MTC Students Level Up with New Esports Arena Powered by Pillar Credit Union
(Marion) Dozens of students, faculty, staff and community partners came out to celebrate the ribbon cutting of Marion Technical College’s new Esports Arena powered by Pillar Credit Union. The crowd played each other in Mario Kart, Smash Brothers and a live action Rocket League to win prizes and try out the gaming fun. Many local notables are excited about the new opportunities for Marion Tech students.
Matt Carbary, president of the Marion Area Chamber of Commerce, shared that he had been a nationally ranked Halo player in college. While bringing home a $10,000 prize from a tournament was memorable, Carbary said he was richer in many ways from the experience.
“I made friends for life. I had a lot of fun. It was a big step in helping me be a more outgoing and confident person. It taught me communication, teamwork, strategy, and problem solving, among other thing,” Carbary said. “As someone with mild cerebral palsy who trained others with disabilities, video games can be so accessible to so many.”
“It’s a no-brainer. There’s no question about it. Once we learned about all the accessibility, how it is not dependent on a certain age or a certain gender – any kind of thing like that. Everyone is welcome and that’s something that we truly believe in and wanted to get behind,” said Daniel Bradshaw, Marketing Manager with Pillar Credit Union.
Marion Tech Esports Coordinator Sam Moore also found his love for gaming in college.
“I started getting interested in this community and this scene. There’s so much energy and passion. It’s the great equalizer,” Moore said.
Marion Tech students can stop by the Esports Arena to play casually or to learn about joining one of the teams. Teams have already formed for Overwatch, Rocket League and Smash Brothers. We hope to field teams in the fall of 2022.
“We are excited to bring the public to this state-of-the-art computer gaming lab and to our coach and team members,” said Dr. Ryan McCall, president of Marion Tech. “This is another way to bring value to our students and strengthen our campus community. Many skills learned in Esports can lead to great careers, such as IT and cyber security.”
Marion Tech values Pillar’s partnership and support for a sport popular with people of all ages and abilities. According to a 2021 Survey from the Entertainment Software Association, 76% of US children and two out of three American adults play video games, a figure which increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The average video gamer is 31 years old. Nearly half of the video gamers are female.
“The Marion Tech Leaders Esports program is focused on creating an inclusive, welcoming space for students to play games, engage in club activities, and compete nationally with other colleges and universities,” Moore said.
The Marion Tech Esports Club is a welcoming atmosphere for running events and playing games with friends. Moore is recruiting talent for a variety of games, from Super Smash Brothers to League of Legends, Overwatch and more.
“We value Pillar Credit Union’s investment in our students. This will help create richer opportunities for our students,” said Dr. Ryan McCall, president of Marion Tech.
With more than 2,673 students, Marion Tech services a broad section of students from ages 12 to working parents across many counties and helps them get to their next dream, degree, certification or goal.
For more information on the Marion Tech Esports program, go to mtc.edu. For more on Pillar Credit Union, go to bankwithpillar.com