Full Sail Stories
Published Mar 25, 2019
Full Sail Offers Guests a Sneak Peek of The Fortress
The space is currently the largest esports arena to occupy a college campus in the United States.
One year after launching Full Sail Armada, its collegiate esports team, Full Sail University offered students, faculty, staff, and local media an exclusive look inside The Fortress, the university’s brand new esports arena. Guests got an up close and personal look at the space, along with the adjoining Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting studio facility. At 11,200-square-feet, The Fortress is the largest gaming arena on a U.S. college campus, with the capacity to accommodate up to 500 fans.
Full Sail President Garry Jones kicked off the festivities by welcoming guests and congratulating everyone who put time and effort into making the new space a reality. He highlighted the university’s embracing of esports as an effort rooted in Full Sail’s dedication to supporting emerging technologies and cutting-edge industry trends.
“This is not just about a great new place on our campus,” he said. “This is about a great new place in our region — Orlando and beyond. Thanks to the power of streaming we can reach tens of millions of people from this space.”
Concepted in early 2017, Full Sail began construction on the facility in June of 2018. The Fortress will officially open to the public in May, during the annual Hall of Fame Week celebration on campus. The ribbon cutting will also coincide with Full Sail’s 40th-anniversary celebration. The Fortress occupies a space that formerly housed sound stages. John Sheldon, the university’s Director of Live Events, pointed out some of the unique features of the arena, including live-stream equipment, dynamic sound and lighting solutions, a 360-video rig, and a giant, high-resolution LED screen to ensure every seat in the house has a clear view of the action.
“It’s been a construction process from the ground up,” said John. “We accomplished a lot in a short time, right down to adding new steel throughout the space to hold all of the LED products.”
One of the guests visiting the space for the first time was Matthew Potthoff, a 2013 Entertainment Business grad and former professional esports athlete currently serving as general manager for eUnited.
“Walking in, I was absolutely speechless,” said Matthew. “The Fortress has the potential to accommodate every game on the market. One reason I’m so passionate about coming back to Full Sail is that I always dreamed about something like this when I was a student. This is where I started my career. Seeing how much work the school has put into their esports program, to me, personally, it feels like it’s come full circle.”
For more images from The Fortress sneak peek, check out the hashtag #fullsailfortress on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.