JCC unveils new esports arena

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 6:09 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Jefferson Community College is looking to log in and level up in the rapidly growing world of collegiate esports with the unveiling of its brand new esports arena.

“It’s unbelievable man. It’s really hard to put into words - just being able to test out the new equipment, being able to just hang out with everybody who has the same interests and the same competitive edge as me. It’s an unreal feeling,” said Dani Nicholson, esport athlete.

The Cannoneers cut the ribbon Thursday afternoon on their new, state-of-the-art gaming arena for its first season in competitive collegiate gaming.

With more than two dozen gaming stations, college leaders hope this will create a culture of community on campus.

“As we’ve been remote and things of that sort, we know that technology is huge. So esports is right along the lines with that. So now we have students that can literally talk with and compete with other students in a different state, in a different city, in a different country,” said Corey Campbell, vice president for Student Engagement & Retention.

“It’s still all about teamwork; you know, sportsmanship, teamwork, leadership ability. So they all get those, within sports, they all get those lifelong learning experiences. Hopefully, with esports, we’ll do the same thing,” said JCC Athletics Director Jeff Wiley.

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“Student-athletes, they have to meet a different demand than other students. In order to continue to play you have GPA requirements, you have all these things. This is an opportunity to engage students and get them engaged, and keep them here on campus until they get their degree,” said JCC Administrator in Charge Dr. Daniel Dupee.

First-year head coach and former student-athlete Joseph Wargo is building a program from square one.

“Working with other schools right now, trying to get some different scrimmages set up for our different game titles that we’re offering. Our teams and rosters will be in here throughout the weeks working together, playing together. Practicing like any other sport, you know, working together and learning each other’s play styles. In that, we’ll have a month to get ready to go between that and scrimmages. So we’ll be ready to go for October 3rd,” he said.

JCC will compete in games like Fortnite, Madden NFL Football and a variety of titles from the Call of Duty Series. Sign-ups for the Fall 2022 season can be found on the JCC athletics homepage.

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