Level Up: Esports Arena Design

Esports is more than your average video game - it’s a full-fledged spectator sport for multiplayer gaming competitions. From home gamers to college students to professional players earning six-figure prizes, esports is drawing the attention of millions of people across the world every year. It is pushing the boundaries of design to create new, dynamic space typologies and multipurpose facilities that serve entire communities. 

Join Populous designers and other local esports leaders as they discuss how esports brings together design, community and entertainment. A brief presentation and Q&A with these industry experts will be followed by hands-on demos of the top games & technologies used to bring esport designs to life.


**Masks are strongly encouraged for this event.**

Wednesday, April 27
$20 + fees in advance; $25 at door
5:30pm - 7:30pm
5:30pm Registration
6:00pm Presentation
7:00pm Hands-on Gaming Demos
Drinks & Snacks Provided

Brian Mirakian, Senior Principal at Populous

Brian serves as Director of Brand Activation for Populous Americas. In this role, Brian is focused on leading an innovative approach that powerfully brings brands to life through design. Through a core focus on connective strategy in the entertainment and hospitality industries, he masterfully creates opportunities for engagement by linking people to immersive user experiences on all levels, design mediums and interactive technologies. In 2018, Brian’s team debuted Esports Stadium Arlington, America’s most robust new esports venue and in 2021 ‘The Block’, Nerd Street Gamers new gaming campus opened in Philadelphia.

Brian’s award-winning work has helped create transformative social experiences for his clients, having collaborated with nearly every professional team, some of the world’s leading advertising agencies, the Olympic Games, the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball and top brands including Adidas, Pepsi and Dow. His work has been recognized internationally in ID Magazine, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, the Discovery Channel, and Sports Business Journal. He received the Award of Honor from the Society of Environmental Graphic Design and has garnered multiple AIA design awards for innovation and excellence.

Andrew Lack, Engineer at Martin & Martin

Andrew has 15 years of experience in ground-up new design, renovation, analysis, investigation, and construction administration of various building types, with a focus on sports venues and convention centers. He specializes in structural analysis and design of steel, masonry, timber, and concrete buildings. Andrew works directly with architects, owners, contractors, fabricators, and other stakeholders to ensure that project needs are met in an effective and efficient manner. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Andrew has a passion for contributing to his community through landmark projects.

Joshua ‘JJ’ Myers, Director of Competition at NACE

JJ graduated with a Bachelor's in Political Science from the University of Central Florida in 2017. Immediately after graduation, he entered the Collegiate esports scene as the Head Coach for Hawkeye Community College. In 2019, JJ went on to become the Head Coach at the ECPI University, where he also served on the NACE Competition Council before joining the NACE National Office as Director of Competition in March 2021. Since joining the NACE National Office, JJ has helped oversee NACE Starleague, the largest collegiate esports league in North America.

Mark Josey, CEO of KC Pioneers

Mark Josey is a leader, entrepreneur, and marketer. Currently, he serves as CEO of the Kansas City Pioneers, an entertainment, lifestyle, and professional gaming organization competing at the highest levels in various top tier esports. He is also a Partner at Social Apex Media, a Kansas City based marketing and consultancy, who’s clients include Doordash, Charlie Hustle, Sporting Kansas City, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and others.

Mark brings previous senior executive leadership experiences at Verizon and Sprint and holds executive board member seats at Kansas City Esports Coalition and ShareWaves. Mark holds a MBA from the University of Kansas and a B.S. in Business Administration from Indiana University.