Middletown native to open Dragon Arena in former downtown Dayton esports space

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Middletown native Kim Jones is bringing esports back to downtown Dayton with the grand opening of Dragon Arena on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Jones said the former space of Connect E-Sports at 212 Wayne Ave. is being rebranded into Dragon Arena. She plans to continue Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournaments on Wednesdays and is in touch with the organizers of other tournaments that were previously held in the space. Connect E-Sports closed in Dec. 2022, according to Jones.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

“For me more than anything, I just want it to be a place where people can gather with their friends, hang out, have a good time and know they are in a place that will take care of them.”

The space features 20 PCs, four Xbox consoles, one Nintendo Switch and a stage for streaming tournaments. Jones said she is partnering with Wave Custom PCs for guests to have a place to go for repairs, gaming equipment or custom gaming PCs. She plans to offer memberships and birthday packages as well.

“This space allows me to expand outside of Smash,” Jones said. “I just want to bring more tournaments to the space.”

Jones is also the owner of Dragon Squad esports, an organization that hosts and helps other organizations host weekly, monthly and regional Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournaments.

“One of the things I always wanted was for Dragon Squad to have its own venue,” said Jones, who founded the organization in 2020.

She recalled the first esports tournament she went to with her youngest son in 2017.

“The entire weekend I was flabbergasted because there were hundreds of people playing, essentially, a child’s party game,” she noted. “Once I got home, I thought ‘I could do this.’”

She said she is excited to bring the space back to life to build comradery throughout Dayton’s gaming community. Forthcoming tournaments include Fortnite, Valorant and Rivals of Aether.

Saturday’s grand opening, slated from noon to midnight, will feature a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament and a raffle for a gaming PC.

The venue’s hours of operation are noon to 6 p.m. Sundays, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4 p.m. to midnight Fridays and noon to midnight on Saturdays. For more information, visit Dragon Squad esports on Facebook or Twitter.

About the Author