Esports is Expanding Physically, Not Just Online
Just as Esports is expanding as a sport around the world, Esports stadiums and facilities are becoming more popular as well. They bring people together who normally only interact behind a screen in order to cheer together for their favorite players and teams.
According to an article published by Forbes, the Overwatch League will make it mandatory for its teams to have a stadium in their home cities. The article said that the Overwatch League has twenty teams, which means that twenty facilities must be created in their home cities.
As the article stated, Esports’ fanbase is rapidly increasing meaning that many leagues will probably follow the Overwatch League’s example and require stadiums. This will further esports connection to other sports and can draw in new fans who do not follow Esports online.
Connecting Esports teams to cities will benefit the sport and cities greatly for many reasons. It benefits the city because a new team will be a new representative for the city into a whole new market. This will lead to each city receiving more exposure and hosting more events. These events will draw a new crowd to each city.
It will also greatly benefit Esports as a whole and specific Esports teams. This is because it will bring more fans out to the events who did not previously know anything about Esports. People will want to go to games to experience the atmosphere and to learn about the sport.
An article published by ESPN stated that in 2017 there were 588 esports events and there were 5.5 million dollars of ticket sales for the League of Legends World Championship. These ticket sales numbers show that the live component of Esports is growing and becoming more popular.
Many sports teams are investing in Esports teams and facilities as a part of their stadium. There are many examples of this around the world, but there are two that this article will focus on. Many Esports teams are opening training facilities in the stadiums or facilities of other sports.
The first Esports facility is the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. The Golden 1 Center is the home of the Sacramento Kings of the NBA. The facility is considered an “Esports studio” according to the Golden 1 Center website.
This facility is meant for gamers and highlights how other sports are beginning to recognize how esports is expanding. Other sports teams want to partner with esports teams because they realize how much esports is expanding globally. This partnership can lead to an increase in fans of both teams.
The second facility is the Excel training facility in Twickenham Stadium. An article published on the Twickenham Stadium’s website states that this will be solely a training facility with many amenities for the players. It also details how this will create a partnership between two different brands.
Both of these new training facilities demonstrate that other sports teams have seen ticket sales and other numbers of Esports and want to be involved. Esports is no longer just online, as now it is taking over cities around the world, making it bigger, better and stronger.