An inside look at the Iowa State Esports and Gaming Room


Jacob Barker

The Esports and Gaming Room is located on the ground floor of Beyer Hall.

Beyer Hall has a special room located on its ground level for people to enjoy a little social time and play video games.

The Esports and Gaming Room has an assortment of games and systems with more than 30 computers and four console systems. An ISU student ID is required to enter the room, and then all games are instantly available to play.

The esports room is open from 4:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 11:59 p.m. on Sundays.

Grant Dewaay, a senior studying software engineering, oversees all upcoming events and future plans for the space. The esports room is well-known across campus, but it had a slow start when it first opened a few years ago.

The Esports and Gaming Room includes more than 30 computers and four console systems. (Jacob Barker)

“We opened our doors around 2021,” Dewaay said. “It was a little difficult getting some foot traffic since we were still in the middle of the pandemic.”

The room’s location also contributed to getting few visitors since many of the more prominent clubs and social areas are located in the center of campus. 

However, once Dewaay and other club members were able to advertise the esports room to the campus community, the space and its community flourished quickly, according to Dewaay. The space is now a welcoming environment for students of all skill levels to enjoy. 

“The best part of the esports room is that the environment is laid back and socially competitive,” Dewaay said. “We want to encourage people to come in and try out some games to fit their groove.”

Dewaay hopes people can take a step back from the stress of classes and find something they like to play with friends.

“You don’t need to be a hardcore gamer to play one of the bigger-name games,” Dewaay said. “We have multiple platforms for a variety of students.”

Robert Bodiroga, a senior studying management information systems, spends his evening free time playing the console game “Valorant” in the glass room at the esports room.

“It’s more of like a passion than an escape to play with other people,” Bodiroga said. “I like how there is a team environment where you can synergize with your peers and enjoy the game.”

“Valorant” is a free-to-play first-person tactical shooter game developed and published by Riot Games. Bodiroga likes to log online and play with five-or-so other players for a social experience.

“It’s great to be with people who share the same passion as you do,” Bodiroga said. “The experience can be a rush when you work together as a team. My guys and I work great together when we work out a strategy and get into the game.”

Operating the room is a different question as the amount of PC’s and consoles need constant cleaning and updates to make sure they fit the newer games. Samuel Thomas, a senior in management information systems, is one of the participants who helps make sure everything runs smoothly.

“We’ve been growing more as we open ourselves up to new students,” Thomas said. “So making sure everything is running smoothly is a big impact, especially with all the new games that have been released.”

Thomas’s responsibilities include dusting and polishing the equipment and regularly updating the computers to accommodate any updates they may have. 

Since the opening of the esports room, students of different backgrounds have made frequent visits and spend a majority of their night playing video games. Thomas’s work is greatly appreciated by his friends and fellow gamers, and a majority of students who visit thank him for his help with problems they have.

“All in all, we want students to come in and enjoy a social evening without having to worry about homework or work,” Thomas said. 

For more information on the esports room, visit the Iowa State Recreation Services Gaming & Esports webpage.