Entertainment and dining experience GameWorks, will roll out eSports Lounges in four additional sites across the US by Q1 2019.
New eSports locations will be added to Chesapeake, VA; Schamburg, Ill; Minneapolis, Minn; and Newport, Ky.
GameWorks’ eSports Loungers are modern and high-tech. Each is equipped with, on average, 20-40 PCs and consoles and an extensive library of approximately 100 of the most popular video games. Each eSport lounge has capacity for around 100 guests who can also order foods and drinks to their location.
Players can play casually, or participate in any of the estimated 200 tournaments held at GameWorks’ locations monthly – which are sometimes streamed to Twitch.
eSports: rapidly gaining momentum
Philip N. Kaplan, chief executive officer at GameWorks, said: “eSports is rapidly gaining momentum worldwide. As an established leader in competitive gaming and entertainment, GameWorks is well positioned to capitalize on this burgeoning space. Our strong foothold in eSports – now that we’ll have Lounges in every location – further strengthens our leadership position and will serve as a springboard for future growth. We are evolving right alongside this exciting new world of eSports, and by partnering with best-of-breed eSports industry constituents – publishers, players and leagues – we’re bringing players and spectators exactly what they want.
“We’re completely focused on catering to our guests, and have created engaging, inviting and comfortable spaces, allowing us to further elevate the overall eSports experience at all our stores. The expansion of our eSports Lounges makes GameWorks the preferred destination for eSports gamers and enthusiasts alike.”
eSports is a rapidly growing industry, set to challenge NFL with a predicted 300 million viewers by 2022. The huge potential for a spectator experience IRL is only just being explored.
According to BusinessInsider.com, Goldman Sachs valued the global eSports market at $500 million in 2016. The sector is predicted to grow at 22% annually over the next three years into a more than $1 billion opportunity. Industry statistics are already backing this valuation and demonstrate the potential for massive earnings from sponsorship and providing an immersive spectator experience.
Blooloop spoke with industry experts Professor Andy Miah and Brian Mirakian about the growth of eSports and also what this will mean for the visitor experience.