From Mavs Gaming to OP Live, esports in Dallas-Fort Worth has been making headlines. Now, Esports Stadium Arlington is stealing the spotlight with its grand opening — in what is being described as “the largest gaming and esports events facility in North America.”
The stadium is a $10 million, 100,000-square-foot esports facility in Arlington’s entertainment district and designed by architectural firm Populous. To commemorate opening weekend, the facility will host the FACEIT’s Esports Championship Series Season 6 Finals for the league’s Counter-Strike tournament. The event will be held on Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 24-25, and includes a whopping $750,000 prize pool.
“The energy in the venue, being able to feel the excitement and pulse of the game, and having the ability to powerfully connect players and fans signifies a new era for esports.”
“We applied 35 years of creating event venues to bring Esports Stadium Arlington to life, and it will undoubtedly be the place where people will love to gather for esports events,” Brian Mirakian, senior principal at Populous, said in a statement. “The energy in the venue, being able to feel the excitement and pulse of the game, and having the ability to powerfully connect players and fans signifies a new era for esports.”
And the award-winning firm pulled out all the stops. Esports Stadium Arlington features a Competition Showroom with an 85-foot LED wall, immersive sound, and theatrical lighting. Eight team rooms house a designated “Team Area” for players to practice and strategize, with a separate “Player Lounge” for relaxing and socializing. There’s even separate rooms for media and staff. To broadcast the competitions, the Stadium is powered by a first-of-its-kind production facility, which includes Grass Valley systems, an Observer Room, Caster Studio, Data Center, and Control Room.
Along with the physical space, VR company Sansar created a a to-scale virtual replica of the stadium, allowing people from around the world to experience the esports action, interact with fans, and meet professionals — but do it all through VR.
“Arlington is always on the forefront of economic development trends and opportunities,” Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said. “With Esports Stadium Arlington, we have positioned ourselves as both a national and international leader in the emerging esports industry. I can’t wait for people to see this state-of-the-art facility, the largest and most-flexible esports stadium in the country. The opportunity to provide jobs combined with growing tourism is phenomenal.”
Esports is rapidly growing internationally. Per Statista, the global esports market revenue for 2018 is expected to reach $906 million — increasing to $1.65 billion by 2021. The global audience in 2018 is expected to hit 380 million.
All photos courtesy of Esports Stadium Arlington.
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