Harrisburg Esports team to open public-facing gaming center this year

Ioannis Pashakis//June 10, 2021

Harrisburg Esports team to open public-facing gaming center this year

Ioannis Pashakis//June 10, 2021

A rendering of the LAN Center by Murray Associates. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Harrisburg Esports team the Susquehanna Soniqs plans to build a public-facing Esports center for events, competitions and teaching.

The team’s “LAN Center” is set to open this fall and would provide a space for community members to participate in gaming and Esports activities, something that is lacking on the East Coast, according to Darren Moore, general manager for the Soniqs.

“So far, Esports has predominantly lived on the West Coast – specifically Los Angeles,” said Moore. “The Soniqs have opened the door for Esports on the East Coast over the past two years and the LAN center is just another way for people to get more involved.”

The Soniqs were founded in 2018 as a professional Esports organization headquartered in the midstate and currently has teams in four separate competitive games. This year, the Soniqs won the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds World Championship in South Korea, taking home a prize of $1.2 million.

Between the Soniqs and Harrisburg University’s team, HU Storm, Harrisburg has proven to have a growing Esports community and is a great location for something like the LAN Center, said Moore.

At the center, visitors will have access to high-end gaming equipment where they can participate in tournaments, take workshops to improve their skills and view games as spectators.

“It has always been a goal of ours to bring Esports to everyone,” said Moore. “With this LAN center, we will achieve this goal – being a place for anyone to come play, learn and provide a home for local fans to watch our games.”

Esports has proven to be a booming global industry with a market set to surpass $1.5 billion by 2023, according to Business Insider. That growth has been quickened by a swiftly expanding audience coming from traditional sports media outlets like ESPN.

As the public familiarizes itself with the competitive gaming scene, Moore said that Esports teams will find more and more ways to involve their fans.

“Already, organizations have begun investing millions of dollars into Esports arenas and training facilities. The LAN center is just a small part of what’s to come for Soniqs,” he said.