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Franklin College formally unveiled its new esports arena on Wednesday (Dec. 8) afternoon, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony inside the Spurlock Center to officially usher in the era of GRIZ Gaming.

Franklin’s esports program was announced back in March 2021 and the Griz gamers spent the fall season competing against other colleges in various games, taking part in a full Rocket League season. However, with the arena under construction during the fall, the Grizzlies were forced to migrate elsewhere on campus to compete. This spring, the Griz Gamers will be able to play full seasons of multiple games in their own location.

“The world of esports and competitive gaming is expanding very quickly,” Director of Athletics Andrew Hendricks said. “Franklin College is proud to have entered this market early, and we are already seeing results. The program is appealing to new prospective students, and our teams are being exposed to a wide breadth of opportunities that parallel the gaming industry. This new arena gives our teams a competitive advantage over many programs by providing a dedicated space to compete, strategize, and collaborate while also building positive relationships with one another. We are grateful to those who helped dream this idea and provide the necessary funding to make it a reality.”

Franklin College esports program director and head coach Todd Burris added, “While it is exciting to see the next evolution of the student college athlete compete at Franklin College, it is also exciting for those who donated to see the end results of their generosity.”

With a new home featuring state-of-the-art technology in place, the Griz gamers will turn their attention to the spring season where they will compete in Rocket League, CS:GO, League of Legends, Super Smash Bros., Fortnite and Call of Duty.

For more information, contact Ryan Thomas, assistant director of athletics for communications, at rthomas@FranklinCollege.edu.

Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential liberal arts and sciences institution located 20 minutes south of Indianapolis. Franklin offers a wide array of undergraduate majors as well as master’s degree programs in Physician Assistant Studies and Athletic Training. The unique curriculum merges classroom instruction with immersive experiences, research opportunities and study away programs. Students participate in 21 NCAA Division III sports, Greek Life, musical and theatre productions, and more than 40 student organizations. As the first college in Indiana to become coeducational with the admission of women, Franklin welcomes diversity of thought, belief and person into a community that values equity and inclusion. Franklin College maintains a voluntary association with the American Baptist Churches USA. For more information, visit www.FranklinCollege.edu. Find Franklin College on Facebook and follow @FranklinCollege on Twitter.

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