Embracing The Future Of Esports: Adapting Your Venue
By Anne Chapman
March 19, 2021
Competitive video gaming has been surging in popularity—over 256 million people have watched at least one Esports competition. Hosting Esports events helps keep your venue’s calendar full and happy fans coming back again and again.
Before diving into the Esports realm, venue operators need to consider the unique needs of this audience. Just as music and sporting events have different requirements, Esports competitors and fans have unique needs. To make your venue a prized destination for Esports events, make sure to design a space that can accommodate these exciting events.
Esports On Center Stage
A central stage is essential to ensuring that your audience is seeing all the action. A typical Esports event will feature a dozen or more competitors. You need a space where they can all be well-seen by the audience.
At Le Reve Theatre, their theater-in-the-round set-up offers a prime Esports experience. Most of the chairs in the 1,600 seat venue offer upholstered armrests and seat backs with strong lumbar support. Special VIP chairs are equipped with intermediate drink tables.
Keep sight lines in mind when designing the space. Often, there will be screens mounted up above the action. Seating that reclines easily allows the audience to watch the screens without having to crane their necks up to see.
And, of course, it is also imperative that every seat in the house have an excellent view. Esports fans are fanatical about their teams and individual stars, and are excited to see them in person. Choosing a staggered layout that gives everyone a good look at the action means that everyone has a great viewing experience. There are a number of seating arrangements that can help you achieve this goal.
Moveable seats, whether telescoping or another style, can help your facility meet the varied seating layouts required by different events. Our telescopic units come in a range of sizes to suit your needs and can be easily moved in and out as needed to get the right set up for every event.
Esports events also vary widely in size. National and international tournaments can attract thousands of viewers from near and far. The inaugural Fortnite World Championship was held in 2019 at Arthur Ashe Stadium, with over 20,000 attendees. If you are planning to add Esports programming, modular seating makes it easier to adapt to both small and large crowds.
The Dickies Arena is an example of a venue that adapts seamlessly from one event type to another throughout the year. At any given time, the venue may be hosting anything from concerts to basketball to hockey to rodeos. They keep on top of the changing requirements with a flexible floor plan that incorporates telescopic seating units. Components like dual rise platforms and portable low-rise platforms make adding and removing seating quick and simple.
The Right Technology
Few would be surprised to learn that robust tech is the backbone of successful Esports events. A stable power system that can stand up to the event's demands is just a start. You'll also need high quality networking to accommodate fans streaming from across the globe. Many people who attend Esports events live post about their experience on a range of social networks. Making sure that they can stay connected is key.
Many venues are equipping their spaces with high-end seating that is a great fit for this sort of tech-heavy event. It isn’t unusual for Esports competitions to last 12 hours. Plush cushioning keeps attendees comfortable all through events. Reclining seats make it easier to watch screens that are mounted above the stage. USB ports or wireless charging stations on seat arms keep digital devices charged and ready. Customizable tablet arms allow your attendees to spread out devices or enjoy snacks and drinks. Ports for headsets allow attendees to plug in their headphones to enjoy a more immersive experience.
Seating Setups Geared Toward Attracting The Crowds
As with traditional sports, Esport setups that include VIP seating are more likely to attract people to your event. High quality seating, dedicated VIP lounges and other amenities are among the features that can make your venue more attractive. One great example is luxury suite seating that features special technology hub tables with charging ports for smartphones and tablets. Esports fans bring a communal, festival-like experience so common areas that allow for gathering should also be considered in your floor plan.
Venues can also consider adapting existing plans like pod seating to their gaming events. This allows groups to ensure that they get seats together so that they can enjoy the tournament with friends. As a bonus, this tech-friendly audience will have high familiarity with features like digital ticketing.
At Irwin, we have decades of experience providing seating for sports and entertainment venues. As we move into the future, we're excited for the chance to help create the next generation of event venues. Talk to us today about your Esports event needs and how we can work with you to create a space that offers an excellent gaming environment.