Florida Southern College’s mascot, Mocsie, watches as Drew Howard, director of athletics and dean of wellness, plays a round of Rocket League with Class of 1990 alumnus and CPS Investment Advisors President and CEO, Peter Golotko, and Mocs Esports player and sophomore Isaac Garay. (Florida Southern College photo / Calvin Knight)
May 13, 2021
Florida Southern has expanded and upgraded its on-campus facilities for community-based computer gaming by creating a large esports arena. The newly transformed space, known for years as the Snake Pit – in reference to the College’s water moccasin mascot – will continue to carry that name. Mocs Esports teams occasionally will use the new arena for varsity tournament play; however, its primary purpose is to accommodate gaming by the general student population.
“Esports is a fast growing industry; in the U.S., esports is predicted to have more viewers than any other sports league excluding the NFL, with an expected 200 percent growth by 2024,” says Dr. Anne B. Kerr, president of Florida Southern College. “We recently announced that the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise will introduce an undergraduate minor and a Master of Business Education (MBA) concentration related to competitive gaming. So, this new gaming area is a perfect addition to the educational and job opportunities for our scholars.”
The new esports arena features 30 state-of-the-art gaming stations, with additional seating for students who use gaming consoles. Projection technology will be available for varsity and community competitions, and furnishings will be movable to make space for in-person spectators and to allow for additional versatility during events.
Florida Southern’s new Snake Pit arena is sponsored by CPS Investment Advisors, a Lakeland-based independent financial advisory firm. FSC alumnus Peter Golotko ’90 MBA ’96, the company’s president and CEO, participated in the official dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting on May 11.
“CPS and its many proud alumni of Florida Southern are excited to support the rapidly expanding career opportunities and on-campus outlets for social engagement that collegiate esports provides,” Golotko says. “We look forward to following the progress of FSC’s varsity gaming teams on the national stage, and we are eager for the business school’s launch of its new esports-centered academic programs.”
Florida Southern has been at the forefront of the booming esports phenomenon since 2017. Members of the Mocs Esports League of Legends varsity team recently competed for the first time in the finals of the North American College League of Legends Championship Tournament. Going forward, students will be able to become involved with esports in three separate areas: as varsity-level competitors or fans; through the new academic programs; and via community-focused gameplay in the Snake Pit arena.
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