Pulling in crowds: The rise of the esports arena
It may seem somewhat of an old fashioned idea, having to actually stand up, put clothes on, brave the outdoors and travel somewhere to watch a sporting event, but many fans swear by the adrenaline and atmosphere you experience watching esports live. Despite Twitch’s best efforts, hundreds of thousands still flock to arenas across the world to see their favourite sports, often decked out in resplendent cosplay for the occasion.
Finding a home
Naturally, where there is demand, there will always be supply, and where there is a billion-dollar demand, the provided supply will be at a considerable level. But is an esports arena all that different from a regular sports arena? Or even a festival layout? Can’t you just put some screens up in your local football stadium, hire some nerds to wire up the the PC’s on the stage and you’re away?
I mean, of course you could, and many have. All you really need is a solid internet connection and a few seats. I mean, the 2015 Call of Duty European Regional Championship was held at London’s Royal Opera House, streets is crazy. However it’s unlikely that esports intellectuals will accept this for much longer, the standard of events are rising as a wave of cutting-edge dedicated esports arenas begin to appear in major cities the world over. So let’s take a look at 3, and what they mean for the culture.
Esports Stadium Arlington - Texas, USA
Well… damn, what more do you need? This conversion of an existing convention centre boasts an 85 feet wide LED wall, on-site data centre, merch store and a world-class production studio, making the Populous-designed facility a complete solution for event hosting and media creation.
HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas - Nevada, USA
Vegas baby! Announced in November 2018, The historic partnership between Kingston’s gaming division HyperX, and entertainment giant Allied Esports resulted in the first esports venue on the Las Vegas strip, at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. Yep, the big pyramid one. Being completely free to enter, and with the public able to purchase play time for as little as $10 an hour, this is one of the most accessible locations on the list.
Alienware Arena - Shanghai, China
Both a flagship store, and a 500 metre-square “e-stadium” for competitive play. The venue incorporates a live broadcast facility, private training rooms, and of course a tournament stage.
A league of their own
This is powerful news. Dedicated tournament and training areas hugely boost potential for esports to spread widely and find fans everywhere. With the current rate these facilities are appearing, soon everyone will have a local stadium with which to join the party.
Cover image: Supercell