New eSports venue for Macau’s Studio City. The Macau Estadium will open today at the Cotai casino resort Studio City – as eSports continue to gain in popularity.
The new eSports facility is being promoted as “the first of its kind” in Macau.
The cutting edge eSports multifunctional development is intended to build a firm foundation for eSports development in Macau. Studio City is promoted by Asian casino developer Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd. It opened in 2015 and is located in the heart of Cotai, next to the Lotus Bridge Immigration Point. Alongside its casino, Studio City includes a variety of leisure, retail and entertainment facilities.
Back in April, Melco Resorts partnered with digital entertainment platform Garena, to host the eSports 2018 League of Legends Master Series (LMS) Spring Final at Studio City. The event garnered a live audience of 2,000 people. Melco believes that eSports will help it tap into new market segments.
China accounts for over half the eSports audience worldwide. The majority of fans are 30 years or younger. It’s an audience group that Melco says has generally been “less represented in Macau’s tourism demographics”.
Melco isn’t the only casino operator keen to move into the lucrative eSports arena. Its rivals, casino operators SJM Holdings Ltd and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd are also hosting or sponsoring eSports events in the area. SJM Holdings chief executive Ambrose So Shu Fai has stated that eSports is “an emerging industry with huge growth potential and global viewership”.
Casino operators may well see eSports as the best way to bring a new generation of customers to their resorts.
Global rise of eSports
Analysts believe that eSports are moving into mainstream viewing with projected audience growth of 14 percent in the next five years. It seems that the opening of more eSports theatres and arenas will fuel the growth of this latest type of LBE.
Tencent has a five year plan to develop a domestic $14.6 billion eSports business, with a network of centres across China.
Meanwhile, following the legalisation of gambling integrated resorts in Japan, the governor of Wakayama has included the hosting of eSports events in the city’s plan for a casino resort. Wakayama is one of the Japanese prefectures vying for one of three casino resort licences.