Esports Venues Still Critical To Gaming Success Post-Pandemic

Nerd Street Gamers Founder & CEO John Fazio said the pandemic has “highlighted and exacerbated the two core points of why esports physical venues are so important.” Fazio, speaking during the virtual Esports Rising event, pointed to upholding “integrity” and shrinking the “access gap.”

Fazio: “We saw that competitive integrity does not work at the same level of remote as it does when you’re playing in person in these venues, and that demand has only increased from COVID.” He added, “We saw that this is not equal access for all the people. … Building these venues is absolutely critical to create that same level of access. … It’s for everybody just like traditional sports provide that pathway to the top for anybody.”

Populous Senior Principal Brian Mirakian said one commonality between esports venues and traditional ones is they both “bring people together for great social experiences, for memories.”

Esports Stadium Arlington President Jonathan Oudthone noted how both “draw a lot of the basic consumer habits from the traditional sports venues that you see.”

Oudthone: “The concession model, the viewing experience, trying to create a general experience for everyone in there.” Oudthone also said his venue is “adding another layer” to the multiple camera angles also utilized by traditional sports. Oudthone: “In-game cinematography, we’re not just capturing the emotions of the players, the energy in the room, we’re actually capturing everything that’s happening in the game.”

Quick Hits:
Oudthone, on experiences at esports venues: “Our goal really is to create an all-inclusive experience for someone to come in, not just sit down and watch a screen, but to actually feel everything that’s happening to have a connection point to the players, the teams.”

Fazio, on the demand Nerd Street Gamers has seen for esports partnerships during the pandemic: “What most people did was redirect their money towards digital spending and digital consumer product buying and digital content. … The reach that we get from our physical infrastructure is really what empowers the digital offering.”

Fazio, on what Nerd Street Gamers strives to offer esports fans: “Providing a single unified gateway. … You know that Nerd Street is your gateway and your entry point to not only get access to all of these awesome opportunities, but the equipment necessary to play on them via the network of venues that we have in our partnerships ”

Mirakian, on how the pandemic has impacted esports and its venues: “Gaming is maybe the most global phenomenon that exists in the entertainment sphere. … In terms of investment, in terms of strategy, in terms of innovation, in terms of the design of the next-generation facilities, it’s all happening now, and we will see many of those things coming online in the relatively near future.”

Fazio, on how esports will evolve parallel to the staple stick-and-ball sports: “I don’t think traditional sports goes anywhere, but I do think esports will be the largest entertainment vertical really soon. And to meet that demand, we need these venues that can get out there and hit it.”

This article originally appeared in Sports Business Daily. 

Source: Read Full Article