New Esports Arena

Championship-level team now has a top-notch home


Andres Sanchez

The new Madison College Esports Arena is located on the second floor of the Truax Building and is filled with gaming stations and ergonomic seating for the competitors

Cole Downing, Sports Editor

Madison College’s newest athletics team now officially has a home. Madison College esports now has an official base of operations, the Madison College Esports Arena.
Located on the second floor of the Truax campus, the new arena is a short walk away from the college’s athletics offices, and a couple rooms back from the main walkway.
From the outside it’s still hard to notice for now with only a small sign marking the space. Once inside, however, it’s hard not to be impressed by the technological power the arena holds and understand the new energy it brings to the already successful young program.
“It’s really exciting to see it all come together in such a short amount of time.” esports head coach Joe Hanson commented, highlighting the speed that Goodman Sports Complex and Enterprise Coordinator Bill Kegler and the rest of Madison College were able to put together a high-quality space.
Kegler also commented that he felt good about the arena, saying “it’s like a dream still.”
Established in the Fall 2020 semester, this semester’s season will mark only the fourth season. The team’s beginning has been a successful one. The team has won a NJCAAE National Championship in each of its first three seasons, with back-to-back in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate titles and most recently a Valorant championship.
According to Hanson, the pitch for the arena came up in March 2021 and the timeline from then to actualization was only seven months. The hardest component to figure out was vendors for all the equipment the team needed.
“Esports is still a pretty new space as far as companies that are jumping into providing furniture and hardware etc., not to mention that the COVID pandemic made acquiring PC hardware a nightmare for most folks,” said Hanson about the difficulties of finding reliably high-level equipment for his team.
Hanson and Kegler also both noted that there’s still work to do, but just having the arena operational for the team is a great feeling and makes the upcoming high-expectation season even more exciting.
In addition to just team operations, the Madison College Esports Arena will also be used for community purposes. Last semester was the second year in a row that Madison College hosted the state high school esports tournament. This year they were able to do so in the new arena while it was still coming together.
Hanson said that hosting the tournament builds increased community support for esports programs and also serves as a great chance to promote and recruit for the Madison College team as well.
Plus, Kegler explained that camps would be offered over the summer inside the arena for local students interested in learning about coding.
“We want all of our athletes to have a great experience here at Madison College, and to have the esports players have a place that they feel comfortable in and that they can compete at a high level in is really important,” said Kegler.