Published on October 11, 2022
If you run an event venue, making your venue attractive to the esports industry could be a big boon to your revenue.
If you aren’t yet familiar with esports, you will be soon enough. Hopefully, you won’t find out about esports events by watching your competition get all the revenue, either. Esports is a big-budget industry, and it’s growing quickly.
According to Syracuse University’s MBA program, esports had an estimated 270 million worldwide fans in 2016. By 2019, 451 million people around the globe tuned into esports programs and tournaments, and in 2021 it was estimated to be around 474 million viewers.
With that many fans, it’s no surprise that there’s big money, too. The largest prize pool so far has come from The International (Dota 2) tournament, which offered $40 million in prize money in 2021, followed by the Fortnite World Cup Finals, which offered $30.4 million (2019), and then the Honor of Kings World Champion Cup offered $7.7 million (2021). There’s been countless more multi-million dollar prize pools, and each year they keep growing—and those are just the prize pools for the competitors, there’s also the ancillary revenue, like merchandise, viewer subs, and event sponsorships.
Clearly, attracting esports competitions to your facility can be a winning venture. But what do you need to attract this new industry? State-of-the-art facilities? Additional entertainment? A high-end event photo wall? Something completely different?
Display all the social posts from your event attendees in real-time! Everwall is built to handle large volumes of social posts, with filters that help ensure the content shared is appropriate and relevant.
Esports venue requirements, and the esports venue infrastructure you need to attract esports competitions
Like most sporting events, esports is a social occasion. You can watch an NBA game or a college soccer game at home, but there’s nothing like the energy of being there in person. The same is true of esports. One big difference, however, is that an esports tournament can go on for days. Some big matches take place over an entire week. Whether you host a big tournament with thousands of guests, or a regional event for 200, your esports venue will need the infrastructure and amenities to accommodate an esports crowd.
The single most crucial piece of infrastructure you need is tech. For example, Localhost, a dedicated esports arena in multiple cities around the US offers high-end PCs and 240hz BenQ monitors, which are designed specifically for gaming.
The esports arena at Hawaii Pacific University offers 25 gaming computers, eight gaming consoles, including 5 Xbox One X systems, and two virtual reality stations. Arlington, Texas is host to the Esports Stadium Arlington, which includes an 85-foot LED wall, theatrical lighting and sound, and an in-house data and production center.
While these locations were all retrofitted to host esports, the Fusion Arena in Philadelphia is the first arena built from the ground up specifically for esports. Plans include seating for up to 3,500 guests, and an approximately 2,000 square foot interactive media display in the lobby, as well as club seats with built-in USB ports.
Of course, you don’t need to build a dedicated esports arena to host a tournament. You do, however, require that kind of tech. A recent Valve International Dota 2 Championship included two 10 Gigabit fiber optic circuits for wired and wireless services for the venue. When Electronic Arts launched a recent game, they live-streamed a 32 player competition that required a 50 Mbps point-to-point bandwidth circuit.
And don’t forget about general AV requirements, such as microphones, a sound system, and high-end screens.
You need more than just infrastructure, though. Remember that part earlier about the social aspect of these events? Yeah, it’s still there. Esports tournaments are highly interactive, and an event photo wall can increase engagement. And the more you can offer to appeal to that, the more players and spectators will appreciate your venue.
Here are just a few things that some of the most successful venues are doing:
Offer retail space
Everyone loves a good retail shop, and if you can create one (or several) for a tournament promoter, that’s a nice bonus.
Create an event photo wall
Digital, of course! Esports fans are digital natives, for the most part, and there’s nothing like seeing your pictures and social media posts appear on the event photo wall for the whole venue to see. Everwall is happy to help you with this one.
Dedicate a space for relaxation
These events can be exhausting. Make sure there’s a space for people to rest and relax and maybe even take a short nap. Think of the last time you went to a convention or a festival (or the mall in December)! It can be overwhelming, and there’s nothing so appreciated as a place to sit quietly for a few minutes.
Live entertainment can be a nice addition to more involved tournaments. While it’s more likely the promoter would take responsibility for that, it’s helpful for a venue to have a list of local performers to recommend.
Have a repeatable social media plan
Create a social media plan to promote the esports events at your venue consistently. Not only will it help them out (free bonus, and another selling point!), but it helps you out even more. Other events may see it and consider you for their future tournaments.
Whether you’re thinking about setting up an amateur esports venue, or trying to create a professional esports venue, don’t miss out on your chance to bring esports tournaments to your venue. With just a few changes, it’s a sure way to expand your community and bring in a fresh source of revenue. Plus, they’re fun!
Oh, and if you’re the one thinking about putting on an esports tournament, we have another article all about the do’s and don’ts of hosting esports tournaments.
Engage your attendees and create a memorable event for your esports tournaments with a real-time, fully customizable social media wall. Start building your social wall today!
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