Why Vegas is well placed for esports tournaments large and small

Why Vegas is well placed for esports tournaments large and small

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 Posted by Sam Cooke
Some thoughts from Millennial Esports' CEO Alex Igelman

Fight nights are something special in Las Vegas. Perhaps soon, CS:GO or League nights will be too. Millennial Esports opened a dedicated esports venue in downtown Vegas in the Neonopolis recently with the belief that this can and will happen.

Millennial Esports’ CEO Alex Igelman is a big believer in the potential of Vegas as a host city for esports tournaments large and small.

Why does he think Vegas stands out? Igelman said: “Las Vegas has always been a leader in global entertainment. First it was the spectacle shows like Cirque Du Soleil. Then we saw the launch of big nightlife and the mega-clubs like Pure and Marquis. Today it is all about attracting the Millennial generation and figuring out how to keep them entertained. Esports is only part of the solution and is no different than boxing was in the 80’s and 90’s and UFC in the last decade. It is something the people want and we are giving it to them.”

So thE Arena (the name of Millennial Esports’ venue) has been open for two months now. The choice of downtown was an interesting one, but there are obviously pros and cons for both The Strip and downtown. In recent times we’ve seen The Luxor agree a deal for a 30,000 sq ft space within it to be turned into a purely esports space which’ll host daily events, whilst Unikrn signed a deal to acquire casino esports tournament organisers LEET.gg. LEET has worked with the likes of the Downtown Grand amongst others.

On the topic of opting for downtown, Igelman said:  “Obviously we went downtown for a reason. Our venue is stand alone and there is ample low cost parking, easy access and reasonably priced hotels and F+B options that one cannot readily find on the strip. The strip also has its unique draw and character. I believe there is room for a variety of different venues in Las Vegas. We are proud to be Las Vegas Esport pioneers and warmly welcome all those that intend to follow suit.”

There has been a lot of money being thrown around in esports in the past six months, and Millennial Esports secured its own $2m in investment. When asked what this will be used for,

Igelman noted: “For one, we recently announced an LOI to acquire an amazing technology team and data (streaming) analytics platform from Spain called Stream Hatchet.  Some of the funds will be used for that. We also intend to use some of the proceeds to continue to build out the Millennial Esports team, technology platform and expand our content calendar and initiatives.And of course some of the proceeds will be used  to fund general operations.”

With more esports specific venues popping up around the world from Taipei to London, and more spaces hosting their own tournaments, this begs the question of what makes for a great esports venue?

Igelman stated: “You need a good team of dedicated people that are passionate about esports and are well respected in the gaming community to run production and operations. We are lucky to have this and continue to hire great new staff for our Las Vegas operations. Secondly, you need to listen to the gaming community, teams, publishers and fans and build a venue truly purpose built for esports.

“Great sound, light, and AV. Lightning fast internet connectivity. High ceilings and comfortable surroundings for players and fans alike. All in all you need to cater to the community and exceed their expectations. I think we did that at ‘thE Arena’.”

Totally Gaming says: Esports and Las Vegas as an entertainment hotspot do seem to go hand in hand. With more acquisitions and partnerships by the week, it’s an exciting time for esports and we look forward to seeing what other moves casinos and the rest make. Rest assured dedicated venues such as Millennial Esports’ one in the Neonopolis will provide part of the backbone to this boom.

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