASTER MONITORS: 2x 27″ Monitors Vertically Stacked
CAMERA: 2K USB WEBCAM
OTHER: HP EliteDesk 705 G4 Mini

Value PC Table

This production space is geared for PC or Console streaming as our weekly events typically have console only production in the booth space. This one lives on the table of the “VALUE” PC area. Specs Below:

COMPUTER: Core i5 12400F/RTX2080/16GB/2TB
MONITOR 1: Asus 24.5″ VG24VQR 1080P/165hz/VRR
MONITOR 2: Lenovo 27″ 2K 75hz Vertically stacked above Monitor 1
HDMI CAPTURE & SWITCHER: TBD
CASTER HEADSET: 2x TBD

Multipurpose Room

Above we talked about the abilities of the multipurpose room, but here we’re outlining only the production part of it. Now when this hardware is deployed it will usually be used in tandem with the Value PC space setup leveraging NDI capture over our network to grab PC displays and audio from the entire complex and can be leveraged either way. We piece this setup as needed which is rare but this means out of venue alone we can run 3 streams and with the full complex in use we can produce up to 6 combined streams leveraging USB capture devices, NDI over the network, and/or direct PC capture.

COMPUTER: MSI 15″ Katana – i7 13620H/RTX4060/16GB/1TB
TV: HiSense 55″ 4K/144Hz/VRR

Vinyl Listening Station

For many of our current and prospective students they only know the era of streaming music services and instant access to music with a click of a button. These are great advancements in entertainment, however emphasizing the power and hold video game, anime, and sci-fi movie music and soundtracks holds over our souls is irrefutable. Welcome back to the 90s and older with a growing collection of vinyls aimed at celebrating the gamer music. Ever heard 8-bit music with the static of vinyl that isn’t modern “Lo-Fi”? Or maybe it’s a Halo, Mario, or Sonic anniversary day and we will fill the air with sounds of these themes throughout those days.

Come in, sit down, slap on the cans, and listen to our classical music. We provide a set of Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7GM Sonic Pro Over-Ear Headphones or you’re welcome to connect your own. Our record player can connect to Bluetooth headsets or to analog 3.5mm physical headphone plug.

VR Space

The VR Space is designed to give enough room for two(2) gamers to explore and play in the virtual space simultaneously. Popular games like Beat Saber and SuperHot are preloaded and we continuously add to our catalog as we see demand from the community. Currently we have 3x Oculus Quest 2’s with plans to upgrade to Quest 3’s with our upcoming renovation timeline. The space also doubles as a small meeting room and gameplay can be casted to the 50″ Vizio M43Q6-J04 TVs (4K/120/VRR) for friends and participants to watch.

Fun facts: We offer tournaments in VR for the entire campus. This will become frequent in the future as VR continues to grow and maintain a solid foundation of the gamer population now. 

History of The Space

The OU Esports & Gaming Venue was originally a retail store that opened in 2018 as part of the new Cross Village four building complex comprised of upscale dorms and amnenities for students and the area. In 2021, OU Esports & Co-Curricular gained a temporary office space within Cross B at the corner of 4th and Jenkins Avenue. In early 2023, access to the space became a reality and we started to plan how to maximize the space with it’s current power capabilities, space layout, and design which is now the OU Esports & Gaming Venue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Download Games on The Consoles and/or PCs?

We always want OUr gamers to feel welcome and included! If you own a game that isn’t installed and want to use our space and hardware to play, then simply install it when you come in. All popular game launchers are preinstalled, just login to your account and install. We do not actively wipe our storage unless we need to free up space for basic functions or if we need to host an event with specific games and need the space.

Can I Request a Game to be Downloaded Before Coming In?

For now, requests can be made in The OU Gaming Club Discord inside the venue text channels. Booking options for specific PCs will be available in the future – you will be able to reserve access to a PC that you know has a certain game predownloaded!

Can I Reserve a Console/PC/VR/SIM station in advance?

We will be adding the ability to do this very thing, but not yet. Keep checking back and keep an eye on our socials as we notify everyone on new things as they come up.

Can We Use Our Own Devices and/or Peripherals?

Of course! Everyone plays and gets comfortable with their own input devices. All we ask is you respect our peripherals when you move them out of the way and then you move them back when you’re done. You can also ask our staff to disconnect ours for you if you’d like. We want you to feel comfortable and welcome in our spaces as priority one!

Do You Sell Food or Drink?

At this time we do not, and we do not allow food and open drink to be consumed at our desk stations. Around the corner and through the courtyard are numerous restaurants in Cross A & C. As a rule for drinks. We only allow containers that are sealable on the top, but we strongly recommend you place them on the floor next to your station or in your bag to avoid any problems. Things happen, but that will not excuse any damage to our inventory.

Do You Sell Merch?

We have plans to do just this but as of right now the answer is no. For right now head to our online merch store HERE. We’ll be adding several more items in middle to late 2024. Keep looking!

How Much Does it Cost to Use the Venue?

Head over to ou.edu/esports/complex.

How/Where Do I Find Out About Your Events?

For right now you join our Discord and/or follow our socials (@ouesports & @ou_gamingclub). We will be introducing an events calendar on our website over the Summer.

I Do Not Attend or Work for OU, nor am I a Campus Partner, can I still use The OU Esports & Gaming Venue?

At this time, the venue will remain exclusively for the use by OU’s students, staff, faculty, and campus partners with ID. We will have criteria for the general public to use this space, including for minors. For the remainder of the Spring 2024 semester, the only access for the public will be events that are designed for public attendance not daily general usage.

If you are a registered student organization or OU department please look at reservations at the top of this page.

Is There Anything I Need to Complete Before Going to The Venue During Daily Operations for The First Time?

With our venue being exclusive to OU students, staff, faculty, and campus partners only for the remainder of the Spring 2024, the only requirement will be that you register your account with your OU or campus partner email address.

Why Isn't This An "Arena"? Or What Do We Do for Bigger Events?

For us, an arena is a space that celebrate competition and in that intent sacrifices some square footage to create a space that is often not used for it’s full intent many times in a single school year. With our growing list of partners on campus, if we need bigger spaces to put on an event like a tournament or competition with a stage we have more than enough places across campus to leverage for those one-off events that typically don’t exceed more than 10-20 times a year. This remains true even in our upcoming renovation intent and why we call this a venue that can deploy some additional seating for real small events, but with stadiums down the street, ballrooms up the street, and our previously designed Black Box Theater (BBT) in the adjacent Cross building, we have plenty of resources for showcase events in the future.

BBT: We designed this space in 2017 and it opened with the Cross Village 4 building complex in 2018. It remains part of OU Housing services resources and we reserve it heavily for weeklies, monthlies, campus visits, and tournaments as they come up.

(BBT) Black Box Theater Demo

Overview

The clinic has a medical feel, reflecting its original purpose, which helps to instill a sense of diligence in our development students. This is where the work happens: representing our program in competitions, managing live gameplay production, personal streaming, or crafting articles, press releases, and media for this very website. It’s the business end of our operations, where casual gaming gives way to the goal-oriented world of esports. Understanding this distinction is key to grasping the complex’s overall intent. Consider gaming akin to playing a pickup game of basketball at the local court — spontaneous and with no permissions needed. Esports, on the other hand, is comparable to the NBA, complete with team development, marketing, production, sponsors, and business elements.

Area Descriptions

Clinic Vibe Check

The clinic very much has a medical feel because of it’s original intent, but that helps us focus development students into understanding this is where the work gets done. From representating our program in competition, live gameplay production, live personal streams, or composing the articles, press releases, and media on this very website this is the business end of what we do and where the casual “gaming” stops and goal-oriented “esports” exists exclusively. Understanding the difference is important to truly understanding the intention of the complex overall. Gaming is like playing a pickup game of basketball with your friends at a local court. You do not have to ask anybody to do it. Esports, however, is the NBA with all the team development, marketing, production, sponsors, and business.

Console/SIM Teams Space

The front lobby has been retrofit to accomodate LAN connectivity through Switch docks and any consoles alike. On the opposite side of the lobby is an identical Sim racing rig to the venue side which covers all Nintendo, sports, and fighting game intercollegiate esports development programs. Whatever we develop as a program we work on ensuring the resources of our spaces can accomodate team meetings, VoD review, practices, and competition alike.

Here are the sim racing specs:

Media & News Office

The Media & News Office is home to our developmeent students charged with creating content on our sooneresports.org media outlet. With a full selection of recording gear to film, photograph, and document just about anything they want to. We ask that this team allocates at least 50% of their time to the needs of the OU ECCI department collective and the other 50% we demand they use it for showcasing who we are as a culture. From opinion pieces, highlighting industry news of interest, game reviews, or sharing a love for music in games, this team is armed to be the long-term storytellers of our department and culture as a whole.

We exclusively leverage Fujifilm bodies with a fleet of Fuji glass. 

PC Teams Space & Room

Much like the Console/Sim Team Spaces, we retrofit an exam room and the front check in desk of the preexisting clinic intent to accomdate up to 5 players with an analyst/coach station. These leverage the same hardware we have on the venue side with the monitors upgraded to 240Hz. Our esports athletes decided to use the OEM peripherals or use their own.

CPU: Intel i7 13700KF
RAM: 32GB DDR5
STORAGE: 2TB NVME GEN4
GPU: MSI RTX 4070Ti 12GB
MONITOR: Asus 24.5″ VG259QM 1080P/240hz/G-Sync
KEYBOARD: MSI Vigor GK30
MOUSE: MSI Clutch GM11
OTHER: MSI Aegis RS 13NUF-439US

Production Studio

The Production Studio is focused around the creation of live event broadcasting for our Intercollegiate Esports teams as well as podcast style productions for our Media & News and Influencer Development programs. Leveraging green screen, XLR mics, and a mirrorless camera we can capture low to high quality content on the fly. The intention of the Production Program is to create producers and mature casters to be able to autonomously leverage this space to perform the described coverage. We leverage both NDI and HDMI to USB capture card methods to produce whatever we need.

Specs below:
COMPUTER: Same MSI as team rooms (13700K/RTX4070Ti)
CAMERA: OSBOT PTZ 4K AI Camera
CAPTURE CARD: AverMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus
AUDIO MIXER: Focusrite 18i8 3rd Gen
CASTER/PRODUCER HEADSETS: TASCAM TH-MX2
PRODUCER MIC: Movo VSM-7
CASTER MIC: Movo PC-M6

Streamer Studio

The Streamer Studio is geared towards our Influencer Development program which helps students launch their own channels and brands while bolstering our own. This studio also has motion capture ability without the need of body attached sensors to enable production with augmented reality or virtual reality alike. Allowing for the insertion of someone right into a game like Beat Saber or to take full control of an avatar in VR Chat. This room comes equipped with a retractable green screen backdrop to allow the PC station to create a “room” where they can create their own entire image in overlays, background, and content. This room also can be leveraged for production for competition or podcast hosting if needed.

Specs below:
COMPUTER: Custom PC (R5 5600G/RTX3070Ti) w/24″ 1080P/144hz/VRR Monitor
CAMERA: 1080P Webcam
CAPTURE CARD: AverMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus
AUDIO MIXER: Focusrite Solo 3rd Gen
STREAMER HEADSET: TASCAM TH-MX
STREAMER MIC: Movo PC-M6
MOTION CAPTURE: 2x Modified Microsoft Kinects (No body sensors)

History of The Space

The OU Esports Clinic was originally an AM/PM clinic extension of OU’s Health Services known as the Goddard Health Center. In 2021, OU Esports & Co-Curricular gained a temporary office space within Cross B at the corner of 4th and Jenkins Avenue. In Summer 2023, access to this space became a reality and we started to plan how to maximize the space with it’s current power capabilities, space layout, and design which is now the OU Esports Clinic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wait what?! HOW DO I GET TO USE THE CLINIC SPACES?!

Simple! Join our Discord and fill out the registration application which is FREE in the #info-and-rules section and make sure that on the last question you select you want to learn more. To look at our programs and teams head to our program directory here. You are also welcome to DM any staff/coach in our Discord or send an email to esports@ou.edu if you want to ask questions before applying.

This is only for students with a few opportunities in coaching and casting for staff and faculty of any type across all of our campuses. So if you’re not a student, well, head over to OU Admissions to get your app in!