Two professional gamers from Overland Park and a former professional hockey player have teamed up to launch the only Esports arena in Overland Park, Johnson County or even the Midwest.
Located at 7300 W. 119th. St. in Overland Park, LEVELUP Esports Arena officially opened on Thursday, April 8.
It’s considered the third-largest such Esports venue in the country. Heading up the arena are Joshua Garr and Stuart Keener, who bring the gaming expertise and vision, as well as Ryan Hughes, another like-minded entrepreneur.
The arena has the kind of gamer vibe you may expect, featuring about 25 PCs physically spaced out in the dimly-lit arena with room to grow once it’s safer to gather indoors after the COVID-19 pandemic. Alternative and punk rock music is playing. The stage is nearly finished and ready for live-streaming competitions.
“The things people have to understand is that when you do gaming, it’s no different than any other sport you do,” Garr said. “It’s no different than football or basketball or baseball. It’s just a little different kind of training.”
Garr said some of the relationships he’s built through gaming are some of the strongest he has. In fact, friends he’s made from around the world are flying in to show their support.
“Bringing this here to Kansas City and Overland Park specifically allows