UK’s first eSports arena planned for 2015 (Wired UK)


League of
Legends
League of
Legends

One of the growing number of games attracting
huge viewing figures and big money


The sometimes obscure world of eSports is about to get a
significant signal boost in the UK, with plans announced for the
country’s first arena dedicated to high-level, competitive gaming.

The move comes as part of Kingston-based Gfinity’s plans to float on the
stock market. With an estimated £13m valuation, the company aims to
raise £3m to build the new centre, which is intended to accomodate
up to 500 spectators at a time.

“The growth across the whole market is just phenomenal but we
need funding to accelerate our own growth,” Gfinity founder Neville
Upton told City A.M. “The money will pay for us to build an eSports
Arena, the first ever in the UK, and provide competitions on a
regular basis. There’s only two other major global providers of
eSports: Major League Gaming in the US and eSports League in
Germany. This float will give us enough firepower to be on their
scale and hopefully build up a reputation for our
competitions.”

In its current form — an online hub for competitive players of
games such as Call of Duty, League of Legends and
Starcraft II — has over 270,000 people registered and
sees circa 30,000 new subscribers each month, according to
Upton.

eSports is becoming an increasing popular — and lucrative –
market. This June saw the DotA II championships offer a $10m (£6.35m) prize pot, and Gfinity itself held its
first arena event, attracting 4,000 attendees.

Although Gfinity hasn’t announced details of opening dates or
location for its bespoke arena, nor a window for its IPO of
shares
, the company has revealed plans for its expanded operations next year, with 30
large-scale offline events, more games joining its competitive
roster, and $500,000 (£317,000) in prize money.

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1 December 2014 | 6:46 pm – Source: wired.co.uk

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