His words are as bold as his Smurf-colored hair: “We’re taking over Olympic stadiums,” Dan “Frodan” Chou announces, underscoring his aversion to modesty in a sparkling red sports coat. The popular esports broadcaster is speaking for his industry at large. Its next conquest: Las Vegas.
Plenty of foot soldiers have gathered before him on an overcast Wednesday evening to get a first look at Esports Arena Las Vegas, a 30,000-square-foot video gaming Xanadu opening in March in what used to be LAX nightclub at Luxor.
Clad in yellow hard hats, a mix of media members and esports industry figures take in a presentation from a number of principals behind the new venue, which is still under construction, exposed piping looming above.
They detail how a luxe nightspot whose parties were once hosted by pop stars such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera is being transformed into the esports equivalent of a Vegas staple: the more opulent-than-thou entertainment attraction.
Here, video game players will be able to order gourmet eats provided by world- renowned chef Jose Andres’ ThinkFoodGroup as they play titles such as “Call of Duty: WWII” in telescopic seats, surrounded by LED walls in a multilevel playland that also houses its own streaming and TV-ready production studio for broadcasting events.
Esports Arena Las Vegas is being positioned as the crown jewel of Allied esports, a global power player in the industry with venues in Germany and China in addition to North America.
“We wanted a championship destination for our events. That was the mission here,” says Allied Esports CEO Jud Hannigan. “There’s all this talk throughout the industry that Las Vegas has the potential to be the home of esports. We absolutely subscribe to that potential.”
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