Las Vegas is aiming to become a central hub for eSports

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downtown grand

Sin City has long been a place tourists flock to for various reasons. Be it gambling, eloping, or… other things, Las Vegas is a tourism hub, and now it’s seeing potential in one of the fastest growing industries in the world – eSports! According to Polygon, a Beijing based-company is planning on building an eSports arena on the Vegas Strip, but that’s not all the city of Las Vegas has planned, how does a 365 days a year eSports hotel sound?

This is the exact plan for Seth Schorr, Chairman of the Downtown Grand and CEO of their gaming license and the casino operator.

“We wanted to create an environment that caters to the esports audience 24/7, not just the weekend of an event, and then come Monday it’s no longer an esports hotel. We wanted to activate our property so that the esports enthusiasts always want to come visit the property and there’s always something going on.”

The beginning

Schorr has already laid the foundation for his eSports hotel. He aims to attract young gamers in their 20s, but the process is a steep learning curve for score as understanding the market is not as easy as you’d think. However, being in the tourism centre of North America, Schorr does have the means to bring eSports to Sin City.

After meeting with teams, players, managers, tournament hosts, etc. Schorr invited Australian team Renegades to bootcamp at the hotel for two months, where the team were given a private room, where they bootcamped CS:GO in a five-star lifestyle. Here they met with fans, and placed second at the RGN Pro Series, proving that this sort of treatment for pro-gamers could be the future of residency when it comes to practice.

From then on out The Downtown Grand began its transition into an eSports hotel, hosting viewing parties (after removing blackjack tables and slot machines) catering for gamers. The newly transformed café began hosting small tournaments and became known as the Downtown Underground. The small tournaments have continued, and the eSports café is showcased on the casino floor, in view of avid gamblers and Vegas goers.

The final plan, of course, is a 365 days a year destination for eSports goers, whether they’re playing, bootcamping or competing. Vegas has seen a number of tournaments, most recent being the Turner ELEAGUE. Schorr’s ambitions hope to drive Las Vegas into becoming the central hub for eSports in North America, and eventually the world.

This is a long road away from the five players staying in a single bedroom on bunk beds as they practice 16 hours a day.

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Last Updated: April 29, 2016

Kyle Wolmarans

Critical Hit's esports guy. I talk about esports and drink whiskey. I also write and cast for elsewhere - but my work here is independent of that.

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