Published on March 12th, 2021 | by University Communications


Saint Leo opens innovative Esports Arena, welcomes new team

Saint Leo University unveiled its newest amenity, a 12-station Esports Arena, on Wednesday, March 10, in Apartment Building 5 at University Campus. The new arena will serve as the home to the university’s new esports team, and when not in use by the team, other students may use the arena and increase their skills using state-of -the-art gaming stations.

Saint Leo’s esports team is a school-sponsored and funded club sport that fields competitive, multiplayer teams in League of Legends, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate games. The university’s state-of-the-art gaming stations also will stream to the Building 5 lobby onto four big-screen TVs so that the audience could be 100 or more. In addition, the team has a Twitch profile so that matches will be streamed via Twitch and people around the world can access the Lions’ play.

Coach and Manager Joel Madru praised his team at Wednesday’s grand opening. “Standing before you are 21 esports student-athletes,” he said. “Hopefully we will bring a trophy back to Saint Leo.”

At Wednesday’s grand opening, Father Randall Meissen, university chaplain, blessed the arena and the student-athletes. In addition to University President Jeffrey Senese and Vice President of Student Affairs Jen Shaw, Chief Technology Officer Manny Rodriguez and Student Government Union President Ashley Butler gave welcoming comments.

A “superstar” team featuring Dr. Barbara Caldwell, chair of accounting, finance, and economics; Frank Orlando, director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute and political science instructor; Dr. Melanie Storms, senior vice president; and President Senese, tried out the arena and “competed” under the guidance of Madru and team member Gabriel Tice. The team later gave Senese his own gaming controller.

To learn more about Saint Leo’s esports team and the Esports Arena, see

Enjoy some photos from the grand opening of the Esports Arena! 

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