ESports are becoming more and more popular in the last few years with larger prize pools getting offered for various eSport games and the highest earning players having earned over $1 million this year alone.
With such a lucrative market out there, and companies making more and more money off of it, it makes sense that more attempts to expand ways they can monetize and popularize it. GFinity, was launched as a company in 2013 to bring eSports to Britain and it has been attempting to push the bounds of what it can do to get people involved and interested in the sport since then.
Their latest announcement includes several big pieces of news, but the biggest and most newsworthy is the fact that they are going to acquire a permanent venue for the United Kingdom’s first dedicated eSports Arena. They are planning to seat up to 500 spectators in it with more events than ever, exclusive arena content, and more. The venue will be set in London, but details are still waiting on exactly where it will be and if they are building one or renovating an old building.
In 2015, they will be hosting 30 offline events between March and September, culminating in the Gfinity Championship LAN. They are going to include 6 Gfinity Opens, which will allow all players to compete for prizes throughout the season. The number of games that Gfinity will run with has also been increased to 6 – now covering Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, StarCraft II, FIFA, Hearthstone and Halo.
To help promote the ‘professionalism’ of the sport, and to help make sure that people are able to come to events, eSports athletes are going to be getting a nice new perk from Gfinity this upcoming year. All their travel and accommodation costs for their Major Tournaments will be covered by Gfinity.
This upcoming year, their prize pool is also increasing as one would expect with the increase in events. Over $500 000 will be committed in prize money for 2015 from Gfinity, three times as much as their 2014 prize pool was.
What are your thoughts on this arena? What sort of things do you think an eSports arena should have? Or do you think this is a frivolous waste of money ?