The Rise of eRena’s - "The Battle Begins"-
Two onstage teams are fighting for supremacy, gunfire echoing across the stage as the crowd revels in the action. The underdog eSports team, "red" has somehow managed to get the upper hand and fans are on the edge of their seats. Another gunshot pierces the air, a player from blue team bites the dust, fans go wild. Viewers can’t believe their eyes as the two lone red gunmen pull off the improbable. With an insane tactic formulated just moments ago over team chat, they pick-off blue team members one glorious shot after another. Each successful engagement bringing the crowd closer and closer to pure ecstasy. With no time to hesitate, the army of two continue their relentless assault, with rock-solid focus intent on winning. Pure joy can be seen from the dedication and hunger in their eyes which are locked to the screen. Like masterful puppeteers, their hands gracefully and skillfully glide the on-screen characters to a glorious win. The final shoot-out culminates in an epic display of teamwork and gaming skills beyond that of average players. And suddenly, as if the clock struck midnight on new years eve, the crowd explodes into celebration.
This is a picture of competitive gaming eSports, the 1st division of professional competitions for elite gamers. Gamers across the globe practice for hours at their favorite gaming titles; along the way achieving milestones in doing something they love. What are the real-world rewards for this labor of love? Huge prize pools, exceptional sponsorship's, industry recognition, and fans... lots and lots of fans. Sounds identical to the life of any famous traditional sports player, doesn't it? But something is missing in this traditional sports analogy. Baseball players have a field, Basketball players have a court, Football players have a stadium, etc. Where are eSports played? Usually, the setting is open floor space... any open floor space. Granted, the larger tournaments are held in elaborately designed multi-purpose arenas such as Seattle's key Arena. But don't everyday eSports players, spectators and sponsors deserve their own robust playground? One worthy of their unique and diverse multi-media platform?
The home eRena Advantage-
That answer is a resounding, Yes! eSports needs more than just limited time single-use arenas, they need eSport full-time dedicated venues, they need an ERENA! A facility where daily eSports activities and operations take place for players, fans and all supporting groups. And just like midtown racquetball clubs, the eRena could be open 24/7 to provide a steady stream of eSports and related activities. Facilities that fill the community need exclusive home grounds for their local teams, much like we see within traditional sports infrastructure. Facilities providing an adequate breeding ground for training future eSports industry superstars.
One of the major needs of such a facility stems from its role in nurturing sub-set cultures of eSports. There isn't a valid reason to not have an all-inclusive eSports community, enjoying technology-enabled activities together under one roof. All aspects of the eSport culture also need to be taken into account. Cos-play, twitch streamers, mine craft creators and many others are all part of the expansive eSport universe. Here's something to think about before you wonder why they need to be accommodated. Where do football teams band, cheerleaders, and mascots go and train? It's more than likely the exact same place the football teams themselves plays.
Current Status of eSports arenas-
Throughout the globe facilities dedicated to esports tournaments are slowly beginning to be accepted as viable economic projects. Looking at the popularity and technological advances in competitive gaming, it is safe to assume that eSports are going mainstream and purpose-built eRena’s are easily financially sustainable. There is only a hand full of eSports venues in North America, mainly the west coast. These select few are paving the way for a future, one brimming with a network of eRena's spread across the country. As their popularity and notoriety grow they will more than likely evolve into facilities that host more than just gaming tournaments alone.
The requirements for an eRena-
In order to establish a dedicated eRena a developer's first need, is to realize how and by whom this eRena will be used. In the early days of competitive gaming, an eSports venue which could host a small-scale competition was enough to meet the demands of the gaming community. Today's needs demand a more robust setting capable of adapting to many differing eSport forms, participant size, and active components. A facility not only for the pro but the average casual eSport player and family to enjoy. A facility where even the software/hardware developers can test their products and get sponsors for eSports initiatives. The eRena will need top of the line equipment for editing and creating video content, for up and coming twitch stars. Space to expand, should future eSport activities demand greater fields.
And for the spectators, understanding their paradigm shift from screen to spectating live action will be critical. Take North America for instance, 2017 marked explosive ticket sales for live eSport events. Seattle’s Key Arena and New York’s Madison Square Garden have hosted sold-out events, proving viewers WANT to view these events live. At the moment, we can see that the online audience is gradually transitioning into live attendances. Those making that transition will find blissful comfort within eRena's walls.
BlackFire360 – Fulfilling the needs of eSports enthusiasts in Pennsylvania USA-
The recent start-up BlackFire360 LLC ongoing eRena project aims to tackle the lack of eSport infrastructure in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley area. The eRena platform envisioned by Blackfire360’s founder Raziel Blackfire, is looking to offer more than just a platform for event organizers. The start-up aims to create a new type of event venue, with eSports being at the heart of it all. It will be multi-eSport “gymnasium” where the many aspects of eSports thrive in harmony together. "What the industry needs now is more than just a stadium but a full-fledged coliseum ... an ERENA". A year-round attraction destination capable of satisfying a new breed of players and spectator.
Apart from providing the average competition space needed for gaming eSport tournaments, Blackfire360 is aiming above and beyond average. A facility where you can just retreat from the tiring daily routine and relax among fellow gamers. Enjoy drone racing and themed game nights, cosplay contests, tech expositions, game launch parties and everything in between. Blackfire360 is truly interested in evolving eSports to its full potential. They wish to provide the eSports industry with the field of dreams it demands. So, to make a long story short, "If you build it... they will come".
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