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NIU Esports Gaming PC Upgrades

Raised toward our $8,000 Goal
58 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on May 03, at 11:59 PM CDT
Project Owners

NIU Esports needs your support!

What is NIU Esports?

NIU Esports is an inclusive program for gamers of all backgrounds, abilities and skill levels to play video games and have fun together.

Our goal is to position the NIU Esports varsity teams as national competitors and leaders of collegiate esports in northern Illinois and our club as a welcoming place to support the social and educational aspects of video gaming.

Our Pillars

Build community

Through the Esports Arena on the DeKalb Campus, we've built a space to gather, play, compete and learn from one another.

GG House, our Esports Special Interest Community in Neptune East, is designed just for esports enthusiasts to live together, make friends, learn about careers in esports and, of course, play video games!

We hold events throughout the year to help connect NIU students, alumni, high school and community college students and anyone who enjoys playing video games.

Each year, we host an Esports Career Lecture Series, where industry professionals share the story of their path to a career in esports.

Promote healthy gaming practices

Our program puts gaming and competition into perspective. Our code of conduct promotes positive, constructive behavior, and emphasizes a balance between playing video games, studying, resting and building positive relationships. We find that by creating places to compete together in person, players look after one another and help support that balance.

Support new technologies in learning and research

Our Esports Arena provides an exciting setting for faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students to do esports-related research in their fields of study. We offer the opportunity to teach courses or conduct research studies using the equipment in our facilities.

Our Varsity Program

NIU is a founding member of the Esports Collegiate Conference (ESC) that officially launched in the summer of 2020. The 2020-21 academic year is our first competing in the ESC against the other Mid-America Conference member schools and Northeastern University. We have three varsity teams, playing Rocket League, League of Legends and Overwatch. We currently have 27 student players and three student coaches.

Each of our three teams practices and competes from the NIU Esports Arena, a dedicated space on campus that is also home to our current batch of esports computer setups. The space also serves students with open-play hours that help to spread awareness of the benefits of esports, while also providing a place for students to find community and have fun.

What is the goal of our campaign?

Our goal is to raise enough money to purchase at least four computer setups (gaming PC/computer tower, mousepad, mouse, headset, keyboard, gaming chair, monitor) for our esports arena. These computers will be dedicated for our varsity players, thus freeing up four existing computers for club members and current students to use casually. Each setup costs approximately $2,000, and a relative breakdown of costs is provided in our donation levels. 

Our current esports computers aren’t liquid cooled, which creates the potential for our PCs to overheat during competition. Replacing these computers with state-of-the-art equipment will allow us to compete on an even playing field with our Esports Collegiate competitors during tournament play and give our players peace of mind that their computers won’t get in the way of playing their best.

What will be the impact of my support?

The impact of having new computers is multi-layered:

  1. As our rivals in the Esports Collegiate Conference level up their equipment, we too must level up ours to stay ahead of the pack.
  2. Our premium-grade varsity computers will serve as an important morale booster and an important centerpiece as we work to attract the best esports athletes in the region. These PCs serve as a recognition for our players who invest 10-15 hours each week into the program, even without any form of scholarship or award recognition.
  3. Our esports program in general at NIU is growing, and the number of students interested in playing casually and competitively has increased dramatically in the last 18 months. A unique objective of our program is make our esports arena open to all enrolled students and encourage those who may not have access to a gaming PC to try out our equipment at no cost. By providing eight more computers to our stock of non-varsity PCs, we allow more students to play for fun during our open-play sessions.

This fundraiser is extremely important to our NIU Esports program. We aren’t funded by any student fees and we have no sponsors at this time. Our spending has been severely limited by reductions in our budget, and we’ve had to delay any major equipment purchases. At the same time, we’re excited to be able to compete against 12 other schools in the Esports Collegiate Conference, and we would like to be able to compete on a level playing field.

Choose a giving level


Mousepad for NIU Esports

While many overlook the importance of a mousepad, it serves a vital purpose in a gaming PC. Not only does it help with the comfort of using the mouse, but it also protects our desks. A gift of $10 will allow us to provide a mousepad for our stations!


Mouse for NIU Esports

Did you know? The first computer mouse was developed in the early 1960s, but didn't become commercially popular until 1984 with the Macintosh. A gift of $25 will allow us to provide a gaming mouse for our stations!


Headset for NIU Esports

In a competitive esports setting, headsets serve many roles of great importance. The headsets not only allow the players to hear the game and to communicate with their teammates, but also keep crowd noise out to allow the team to concentrate while they play. A gift of $50 will allow us to provide a headset for our stations!


Keyboard for NIU Esports

From mechanical (clicky) to membrane (silent) and back again, the computer keyboard has gone through many iterations, but has always been one of the most essential pieces of the computer setup. A gift of $100 will allow us to provide a gaming keyboard for our stations!


Chair for NIU Esports

Traditionally modeled off of racing seats in cars, gaming chairs not only provide the lumbar support our players need for a practice or gameday, but provide the boost of looking stylish in NIU red and black while doing so. A gift of $250 will allow us to provide a chair for our stations!


Monitor for NIU Esports

In the world of esports, where every millisecond matters, having a high refresh rate and clear image on your monitor can be the difference between victory and defeat. Therefore, a gift of $500 will allow us to provide one such monitor for our stations!


Computer Tower for NIU Esports

We put our computer towers under immense stress during our competitive sessions, so having the equipment to match the task is vital. A gift of $1,000 will allow us to provide a liquid-cooled, gaming computer tower for our stations!

Our Crowdfunding Groups