Wildcats 2049
December 30, 2020

Yes, the University of Kentucky has a dedicated e-sports facility and yes, it looks sick

For years, we’ve watched as big-time college sports programs across America have upgraded and expanded their facilities like they were putting in new rides at Disney World. Clemson built a slide so their kids could get in touch with their inner, um, kids. LSU turned their locker room into a first-class cabin the likes of which Saudi sheiks and George Clooney frequent. Hell, even South Carolina got in on the renovations, and South Carolina are trash. But over at the University of Kentucky, the Wildcats are doing things a little different, shaking up the established order with the very first (to our knowledge) Power Five e-sports complex. Sorry, Coach Cal. Guess you’re going to have to take a paycut.

This is just a peek at UK’s so-called “Innovation Hub,” where blue-chip gaming recruits can be found powning noobs 24 hours a day from August through May. Call us old fogeys (the surest sign someone is an old fogey is when they say “old fogey”), but we never thought we’d see a D-1 school open their own e-sports facility, and we especially didn’t think it would look this good.

With UK men’s basketball sitting at 1-6 and Coach Cal excommunicating players for crying on the bench, perhaps the future is now down in Lexington. Out with the old, in with the new. After all, fragging some Belarusian troll with a vorpal sword from the comfort of your university-subsidized, ergonomically-designed gaming throne seems like a hell of a lot more fun than throwing some dumb orange ball through a peach basket.