Possible Video Game and eSports Arena Proposed For Build-Up in Chicago

League of Legends eSports Worlds 2020
Photo : Screenshot from LoL eSports' Official YouTube Channel

proposed eSports arena in Chicago is being reported to happen very soon after the pandemic. It could be a haven for both professional and non-professional video game players.

The plan is said to take place in the community of the Near South Side of Chicago, Illinois. The idea of developing a hub and area to cater to video game players came from Scott Greenberg, a business and franchising experts who now sees work on motivational speaking about his area of expertise. He also gained popularity when he worked on various hotel projects in Chicago, such as the EMC2 hotel in Streeterville and the Loop's well-known Wit. Now he eyes to spearhead the building and development of a $30 million eSports venue and facility that would be called Surge and would be set near the Stevenson Expressway.

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The facility's proposed design would feature a brick-based building wherein it was first a place where the famous Chicago native bicycle shop Kozy's Bike Shop and Cyclery was housed for a long time. Its new overall look would be supervised by a Chicago-based architecture firm Koo. Its measurements are listed as a 106,000-square-foot venue that is targeted to be located at 2500 S. Wabash Ave. It includes areas that would serve food and drinks from the designated kitchens, which is estimated to be around three kitchens in total. 

Another major factor that is seen notable for the new venue is its audience capacity. Up to a total of 800 spectators or fans of e-games sports and events could enter and watch the eSports events and competitions that could take place inside the arena. However, this vision could see it happening in real-time when the pandemic would eventually be over. 

The Effects of the Pandemic in the Video Game Industry and eSports Scene

The pandemic has greatly affected the world of video games and eSports, and maybe one of the few industries that have benefited it. People were merely stuck at home for a long time now, and some are still up until now. This has caused the video games and consoles industry's sales to rise up. Yet live eSports events such as the League of Legends Championship series, which is considered to be one of the biggest eSports events in the world every year, are affected by the pandemic being it a social gathering event. Strict protocols and health guidelines are still being observed and practiced, and live events have been impacted on a bigger note.

ECD company - the company owned by Greenberg that will take over the project will partner with another Chicago-based company MassVR specializing in virtual reality expertise. The latter also had previously launched a much smaller eSports facility located in the Old Orchard shopping mall in Skokie but was closed due to the pandemic brought by the COVID-19. 

Once opened, the venue could house up to 80 professional eSports players with virtual equioment.

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