The world of eSports is getting real in more ways than one. This year has been huge for competitive gaming in terms of its mainstream growth. Over the last year the sport has gained much needed structure and governance, prizes are growing, and the mainstream media is taking notice. There couldn’t be a more appropriate moment for eSports streaming platform Major League Gaming to set up shop in the real world with a brick and mortar eSports arena facility in Columbus, Ohio.
The competitive gaming platform which launched last year as a rival to recently acquired Twitch has been picking up steam in recent months. MLG recently landed YouTube megastar PewDiePie, becoming the exclusive home of his popular BroKen podcast. Now the streaming platform will have a physical flagship to host premium competitive events. The arena is a natural next step for the platform whose stated mission is to encourage the growth of competitive gaming both at home and abroad. Having the first such location of its kind in the U.S. is sure to give MLG a leg up over its streaming competition.
At first glance, Central Ohio isn’t the obvious location for a new media brand to build its flagship venue. However, MLG’s leaders are certain that the location provides special advantages not found in major coastal cities. In a statement announcing the new facility MLG CEO Sundance DiGiovanni noted the proximity of the location to 62 college campuses and as well as its relative accessibility to fan hubs on the east coast as reasons for choosing the location. Left unsaid is that the cost of building such an elaborate facility in Columbus would likely be lower than other locations. However given that the Arena will be the first of its kind in the United States it’s safe to say that the “if you build it, they will come” mindset applies here as well.
The facility will open in time to host the Call of Duty: Ghosts Pro League Season 3 Playoffs in late October. The top eight teams in the world will compete for a $75,000 prize. Teams currently in contention include Team EnVyUs, Rise Nation, OpTic Nation, FaZe, OpTic Gaming, Denial eSports, Most Wanted, Evil Geniuses, Noble.Vanquish, Team Kaliber, Team Curse, and JusTus. The top eight will be determined on October 8th with those final 8 advancing to Columbus. The tournament will be the culmination of the last three months of competitive play and a fitting kick off for the new arena.
Share this article with your favorite streamers and competitive gamers and maybe we’ll see you in Columbus!