Two Dubuque moms start nonprofit esports league

Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 10:38 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Two moms have started an Esports league in Dubuque to try and give tweens and teens a place to build social and life skills.

Susie Quinn and Shelby Wartick said they started the nonprofit, Dubuque Esports League, in August after seeing their children struggle to build social skills following the pandemic.

“We have very similar children,” said Susie Quinn, one of the Co-founders. “We saw them physically isolate during the pandemic, but when they were online gaming with friends, that was where we saw them blossom.”

The group already has leased a building on the 300 block of Dodge Street that they plan to turn into a gaming hub to help, not only their children but other gamers in the community.

“There are a lot of parents like us,” said Wartick.

Now, they are looking to raise $500,000 to help rehab the building and gaming consoles.

“We plan to have 22 PC stations and gaming stations,” said Wartick. “We need to transform that building into something that’s a cool gaming community for these kids. We envision it as a place that’s fun and upbeat.”

Quinn and Wartick said this league wouldn’t just be about gaming and building social skills, but also allowing these children to use STEM skills and learn about new career options.

They’re going to learn about technology, how to build computers, and marketing. They say this also sets those children up to apply for more scholarships as colleges start building their own esports teams.

The two moms are working on a quick timeline. They hope to get most of the donations before they open the doors in May. People wanting to donate can do so here.