The need for venues dedicated to esports is growing. Last year the estimated value in market revenue worldwide was about $865 million. By 2022, market revenue is expected to reach $1.79 billion. The esports market has great potential not only for gaming and software companies, but for other retailers and vendors to promote their brands and begin establishing a mark in this continually growing field.
Americans alone have generated $3.547 billion in online gaming revenue in 2019, ranking number one globally. This makes sense when one considers that players from third graders to retirees have acknowledged participating in some form of digital gaming.
Jack Etienne, owner of esports organization ‘Cloud9’ described to CNBC, that the influx of the esports market felt like it was breaking a new barrier.
“When I look at 2018, I feel like it was the year that esports really started cracking into the mainstream,” Etienne said.
Some arenas have accommodated to the varying requirements needed to host esports events, but to ensure that more events will be booked, and fans will come, a venue dedicated to all the facets that make esports possible (such as Wi-Fi) is required. An inconsistent connection could result in a major delay during live gaming.
Stadiums desiring to dominate in the esports realm need to have absolute flexibility from their staging, to seating and equipment. Each game or tournament fluctuates in what is necessary for it to be set up. Some games require more equipment while others only need a single two player console.
Unlike football games where fans come to watch a game for four quarters during a particular Sunday, esport games can turn into 12-hour long days during a three-day event. Players and enthusiasts alike are in it for the long haul.
Brian Mirakian, principal and director of Populous Activate, a company geared towards creating a total fan emersion for events, explained how esports differ from traditional sporting events to Sportspro.com.
“When you are taking in an NBA or NHL event, there is a structured time frame. You know how many quarters and about how much time it will take,” Mirakian said.
Having a dedicated entertainment sector is a must. Though fans and other gamers are attending these events to see the live competition, even the most devoted gamer could do with a little break.
“[In esports] you’re talking about a longer duration for a non-specific period of time. It poses a different demand for a venue. You need to be able to provide the types of experiential amenities for fans to gather and socialize during the event,” Mirakian told sportspro.com.
Since everything is run on digital and technological devices, a repair station on the premises to quickly remedy any complications that could happen during live streaming events should be factored into the build of a digital arena. A side business could be created for making repairs as well as to help generate revenue for the venue.
Flexibility and desirability are key. As Mike Kress, founder of Architect at Generator Studio put it to alsd.com,
“Make sure that people want to be there, spend money and give them a reason to stay the whole time.” Kress said, “This is the first sport to be taken over by a digital audience.”
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