Dayton friends 'go Vyral' with esports gaming complex – Spectrum News

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KETTERING, Ohio — “We were building in our garages and our basements. It just kind of organically happened,” said Chris Jergens, co-owner of Vyral

Dayton natives, Jurgens and Austin Martin met one another playing video games two decades ago. 


What You Need To Know

  • Chris Jurgens and Austin Martin have been friends for decades and share a love of gaming and PC building 
  • The two co-founded Vyral, first as a customer computer build facility, then expanding to esports 
  • The esports industry is expected to reach $12.4 billion by 2030

While they’ve forged separate career paths over the years, tech has always been in their blood. 

A few years ago, Jurgens and Martin were building computers in the basement when the power of social media helped chart their next path forward. 

“Once COVID kind of happened, we started building computers for friends and family as a way to scratch that side hustle and the entrepreneur itch,” said Jurgens. “Once we put some online, they were selling out every single week. We went quote, unquote viral on TikTok.”

That video alone has nearly five million views and their business, Vyral, has nearly 950,000 likes on TikTok.

Jurgens and Martin not only teach how to build computers, but they also have an esports complex for gamers of all ages and skill levels.  

“Kids can get grants and scholarships now from the state of Ohio by playing esports. I think that’s why a lot of high schools have jumped ship and are putting a lot of effort into esports programs,” said Martin. 

Avid gamer Nicholas Poladian went to school for political science, but switched to tech and now works at Vyral. 

He said the experience has inspired him to one day create his own custom-designed laptops or keyboards. 

Poladian had advice for those looking to make a big career change into tech or esports. 

“If you just focus on knowing what your job is and knowing what your goal is, you’re gonna get there. You just gotta kinda zero in sometimes and tune everything else out,” said Poladian. 

Martin said gamers who appreciate RGB color schemes and PCs built to last are in luck. 

“Vyral is definitely known for taking it above and beyond with cable management and aesthetics,” said Martin. 

Both Jurgens and Martin said marketing and word of mouth are vital to their future success. 

They’re both proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish in their hometown in just two short years, and the friends look forward to keeping up with future trends in gaming and tech. 

“You can do a lot of things with tech and video games now that I would never imagine and I’m really curious to see what the next 10 years hold with virtual reality and the Metaverse and kinda how we incorporate that into our day-to-day lives,” said Jurgens. 

Vyral is at 2078 E. Dorothy Ln. in Kettering. 

Both owners said they continue outreach to local esports programs in the Dayton area. 

Jurgens and Martin said they have re-invested all profits into the facility to guarantee the best experience for gamers, no matter the age. 


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