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Leveling Up: Carolina Gaming Arena Elevates Cary E-Sports Academy with State-of-the-Art Lenovo Computers

January 24, 2024

By Sophia Raspanti

The Carolina Gaming Arena has been busy. Over the past few weeks, while campus has been quiet through the winter holiday, the team at ResNET has been working with Lenovo to bring over 33 new gaming PCs and upgraded technology to this exciting campus space. But the partnership doesn’t stop there: the Carolina Gaming Arena worked with the North Carolina Esports Academy in Cary to empower education through gaming in the local community.

This week, the Carolina Gaming Arena donated over 30 gaming PCs to the North Carolina E-sports Academy. The academy, which operates as a hands-on gaming, E-sports, and STEM education organization, focuses on youth development in the triangle area.

“It’s important to me, especially because the machines that we are donating still have life in them,” said Phil Young, director of ResNET at UNC Chapel Hill, “To think that they would go somewhere and be resold… I’d love to see them go somewhere where someone can use them.”

Photos by Information Technology Services at UNC

Lenovo’s partnership with the Carolina Gaming Arena recently resulted in an exciting upgrade for gamers on UNC’s campus, bringing over 30 brand-new, state-of-the-art Legion T7 desktops.

On a chilly Wednesday morning, the team from North Carolina Esports Academy worked with ResNET staff to safely transport over 30 Lenovo gaming PCs as well as other cutting-edge equipment from the Carolina Gaming Arena, located in Craige Residence Hall, to the Esports Academy in Cary, NC.

North Carolina Esports Academy co-founder Caleb Smith looks forward to the opportunities additional PCs and technological equipment will bring to the organization. Caleb and Vinny Smith created the academy in October 2020 as a space where children could receive educational experiences in technology, health & wellness, and character development through video games and esports.

I spoke with Caleb Smith, who emphasized the importance of safe and fun opportunities for youth to socialize in a productive and meaningful way. Smith highlighted how esports and video games offer an opportunity to build community, one of the primary goals of the North Carolina Esports Academy.

Photos by Information Technology Services at UNC

Aside from gaming, the academy also offers STEM camps for youth ages K-12, which include lessons on coding and scripting, architecture, and engineering, and more. The NC Esports Academy hopes to reimagine the future of education by integrating video games into STEM education, allowing educators to meet students where there are at to foster a generation of motivated, inspired, and passionate learners.

Back at UNC, Phil Young looks forward to the future of the Carolina Gaming Arena and its mission to build community on campus through games. Furthermore, Young stresses that the arena isn’t just for UNC students: the arena is available for faculty, staff… anyone with an active ONYEN.

Click here to learn more about the Carolina Gaming Arena.

Click here to learn more about the North Carolina Esports Academy.

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