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Herkimer College opens Esports Center

By Traci DeLore (


Herkimer College cut the ribbon on its new Esports Center on Nov. 16. From left to right, esports team members Jack Barkett, Maddison Campagna, Joe Hazzard, and William Hazzard show off their gaming skills. (Photo credit: Herkimer College)

HERKIMER, N.Y. — Herkimer College on Thursday unveiled its new Esports Center.

The center helps round out the college’s offerings surrounding the gaming industry, including a new esports management associate degree.

“We are extremely proud of this amazing facility,” Nicholas F. Laino, officer-in-charge and senior VP of administration and finance at Herkimer College, said in a news release. “It has surpassed all my expectations. And this is only the start. We have plans for phase two of this project, expanding to accommodate many more gaming stations and a gallery for fans to watch the competitions.”

Located in the college’s technology center, the gaming hub features 13 gaming machines along with Nintendo Switch and SONY PlayStation 5 gaming consoles. The center is engineered with Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant Spectrum Esports Evolution desks and digital displays along with other gamer-ready technology and support.

Esports is a billion-dollar industry that involves professional or semi-professional gaming. Herkimer College, recognizing the potential for job growth, launched its esports management degree to position graduates for careers in events management, broadcasting, facilities, game-day management and operations, public relations, marketing, and sales.

The college, which hosted the Extra Life National Game Day 24-hour charity gaming marathon earlier in November, launched the Generals esports athletic program in 2020. It joins more than 600 teams and 1,500 student athletes as a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association Esports.

The Generals esports team clinched a national championship in “Call of Duty Gunfight” along with three top-four finishes and a top-eight placement across various games in its more than five seasons of competition.

“I’m happy the esports team now has a facility to match their skills and championship record,” Herkimer College Board of Trustees Chair Michael Stalteri, Sr. said.

Herkimer County Community College offers more than 40 certificate and associate-degree programs to a study body of about 2,500.