CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — UNC Charlotte gamers could see a boost to their eSports program, thanks to the North Carolina General Assembly.

The school gaming program will get $1.5 million from the recent state budget for a “dedicated eSports space” in Norm’s Loft in the Popp Martin Student Union. School leaders say they’ll start work on the design and construction of the space once they get the funding.

UNC Charlotte alum and current state representative Jason Saine worked for the school to get the appropriation. 

The school’s program has grown by leaps and bounds since 2013, with just a few students involved. School leaders now say there are more than 2,4000 participants engaged in the program, with Charlotte students and alumni grabbing controllers.

In a press release, the school championed its status within the gamer world. Last December, Charlotte was among the 10 universities nominated for Collegiate Program of the Year at the Esports Awards. Nine of the competing institutions have varsity esports programs, while Charlotte was the only student-led club. 

Six months later, Niner Esports won Club of the Year at EsportsU’s 2023 Collegiate Awards, and Sanchez was runner-up for Club President of the Year.