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Attention gamers! Did you know Birmingham will be home to the Magic City ePLEX, the first dedicated Esports Arena in the Southeast? Here’s what you need to know.
I was first introduced to video games with Call of Duty, all the way back in 2003. During middle and high school, I spent my free time playing video games, such as Minecraft, with friends. However, I never dreamed that video games would become as huge as they are today.
eSports coming to a school near you
I was surprised to learn that the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) recently started an eSports program. “eSports” stands for Electronic Sports, which takes video games to a new level. eSports require teamwork, communication, strategy, and more.
In high schools throughout Alabama, students can join their school team and compete for a state championship. However, many high school eSports programs do not have the necessary funding. As a result, the players are torn between playing on their school’s outdated computers, or purchasing their own. Since gaming computers can cost upwards of $1000, it is a difficult choice.
So, that’s where the ePLEX comes in
In order to support local teams, the ePLEX will offer a plethora of opportunities for gamers.
- 40 PC gaming stations powered by top-of-the-line HP Omen Desktops
- Virtual Reality from VR Studios and SpringboardVR
- These wireless headsets will allow the user to game in a free-roam environment
- Retro Alley: featuring classic arcade games such as Pac-Man, Galaga, and Pinball
- Console room with 18 Playstation’s and Xbox’s
- Competition stage with 10 stations, all streaming to Twitch.tv
“We provide an atmosphere that fosters the creation of relationships between gamers, spectators and entertainment seekers of all ages and skill levels.”
Play, train and compete
For some players, video games aren’t just fun and games.
For those who want to take their eSports gameplay to the next level, the ePLEX has helpful resources. In addition to offering a place to practice, the ePLEX’s coaching academy will help players bring their gameplay to the next level.
“Around the country, all the big arenas are pro-centric. We are the first eSports studio to focus on amateur players.”Chris Donaldson, Director and Financial Committee Chair at ePLEX
Don’t worry parents–there’s something for you too!
When I was a kid, my parents sat out in the hot sun for hours while I played tee-ball. If the ePLEX had been around back then, I bet my parents would have chosen the ePLEX over sitting in Alabama’s summer heat!
In addition to the state-of-the-art eSports equipment, the ePLEX offers entertainment for non-gamers. The ePLEX restaurant features food options ranging from pizza to salads. Additionally, there are 8 taps featuring local beers from Birmingham’s breweries. Furthermore, the restaurant TV will let you watch your child’s gameplay while you enjoy some rest and relaxation.
When can I start to play at the ePLEX?
- The ePLEX is scheduled to open in mid-November
Since the eSports market grows every day, it’s exciting to see Birmingham lead the way in this emerging industry. We can’t wait to see what happens at the Magic City ePLEX!