Father, Son Open Contender eSports in Cobb

Father, Son Open Contender eSports in Cobb

Jeremy and Mitchell Tepper have formed a high-tech gaming community including: adaptive sports, popular games, and opportunities for schools and private parties.

After 37 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and now with the AJT, , Jaffe’s focus is lifestyle, art, dining, fashion, and community events with emphasis on Jewish movers and shakers.

Mitchell and Jeremy Tepper make a solid team by sticking in their own lanes of expertise.
Mitchell and Jeremy Tepper make a solid team by sticking in their own lanes of expertise.

Six weeks ago, Dr. Mitch Tepper and son Jeremy opened Contender eSports for competitive video gaming at Cumberland Crossing. The facility is equipped with 35 professional gaming PC stations, eight Nintendo Switches, five Xbox Series Xs, two private party rooms, and access to hundreds of games.

In addition to being open daily for hourly play, they also provide structures for leagues, tournaments, a youth academy, birthday parties, summer camps, and after school scholastic esports programs.

Mitch Tepper, confined to a wheelchair, has a master’s in public health from Yale and a PhD in human sexuality education from the University of Pennsylvania, works as a sexuality educator and coach. At age 19, Tepper was injured in a diving accident resulting in paralysis from the neck down, which forever changed his life.

Thus, a component of this new venture dovetailed while writing a grant for United Spinal Association Atlanta to start the first adaptive esports program in Georgia. Although United Spinal Atlanta’s program is a separate entity from Contender eSports, the Teppers house all of their adaptive equipment and host adaptive esports clinics. Jeremy, age 22, fit in well after exploring other career options. He decided he would rather manage an esports franchise than become an editor for someone else. It took the Teppers just one year to open after signing the franchise agreement.

Customers of all ages and genders, ranging from 6 to 35+, try their hand at Call of Duty, APEX Legends, Valorant, Super Smash Bros, and Fortnite as the most popular games.

The location, off I-75 and just a few miles north of Buckhead, can comfortably accommodate 50-60 gamers with a total capacity of 99. Customers of all ages, some as young as six years old, try their hand at Call of Duty, APEX Legends, Valorant, Super Smash Bros, and Fortnite as popular games.

When asked why gamers don’t just play from home, Mitch said, “People come at first because of our pro-gaming PCs that would cost thousands to build at home. However, people stay because we provide a community to meet other gamers and compete. Playing together in person is a very different and much more engaging experience than playing online.”

The basic membership is $15 monthly and includes five hours of playtime; additional hours are at a discounted rate of $7. The fee for non-members is $10/hour, but additional hours are discounted. Weekend day passes are available. Contender eSports has two private party rooms for rent for 10-20 guests. Party packages include food, drinks, decorations, party gifts, and three hours of game time. A dedicated staffer is included to assure everything runs smoothly.

In terms of the intricacies of a family business, Mitch says, “Jeremy and I stay in our own lanes. I take care of the finances and focus on creating relationships within the industry. Jeremy manages all aspects of the store including employees, social media, keeping the computers and games up to date, scheduling daily events, and building relationships with the various gaming communities in Atlanta and Cobb County. “

Contender can comfortably accommodate 50-60 gamers with a total capacity of 99.

Jeremy works full time at Contender. He was in the last graduating class of Yeshiva Atlanta, and after graduating from Georgia State University with a major in film and a minor in computer science, he continued his education at the Georgia Film Academy. He completed certification in film production just as the pandemic started and the entire film industry shut down.

Jeremy said, “I was at a loss until we found this franchise and the Film Academy started offering classes in esports production. I’ve had a love for gaming my whole life and with such a unique opportunity, I decided to take the class to learn more about the esports world and get involved!”

The Teppers work with schools offering appreciation weeks with student discounts, or if schools have an esports program, they offer space for their players to compete outside of school hours. They also offer an academy program where they build a team to practice regularly and play in local leagues against other schools.

When asked about the parental decision to pull kids away from screen time, how much is too much?

Mitch, a therapist, said, “It would be great if there was a definitive answer to that question! Many parents assume playing video games is bad, but there is a growing body of research demonstrating positive outcomes from gaming. More high schools and universities are focusing on scholastic esports to advance STEM programs.”

read more: