Knights to Host Gaming Zone at Stadium Kickoff and Rib Festival

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Knights to Host Gaming Zone at Stadium Kickoff and Rib Festival

PITTSBURGH (August 18, 2022) – Professional esports organization the Pittsburgh Knights will stage a Gaming Zone at the Acrisure Stadium Kickoff and Rib Festival from Saturday, September 3 through Monday, September 5.  The Knights Gaming Zone presented by eBay will feature 32 gaming stations for Rocket League and Madden NFL ‘free play,’ a skills combine as well as special ‘show’ matches each evening with Knights pro gamers and local celebrities.

Other activities in the Gaming Zone will include panel discussions, autograph sessions, and competition between Knights pros.  Representatives from the Knights organization will be on-site at the Gaming Zone throughout the weekend to answer any gaming-oriented or esports questions.

As we all await the start of the Steelers NFL season and the Madden gaming season, being part of this event is a great way to celebrate our Pittsburgh gaming community, create connections, and provide positive experiences, says Knights president James O’Connor. Our Gaming Zone is not only for those already involved in esports or gaming, but it provides a fun and unique way for us to introduce the online community to those in the Pittsburgh-area that may have an interest in learning more.

Professional Knights Madden players, Jonathan ‘Jonbeast’ Marquez and Eric ‘ThatGuyDJ’ Minor, will be at the Gaming Zone all three days.  They will participate in ‘show matches’ and panel discussions, as well as sign autographs, pose for photos, and discuss Madden and the NFL.

Jonbeast, who joined the Knights one year ago, finished last season ranked fourth in the world on the final Madden leaderboard.  He also captured the Madden Championship Series (MCS) Ultimate Kickoff title in September 2021.  ThatGuyDJ is a recent graduate of South Carolina’s Claflin University and a two-time (2021 and 2022) NFL HBCU Madden Champion.  He joined the Knights last month.

Both Jonbeast and ThatGuyDJ are great guys and talented Madden players, and we’re looking forward to having them at the Rib Festival before the Madden season kicks off, says Knights General Manager Garett Bambrough. They do a great job representing the Knights and are always available to talk with fans and fellow Madden players about the game and the NFL.

FedEx Great Hall, where the Knights Gaming Zone presented by eBay will be located, highlights the Steelers’ history.  On display in the Great Hall are the team’s six Super Bowl championship trophies, as well as Steelers’ memorabilia and the ‘Terrible Towel’ wall.  It’s also home to the Steelers Hall of Fame and Museum.

The Acrisure Stadium Kickoff and Rib Festival, which will feature food, football, and live music, will begin on Thursday, September 1 and continue through Monday, September 5.

Admission to the festival grounds is free, and food and drink will be available for purchase.



FedEx Great Hall, Acrisure Stadium

  • Open:  11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Rocket League & Madden NFL ‘Free Play’:  11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Knights ‘Show Matches’:  6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

FedEx Great Hall, Acrisure Stadium

  • Open:  11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Rocket League & Madden NFL ‘Free Play’:  11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Knights ‘Show Matches’:  6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

FedEx Great Hall, Acrisure Stadium

  • Open:  12:00 Noon to 8:00 PM
  • Rocket League & Madden NFL ‘Free Play’:  12:00 Noon to 8:00 PM
  • Knights ‘Show Matches’:  4:00 PM to 6:00 P


The Kickoff and Rib Festival began in 1990 at Three Rivers Stadium.  Much like today’s event, it featured music, rib vendors, games and more.  After the closing of Three Rivers Stadium, Acrisure Stadium continued the tradition.  The event started in a parking lot adjacent to the stadium and then grew onto Art Rooney Ave., and now encompasses over half of the stadium, with FedEx Great Hall open for fans to view the team’s history and memorabilia.  The annual Acrisure Stadium Kickoff and Rib Festival celebrates the kickoff of the football season, the region’s favorite tradition.

about the knights

The Pittsburgh Knights are a global esports organization headquartered in Pittsburgh. Since launching in 2017, the Knights have focused on entertaining fans, sharing esports, and bringing people together. They solidified their spot in the City of Champions by partnering with six-time Super Bowl winners the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018. Since then, Pittsburgh-native and multi-platinum recording artist Wiz Khalifa has come on board as a strategic partner. Adding to their troop is Pittsburgh Penguins’ alternate captain Evgeni Malkin – 3-time Stanley Cup winner. To cap off their powerhouse group, they brought on Mexico City-based media fund MX LATAM in 2019. Officially recognized by Pittsburgh as a premier team, they have partnered with the most talented, innovative, and prestigious sports and entertainment industry leaders – both in the city and around the world.

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Josh “Radoko” Radtke

Radoko started playing games in 2008 on Mario Kart 64 and Super Smash Bros. Melee. He has been playing Rocket League since it came out on Xbox in 2016. About a year later he got a gaming computer and started really focusing on the game. “I’m very happy to be working with the Knights and can’t wait to hit my stride this season.”