Helix eSports is one of the largest in-person hubs for gaming in the country

Helix eSports is reimagining old-school internet cafes and tailoring them to gamers.

Brothers Jack and Murphy Vandervelde founded Helix eSports, a chain of state of the art sports centers in New Jersey and Massachusetts. 

Jack and Murphy would play Halo next to each other on matching Xbox consoles and TV sets as kids

“That was, I guess, the first creation of a mini-Helix,” Jack told In The Know. 

Each Helix location has high-end gaming equipment, fiber internet and expert staff members to make the experience uniquely tailored for eSports athletes. 

“Every center has kind of our bread and butter, which is the high-end gaming computers and then we have our traditional consoles which are PlayStation, Xbox and Switch,” Jack said. “We have our virtual reality racers, two of which are the first in North America to have the swiveling bottom.”

The centers also have a main stage where they host events like high school Rocket League tournaments and Boston Uprising watch parties. 

But the turning point for Helix eSports was the Fortnite World Cup where 90 of the world’s top players used Helix eSports centers to practice for the major gaming tournament. 

“We actually had to shut down to the public to make sure that we could accommodate all of the pros,” Murphy told In The Know. 

The Vandervelde brothers also make it a point to give back. They work with high school eSports teams and organizations like BASE that help underserved kids access traditional sports. Helix eSports built a micro-center for the nonprofit to expand its programming to include STEM and gaming.

“You’ve got to be passionate and I think passion and believing in what you’re doing is critical,” Murphy said.

If you liked this story, check out our interview with Eret, the streamer who raised over $40,000 for his friend’s medical bills.

More from In The Know:

Oscar Isaac confirmed as Solid Snake for ‘Metal Gear Solid’ film

The 6 best men’s house robes you’ll love wearing all-day

Here’s where you can buy those soft and cuddly Squishmallows online

This oil control roller is finally back in stock after going viral

Listen to the latest episode of our pop culture podcast, We Should Talk: