As esports continues to grow, live esports events are on the rise – and the possibilities of the scale and experience that they can achieve are only just starting to be realised.
Arenas are a natural progression following online video platforms on Twitch and YouTube. Competitions have previously been held in temporary settings such as movie theatres, college campuses and internet cafes, or taken over traditional sports and entertainment venues temporarily adapted for esports events.
Over the past several years, however, dedicated facilities have started cropping up around the world in cities including London, Beijing and New York, as tournaments draw in bigger crowds of tens of thousands of fans.
The esports arena itself isn’t a totally new concept, but these spaces are evolving and specialising to meet with the soaring demands of a growing global market.
As tournaments expand and gain more traction, purpose-built arenas are popping up across the world. In parts of Asia, they are becoming as normal a part of the entertainment landscape as traditional sports arenas, and it can only be a matter of time until other parts of the world begin catching up. This is because esports has become mainstream enough to make such ventures a worthwhile and lucrative investment, but there are other factors at play. Professionals within esports believe that having permanent esports spaces will allow the industry to professionalise and grow, with tournaments generating much higher revenues.
In 2015 the first venue dedicated to competitive gaming in North America - currently esports’ largest market – opened. The Esports Arena in Santa Ana, California, is owned by Allied Esports. They have since gone on to announce up to 15 new esports arenas in the US over the next few years.
Thanks to the million-dollar industry behind it, esports arenas are gaining the attention of investors and developers, too. For Tej Kohli, esports team and industry potential have major global, long-term potential. And that potential is wide-ranging – these venues can also act as hubs for amateur gamers and developers, as well as a place for professional teams to scout new talent. And there are many ways to monetise venues, too.
Santa Ana’s Esports Arena, for example, offers fans monthly memberships with recurring monthly subscriptions, and daily passes. The membership comes with discounts, a rewards programme and member-only access to events. And event organises using the space pay rental fees, too, while there are also opportunities for advertising and sponsorships.
Earlier this year it was announced that a new $10 million stadium in Texas will be the biggest esports venue in the US. It will be 100,000 sq ft, able to hold up to 1,000 spectators and it will be open 24/7.
For Tej Kohli, esports is the future of sports entertainment, and part of that future potential will involve a growing professionalization. The development of a dedicated esports infrastructure is evidence that this vision for the field’s future is the correct one. Rewired GG are dedicated to supporting and fostering this vision through investments, expertise and the years of collective experience drawn from some of the most knowledgeable names in sports, entertainment and investment.
Find out more about Rewired GG’s expertise here.