It’s About to Get Virtually Real in Birmingham

Gaming in the Magic City is about to scale up several levels.

The Magic City ePLEX, an 18,000-square-foot palace of gaming and virtual reality entertainment being described as Alabama’s largest VR center, is set to open on Friday at the Crestwood Festival Center.

“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,” says Rene Cain, adding “eSports complexes are gaining momentum across the country and we are proud to bring the first to Alabama and the largest to the Southeast.”

The Grand Opening on Jan. 31 will have students from across the state competing in the first-ever Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) eSports State Championship. The AHSSA 2020 Championship will be the first head-to-head, officially sanctioned high school eSports Championship in the Southeast.

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

The championship will feature the state finalists in League of Legends and Rocket League at the ePLEX to determine the state champion team for each game. The final teams competing in League of Legends are Bob Jones Patriots from Madison and Thompson High School Warriors from Alabaster. The finalists in Rocket League are Bob Jones Patriots and Grissom High School Tigers from Huntsville. Alabama is one of the first states to sanction esports as a varsity sport.

Tickets for the 2019 State Championship are available from AHSAA or at the door.

The Magic City ePLEX will feature HP Omen PCs and consoles by the hour with popular games to play or try out. Visitors will have a chance to join leagues, play in weekly tournaments or play with friends.

The complex also has VR racing simulators from a Birmingham-based Nemesis Lab for an incredible virtual racing experience. Visit for details.

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