Esports Dojo Arena looks to build grassroots gaming community in Vermont

An Esports dojo in Vermont is looking to create a gaming community in Vermont. The arcade held an open house on Saturday, where kids from 6th through 12th grade entered the dojo arena to immerse themselves in the world of video games. Jacob Starai, a freshman from Essex High School, said, “It’s really fun. You can meet a bunch of new people and stuff and play games that you generally don’t play a lot.”

The dojo aims to provide an avenue for players to hone their skills and become part of a community. With a growing number of colleges adopting esports programs like Champlain College, esports scholarships are becoming more common. Jaden Gilmond, event coordinator from Champlain College Esports, said, “It’s a way I can express myself, and it can help those with aspirations to play in college.”

The dojo’s owner, Grant Patterson, sees gaming as a crucial piece in children’s development, stating that the purpose is to bring kids together to build a community built around self-improvement. The owner believes that real-life skills are being built through these fictional fighting games. “When you play fighting games, you learn from loss, you learn from failure. So, there is a mindset that makes you resilient to setbacks and focused on learning to achieve success.”

The W-N-F-C Esports Dojo is open to players of all skill levels, from state champions to newbies. The dojo is planning to go to major events nationwide in the future. Patterson is hoping the space evolves into a community where kids feel nurtured, respected, and valued.

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