Yesterday, Blizzard announced the opening of the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, its very own esports arena in Southern California which will play host to a number of events including the Overwatch Contenders playoffs next month, and the Hearthstone Summer Championship. The newly formed arena will be also the starting point, and home, for the first season of the Overwatch League.
“The Burbank, California venue was custom-designed and built with amenities to accommodate top esports competitors and their fans… Multiple broadcasts and events can be run out of Blizzard Arena simultaneously, thanks to the multiple sound stages, control rooms and player lounges throughout the facility,” says the company’s release. “The on-site Blizzard store will open during events and feature a rotating selection of gear and goods based on the event taking place at the time.”
Esports arenas have been a common feature among the industry for quite some time, in independent cases and for other major tournament hosts. Riot Games is well know for their venues which host a number of tournaments, but for Blizzard this is a first of many with their regional Overwatch League which will eventually see Esports Arenas popping up around the world. The idea for the arena is for Blizzard to utilize it for all things esports, from multiple simultaneous broadcasts, with multiple sound stages, many control rooms and player lounges. The arena will remain as the home base for Blizzard in North America for all major competitions, and it’s uncertain whether other arenas may pop up in other Overwatch League locations, similar to stadiums for conventional sports which the Overwatch League is trying to mirror.
Locally, esports arenas have been in discussion for quite some time. Recently, Orena opened their first gaming area at Emperor’s Palace which will be the home for all Orena run tournaments in the near future. A centralized location for competitions is needed for the future of local esports as costs for hiring venues with the right infrastructure have always plagued tournament hosts in the past. Here’s hoping more arenas or venues open up in the near future.
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Last Updated: September 8, 2017