Game development

UH students help launch esports and tech lab in Waipahu

Members of uh Manoa and UH West Oʻahu esports teams played an exhibition match against HPU.

A new state-of-the-art technology facility that will help teach valuable game and software development skills to Hawaii‘s residents in the booming esports industry was launched by the University of Hawaii in Manoa and uh West Oʻahu esports players.

people sitting around computers
The players prepare for the game

The true Esports + Tech Lab at Waipahu Public Library by Tech Readiness User Assessment (true) initiative of the Hawaii Executive Collaborative was unveiled at an event on July 14. To promote the laboratory, players from uh Manoa and uh West Oʻahu showed off their skills through an exhibition match against Hawaii University of the Pacific (HPU), which was broadcast live on ʻŌlelo Community media.

“Participation of uh The esports teams highlight how vital our university’s program is to broader esports community planning,” said Nyle Sky Kauweloaa spring 2022 communication and information sciences PhD graduate and head of uh Mānoa Esports Working Group at the College of Social Sciences. “The true the esports initiative will collaborate with the uh esports program by providing instruction, mentorship and support to students in the Waipahu community, many of whom are underserved, with the tech industry and through the relationships built between students who might never have imagined that they could attend college through esports.

uh first Hawaiiesports endeavors

people talk to each other next to computers
govt. David Ige meets with members of the uh esports teams.

A new report projects that global esports revenue will hit $1.38 billion in 2022, up from $1.08 billion in 2021. uh has been at the forefront of state efforts to create more esports opportunities in the islands.

For the second consecutive year, uh Mānoa will host an Overwatch League regular season global tournament in July 2022. The tournament is expected to provide uh students with valuable learning opportunities. In 2021, uh Mānoa’s esports program was nominated by peers across the country as one of the top 10 finalists for the nation’s best college esports program.

uh West OʻahuPueo Gaming’s esports program is led by the President John del Rosario and vice president Garrett Lau. The organization is growing in popularity and is currently fielding teams for games such as Valorant and League of Legends.

Pueo Gaming Member Melanie Denda said, “Participating in the TRUE event was truly a blessing. The Mānoa esports community and HPU has so many passionate and friendly members. It’s amazing to see Hawaii to be recognized for esports and to be able to see the value of competitive gaming.

More on the true Esports + Tech Lab

I see this as a seminal moment for the esports and tech industry community here in Hawaii.
—Jannel “JJ” Nanquil

The laboratory is the result of a collaboration between the public and private sectors. It will be home to the first community high school competitive esports team with a dedicated coach (Jannel “JJ” Nanquilone spring 2021 uh Mānoa biology graduate and former uh captain of the Mānoa esports team) and will face other teams locally. Community members can learn and get certified in basic software development and coding. The content is available free of charge to library members. The lab opens to the public on July 27.

“I see this as a seminal moment for the esports and tech industry community here in HawaiiNanquil said. “This is a unique opportunity as it provides the tools to succeed and find a career in a growing industry where the barrier to entry is usually the financial cost of a high end. computer. I am happy to be part of it and I believe we can achieve this for the rest of the 50 public libraries.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for the state to put our economy on a solid path to digitalization,” said govt. David Ige. “As we work to diversify our economy, we have found a great opportunity in the STEM Industries. We know the potential of our state and our people. Now the world will see it.

-By Marc Arakaki

people with microphones talking
Jannel “JJ” Nanquil addresses the crowd at the Waipahu Public Library.