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Goodman, Gonzalez talk fall esports success, announce new arena

December 4, 2020

ECAC Fall FIFA finalist, Chelan Gonzalez, and Esports Coach, Thomas Goodman, called into Finlandia Fridays this week to talk about the team’s success in their first season, how they managed to play through COVID restrictions and what they’re looking forward to in 2021 with their new arena.

Gonzalez, a sophomore Psychology major from Tecumseh, Mich. was recruited by Goodman through the men’s soccer program. As the fall sports teams weren’t allowed to compete due to COVID-19, Goodman began looking for players from other varsity teams who played various Esports games, including FIFA.

It was great to get a hold of the mens’ soccer team and find players that play FIFA and get them out there to compete against other schools around the country,” said Goodman.

Goodman and Gonzalez were both excited by FinnU’s performance in it’s first-ever season. Three of the four final four players were FinnU Lions, with Gonzalez making it to the finals against Lucas Carvalho, a player who was recruited and trained by Goodman from Sienna Heights.

In addition to talking about the season, Goodman announced that FinnU’s esports arena will be on the fourth floor of the newly renovated College of Health Sciences building. The team has been practicing in a makeshift arena in the Shawn Wickersheim Memorial Lounge at the Paavo Nurmi Center and, at times, in their dorm rooms. They hope to move into the new space early in the Spring 2021 semester.

“The facility will have a bunch of gaming computers, green screen space, a lot of new console systems, big TVs and viewing space, and also a voiceover area so students can do voiceovers for the games and we can distribute and put it online,” said Goodman. The second floor auditorium will also be utilized for larger spectator events in the future. 

“There were some games that I wish we could have shown against our own players,” said Goodman. “Chelan for example played Nick (Illescas) in the semi-finals and that would have been a good game to have people from the campus come watch. I’m looking forward to show off our talented athletes.”

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