The desire to build a local esports community gave birth to this 100,000-sq.-ft. facility. The 10,000 square-foot facility costing $10 million is known as the Esports Stadium Arlington and was launched in November 2019, and it stood as the biggest effort by any municipality towards the development of esports.
The edifice, which is properly placed in the entertainment district of Arlington, TX, stands as the largest facility specifically designed for esports activities in North America. It is a multipurpose center, which has played host to the Collegiate Rocket League National Championship and the FACEIT’s Esports Championship Series (ECS) Finals. Plenty of CS:GO tournaments have been held at the Esports Stadium Arlington which are broadcast all over the world. CSGO gambling has become a staple of live esports tournaments and CSGOBook has everything you need including referral codes to begin playing and following your favorite teams.
According to the executive producer of NGAGE Esports that organizes every event held in the venue, Corey Dunn, there is no esports stadium in the entire world that is more flexible than this. He went ahead to say that the idea of developing somewhere which could be used for different purposes was the reason behind the project. They hoped that each weekend would see them producing an entirely different type of event from what they had the previous weekend. He concluded that the thing that differentiates them from other esports and traditional sporting venues in the area of production is that every event they host is organized with a different approach.
More Than a Space to Watch Games- Experiential Venue
The ES Arlington comes as a result of a collaboration between the Esports Venues LLC, (which is a subsidiary of Infinite Esports owned by Neil Leibman, who also co-owns Texas Rangers), and the city of Arlington. The project was designed by Polous as a venue that will offer a lot more than simply the hosting of live esports games. Apart from the industry standard space for competition, the venue also has a gaming center that accommodates more than 50 gaming stations, which the gaming public can access from Sunday to Saturday every week. There are also advanced team training areas, production and broadcast studios, areas for premium hospitality service, and social and retail spaces for food and beverages.
The senior principal/director for Activate, Populous, Brian Mirakian, revealed that their mission is to give esports fans the social and cultural experience they crave for. This is because most of them come to the venue to experience some form of adventure, and not just to sit down in their seats and watch games all day. That is why they added the gaming center. It is there, so that people can actually move around and enjoy some games with their friends when they’ve watched a tournament for more than 10 hours. For him, their major motivation is the desire to get the fans to enjoy the opportunity of exploring different places when they come to watch tournaments.
It took just six months to turn the unused space at the Arlington Convention Center into the esports center. To make the project a reality, the original contractor, Populous, brought in Shawmut as a partner and SimplyNew as the systems integrator to develop the technology that will run the A/V, broadcast studio, and the IT and media architecture of the venue.
According to the co-founder of SimplyNew, Marc Scarpa, the first and most important thing that people should understand about the facility is the fact that it gives a very immersive experience, against what is obtainable in most of the other sporting events out there, where people will just come, leave after watching a game. He described the venue as a completely immersive experiential venue for entertainment, and this experience according to him, starts right from the moment they set foot inside the building.
Inside Arlington’s Facility - A Completely Immersive Competition Center
The space for competition is equipped with an LED board measuring 85-ft, and a surround system of about 5.1 on a Dante IP audio network, with a dynamic theatrical lighting system. They all contribute to make the entire thing completely immersive.
The main stage is designed to house 1 on 1 to 7 vs. 7 events, and around 100 Battle Royale game stations, so that it can take the varying types of competitions that Arlington is expecting to hold. Apart from esports events, the venue is also designed to host other corporate events and conferences, because it has a seating area that can be expanded to accommodate anywhere between 250 and 2,500 spectators at any given time.
Dunn, who has been in the esports industry for over 10 years, and has produced many live esports tournaments and events, takes care of the production area in the venue. For him, it is that sector that drives the flexibility that the facility promises. He posited that being able to use their local resources to achieve customers’ demands or designs is among their major roles, because different customers demand for different types of events. For him, some customers come with very huge esports experience, while others are just newbies in the field. Some may also come with every resource they need and will just need the space to run it, while others will come with no equipment or resource at all, and expect the center to come up with the entire thing for them. Their mission is to have the expertise to accommodate and satisfy all manner of customers.
The in-arena coverage is achieved with the 4K-capable Eight Grass Valley LDX 86N. They include two studio cameras, a jib, three long lens cameras and two handhelds. The Canon UHD-DIGISUPER UJ 66X9B box zoom lenses that are the first medium telephoto broadcast lens with 4K compatibility from Canon are fixed on the long lens cameras.
Up to 12 Blackmagic Design player cameras could be deployed on the stage and sub switched separately through the Blackmagic ATEM switcher. With the added Blackmagic POVs, beauty shots and wide shots of the arena could be achieved. There are also three Sony PTZ cameras available. While two are for the shots on stage, one is for the caster studio.
Enough Tech Power on the Control Room and Observer Room
The production area boasts of a 1080p60, which is the standard in esports, with full 4K-readiness, so as to play along when the venue decides to upgrade. There are three benches in the control room, and this could be used for different functions. It is here that the live feeds for in-venue and streaming are produced. In-game action comes from the observer room, while the rest of the show is coordinated from the control room.
Beyond The Arena; Gaming Center and the Team Area That Helps In Developing an Esports Community
In the bid to come up with a robust esports community, they developed a gaming center, which is an integral part of the facility. Gamers are allowed in from 12pm to 2 am every week to enjoy new and old games in their 50 or more gaming stations. They enjoy games on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 or the high-sepc PCs running the latest NVidia GPUs, complete with 240-Hz G-Sync monitors and interact with other players as they do.
There are also some tournaments, monthly and weekly meetups, and other events organized by the center in the mini arena in the bid to grow the community.
The eight team rooms at the team area are used for team training, and to provide fans with a communal space where they can relax, interact and socialize.
The opening of the stadium happened with huge fanfare, and the FACEIT’s ECS Season 6 Finals was its first event, and was live streamed by 233,950 fans concurrently, all witnessing the English-speaking broadcast on Youtube. It witnessed a 3.2 million watched-hours to become the most watched CS: GO live stream ever.