Red Bull unveils new gaming hub in Waterford’s SETU

29 Aug 2023

Red Bull gaming hub in SETU. Image: ©INPHO/Red Bull Content Pool/Szymon Lazewski

The first of its kind in any Irish university, the Red Bull gaming hub will host national gaming tournaments, such as the Valorant Championship this November.

Red Bull has today (29 August) unveiled a new gaming hub in Waterford to boost the gaming sector in Ireland and support the development of third-level gamers.

Based at the South East Technological University (SETU) in Waterford, the new Red Bull gaming hub is the first of its kind in any Irish third-level institution. It marks a significant expansion of the energy drink company’s e-sports and gaming presence in Ireland.

The hub, which is equipped with Xbox consoles, an immersive sound system and even gaming bean bags, will be used to host national gaming tournaments, interactive workshops and livestream events.

Irish gamers will also have the opportunity to qualify for global e-sports tournaments via events hosted in the Red Bull Gaming Hub.

Katie Redmond, sports manager at SETU, said that the institution – a merger of IT Carlow and Waterford IT – became the first Irish third-level institute in 2020 to launch an e-sports scholarship.

“Since then, the Esports Club has swiftly risen to prominence as one of the most active clubs at SETU,” Redmond said at today’s launch event. Some of the Red Bull partners that made the gaming hub possible are SteelSeries, Intel, AGON by AOC and Backforce.

The hub also has what it calls a “chill-out area” where students can bring their laptops, connect to a high-speed network and work on their own creative projects. There’s also a 10-sided gaming table that allows for 5v5 gaming sessions on powerful gaming PCs.

“Our goal with this is to create a sports community where all students, current and future, who participate in e-sports can receive the same support and facilities as all our sports teams,” Redmond added.

In November, the hub will host the national finals of the global Valorant Championship, part of Red Bull Campus Clutch, a team-based tournament open only to those in third-level education.

Red Bull Campus Clutch will see more than 200 regional and national tournaments take place across the globe this autumn. The best gamers advance to the world finals, which is hosted in Istanbul this year with a €20,000 cash prize on offer.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic