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CSUDH Unveils Toro Esports Academy, Paving the Way for its Competitive Gaming Program

In a momentous occasion attended by students, university officials, community partners, and local gamers from Compton Unified School District, the Toro Esports Academy at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) officially opened its doors on Monday, April 24. With a grand ribbon-cutting ceremony held on the second floor of the Leo F. Cain University Library, the innovative facility marked a significant milestone in the university's commitment to esports and its dedication to student success.

The Toro Esports Academy is a state-of-the-art venue that boasts 38 gaming stations, three broadcast stations equipped with top-of-the-line equipment, and valuable classroom space for academic courses to be conducted on-site. The competitive arena provides students with an immersive gaming experience, while the broadcast stations cater to those interested in pursuing careers in the esports and entertainment industry. This multifaceted facility is designed to embrace the five core aspects of esports at CSUDH: competition, academics and research, entertainment, opportunity, and community.

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, President Thomas A. Parham, assisted by Wenda Fong, chair of the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees, and Franky Saldana, president of the CSUDH Esports Association, ceremoniously marked the official opening of the Toro Esports Academy. The event garnered significant attention from Toros and the local media, highlighting the university's commitment to esports as a powerful tool for student engagement, preparedness, and retention.

President Parham reiterated the university's dedication to esports, highlighting its potential for fostering student success. He emphasized the importance of connecting Toro students and the surrounding communities. Parham remarked, "Esports at CSUDH is positioned to be a crucial engagement tool and will help bring future Toros to our beautiful campus."

Chair Fong expressed her enthusiasm for the new facility, recognizing its immense potential for the CSU system. She remarked, "I am excited about the tremendous potential that the Toro Esports Academy brings to CSU, creating new, innovative paths to achieve our mission of student success."

Distinguished speakers at the event included Alvaro Brito, esports director for Compton Unified School District; Mohsen Beheshti, chair of the CSUDH computer science department; Gerald Solomon, executive director of the Network of Academic and Scholastic Esports Federations, and Kevin Buchmiller, director of esports at CSUDH. Their speeches highlighted the collaborative efforts and partnerships that have contributed to establishing the Toro Esports Academy.

Following the inspiring speeches, attendees were treated to a tour of the facility and gaming demonstrations by Compton Unified School District students. The Esports Association and the district partnership have facilitated many events and workshops to develop computer skills among students.

Esports Association members expressed their delight at the facility's realization. Jenn Gutierrez, the club's secretary and diversity, equity, and inclusion coordinator, conveyed her excitement. "This has been anticipated for a really long time. It is nice to finally have our own space and see how nice everything turned out. I love it!"

Ricky Lopez, representing the fighting game community on campus and serving as the Esports Association event coordinator, emphasized the facility's significance beyond esports. "I'm really excited that this space is finally open for students to be able to do their thing. For me, as the event coordinator, it's important to find cool spaces for our students to have events." He emphasized that the facility would be used for on-campus events involving groups and organizations from across campus, not limited to esports.

APM Music is a proud partner of the CSDUH Toro eSports Academy.


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