Esports has emerged as one of the fastest growing sectors in the sport and entertainment industry. In addition to online gaming, the demand for arena-based tournaments is also increasing. In this paper, ‘designing the esports venue of the future‘, HOK and SAP explore the esports venue of the future. Together, they reimagine traditional arena design and consider what tech-savvy customers are looking for in an esports venue – from greater connectivity to hospitality-driven environments.

Today, with millions of dollars in prize money at stake, esports players compete in organised tournaments that take place online and, increasingly, in arenas packed with spectators who want to experience the event live and take in the competitions on large screens. For the League of Legends World Championship Finals in Incheon, South Korea, on November 3, 2018, more than 50,000 fans filled the stadium and tens of millions followed the action online.

Esports events fill venues and offer unprecedented levels of interactivity between players and spectators, many of whom grew up playing these games. Many aspects of traditional sports – including performance analytics, ticket sales, fan interaction, betting, and media coverage – are important to the success of esports.

The esports experience is inextricably tied to its technological infrastructure. To design for the next generation, an understanding of how people will use technology in the years to come is needed. The belief is that they will value experiences over possessions, having the flexibility to tailor offerings to satisfy their own preferences and making in-person and virtual connections.

Designing the esports venue of the future explores how the esports experience can be reimagined to accommodate future generations of fans through:

  • Purpose-built facilities
  • Data-driven design
  • Use of location data
  • Immersivity
  • Geometries, spatial organization, and intimacy
  • Integration of the bowl and concourses
  • Blending of technology with the built space

The content of the paper includes:

  1. Understanding How Technology Is Redefining Sports
  2. Charting the Rise of Esports
  3. Tapping into a Rapidly Expanding Market
  4. Designing Experiences for a Switched-On Generation
  5. Accommodating Future Generations of Fans
  6. Reimagining the Esports Experience
  7. Meeting Physical and Digital Demands

Click here to download the ‘designing the esports venue of the future’ paper.

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