Las Vegas Sun

December 12, 2017

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First e-sports arena coming to the Strip

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John Locher / AP

Teams compete during the Dreamhack Masters e-sports tournament Feb. 17 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Las Vegas will be getting its second e-sports arena soon, in the space once occupied by the now-closed LAX nightclub at Luxor, according to an announcement Tuesday from Allied Esports, the company developing the facility.

The other e-sports venue, Millennial Esports, opened in Neonopolis downtown in early March.

The nightclub closed April 1, and the 30,000-square-foot e-sports venue will take over the space early next year.

The decision to add some kind of e-sports offering in the space LAX had occupied came shortly after Luxor management toured the nightclub before its closure, according to Niklas Rytterstrom, the Luxor’s general manager,

“We have been following the growth and excitement around e-sports for some time,” he said. “So when we walked that area, we realized pretty quickly that the LAX space would be suited perfectly for what we wanted to create.”

The new arena will house 750 to 1,000 people, depending how the area is configured, an MGM spokeswoman said.

“It’s going to be open the majority of the day,” Rytterstrom said. “We’ll have individuals coming in to play single stations and really interact with other e-sports fans. It will have bars and several lounges that will have that experience. And we’ll also be able to transform it into an arena and do the bigger events.”

Rytterstrom also said there will be areas for underage players as well.

He wouldn’t say if any there had been any discussions with tournament organizers about possible events for arena. “It’s still a little early to talk about that since really the venue will not be opened until the first quarter of 2018. We’re still in design mode.”

The opening is the latest milestone in a push to make Las Vegas an e-sports destination. In addition to the March opening of the Millennial Esports arena, international sports book company William Hill has offered bets across Nevada on two major e-sports tournaments.

And in February, several Las Vegas executives launched the Nevada Esports Alliance, a group dedicated to promoting Nevada in the e-sports industry

Seth Schorr, chairman of the Downtown Grand and one of the Alliance’s founding members, said one of the biggest e-sports conferences could be held in Las Vegas next year.

Schorr said the new arena is a very positive event for e-sports in Southern Nevada.

“I think (the new arena) is incredibly exciting for Las Vegas,” Schorr said. “At the Nevada Esports Alliance, the goal of our organization is to make Las Vegas a global hub of e-sports, and seeing news like this shows we’re well on our way.”

The fact that this new arena is on the Strip and not near Nevada Esports Alliance or the Downtown Grand, which also hosts e-sports events, only helps the Las Vegas e-sports movement, Schorr said.

“Part of the beauty of Las Vegas is having these experiences throughout our city,” he said. “Quite frankly, just like the Strip complements downtown, (this area) will be a different experience from the experience of the Millennial Esports arena downtown.”

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