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New NIU Esports Cafés open to the public at NIU Naperville and NIU Hoffman Estates



New NIU Esports Cafés open to the public at NIU Naperville and NIU Hoffman Estates

Two new NIU Esports Cafés are opening to NIU students and the public at the Northern Illinois University Naperville and Hoffman Estates regional centers, featuring gaming technology donated by Dell. The cafés will offer Dell gaming workstations, console gaming areas for visitors to play a wide range of video games and bring-your-own-computer tables for LAN parties. The NIU Esports Cafés will be available to rent for parties, tournaments and other events.

“We are delighted to introduce NIU Esports Cafés to the region,” says Anne Kaplan, NIU Vice President of Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development. “One goal for our regional centers is to build community, and that can come in the form of graduate classes, professional gatherings or competitive video gaming! We hope our students, alumni and friends will enjoy this exciting new opportunity, and we thank Dell for working with us to make it possible.”

Each location will feature twelve Dell Precision 3630 systems, which are configured specifically for video gaming with an Intel i7-8700 6 Core processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card.  Dell also donated Dell 27-inch gaming monitors and gaming keyboards, mice, headsets and webcams to complete the gaming workstations.

“To prepare students for a constantly changing, connected world, universities and colleges are embracing technology to stay in the forefront of education. Emerging technology, like virtual reality headsets and gaming platforms, deliver new kinds of collaborative and engaging learning experiences to students,” said Jennifer Sigmund, Senior Higher Education Strategist, Dell. “eSport programs offer students not only the opportunity to engage with the technology, but also help prepare them for future career, by providing them with an environment to enhance their communication, collaboration and team building skills.”

The use of PCs and video game consoles at the Esports Cafés will be free to registered NIU students and available to the public for an hourly fee. PC games can be played through a player’s own and Steam accounts. The cafes will offer a variety of console games on Xbox, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. Most paid games require the user’s own account or license to play.
NIU Esports is planning to host theme nights, tournaments and viewing parties throughout the year at the new spaces. The cafés will also be available for local high school and community college teams to rent for practice or tournaments. Community members are welcome to use the cafés for corporate events, online or LAN tournaments, parties or just a friendly drop-in game.

The NIU Esports Café in Naperville will open February 28, 2019, and Hoffman Estates will open April 4, 2019. Both locations will be open to the public on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 11 p.m. and will be free for registered NIU students with a valid OneCard. The cost for the public is $5 per hour or $45 for 10 hours, with special event pricing available to groups. NIU Naperville is located at1120 E. Diehl Rd., Naperville, IL 60563. NIU Hoffman Estates is at 5555 Trillium Blvd., Hoffman Estates, IL 60192

Grand opening events will take place at NIU Naperville on Friday, March 1, 2019, from 5 to 8 p.m. and at NIU Hoffman Estates on Friday, April 5, 2019, from 5 to 8 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Please RSVP to

For more information about esports at NIU, visit or contact

To reserve the café for your birthday or wedding party, esports practice or tournament, corporate team building event, or other group event, contact