Later this month, Rogers Arena will be packed to the brim for a sporting event. Expected to draw sell-out crowds, the 18,600-capacity stadium won’t be hosting a Canucks playoff game, or a rare chance to see the Toronto Raptors on tour. Instead, guests will be watching teams play the videogame Dota 2.
eSports—or electronic sports—have become big business. Asking its players to have dexterity, foresight, and a strategic mind, popular games like League of Legends, Call of Duty, and Overwatch each have their own global tournaments with prize purses exceeding tens of millions of dollars. The revenue from eSports has grown from $250 million in 2015 to an estimated $1.5 billion by 2020.
Metro Vancouver company Myesports Ventures wants to enter the business. Today announcing the creation of The Gaming Stadium—the first purpose-built eSports arena in Canada—the group aims to create a permanent home for the wildly popular pastime.
“Today is an exciting day for me and the entire team at The Gaming Stadium,” says Dan Cybak, CEO of the company. “We have been working hard to get this off the ground. Our team is made up of people who have been organizing and participating in tournaments in this city for years. We have built a group that covers all aspects of eSports. This facility is truly built by gamers for gamers.”
The Gaming Stadium will feature a large main stage, with seating for up to 250 spectators. For those looking to play rather than watch, the arena will host a gaming area with over 40 set-ups, and a casual section where players can drop in to socialize. Twitch streams will be shown from a separate broadcast space, and food and drink will be on offer to patrons.
For Myesports, the purpose of the stadium is to provide a community-driven location open to players of all ages and skill levels to watch and participate in videogaming.
“We are focused on more than top-level players or hosting major events,” says Matthew Low, Myesports’ COO. “We are aiming to cultivate the next great gamers as we will be holding leagues for all skill levels while also offering coaching for those who want to take their skills to the next level. We are going to be the Little League, Junior League, and Major League home of all things eSports in Vancouver.”
The stadium will be located in Richmond, and is scheduled to open in 2019.
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