Magic City ePLEX to open, host high school championship

The city’s new gaming and virtual reality entertainment center is opening this month.

The 18,000-square-foot Magic City ePLEX opens Jan. 31 at the Crestwood Festival Center in Birmingham.

As previously reported, the facility will serve the growing eSports market by serving as an eSports training, competition hosting and development location as well as general space for video game play.

“The Magic City ePLEX is a first-of-its-kind gaming and virtual reality center and one of the largest arena-based e-sports complexes in the Southeast, making it ideal for anything from statewide tournaments, corporate outings and team building experiences to birthday parties and local leagues,” said ePLEX General Manager Rene Cain. “eSports complexes are gaining momentum across the country and we are proud to bring the first to Alabama and the largest to the Southeast.”

As a part of its grand opening celebrations, the ePLEX will host the inaugural Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) eSports State Championship. The competition will be, according to the ePLEX, the first head-to-head and officially sanctioned high school eSports Championship held in the Southeast.

“It is so great to have the state championship in a venue like the Magic City ePLEX,” said Marvin Chou, AHSAA assistant director. “The student athletes are very excited to compete in front of family, friends and fans.”

The facility is hoping to capture the growing high school eSports market, especially since the AHSAA designated eSports as an official varsity sport. The eSports market has been an every growing market in the United States, with many cities and professional sports teams investing heavily in facilities to host competitions and to organize leagues and teams for competition.

The High School Championship will take place Feb. 1.

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