Blizzard has been dialing into the esports scene quite seriously over the past few years. It’s pouring millions of dollars into its Overwatch league, and it’s also betting big with franchises like StarCraft II and Heroes of the Storm. So why not build a custom arena around all those licenses?
That’s exactly what it’s done. The publisher confirmed today that it has opened a “cutting edge, live-event destination with the opening of Blizzard Arena Los Angeles.” Taking residence in Burbank, California, the venue was “custom designed and built with amenities to accommodate esports competitors and their fans.” And it will be the home for a number of forthcoming events, including ones surrounding Overwatch and Hearthstone, among others.
So just how high tech is this arena? “Multiple broadcasts and events can be run out of Blizzard Arena simultaneously, thanks to the multiple sound stages, control rooms and player lounges throughout the facility. The on-site Blizzard store will open during events and feature a rotating selection of gear and goods based on the event taking place at the time.”
The venue will officially open its door starting on October 7th, when the Overwatch Contenders Playoffs begin over the course of that weekend. From there, the Summer Championship for the Hearthstone Championship Tour will follow on October 13th as it “takes over the Arena for a full weekend of championship competition with $250,000 on the line.”
And then there’s the Overwatch League, which will call the Arena home over the course of each of the contests. “Blizzard Arena Los Angeles will be the home for the inaugural season, bringing players and fans together for a celebration of professional Overwatch esports.”
This could be just the beginning as well. Note that the location was called Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, which indicates we could very well see other locations scattered throughout the world, perhaps even overseas in South Korea. Blizzard hasn’t let on about its plans just yet, but considering the popularity of its franchises, it wouldn’t surprise us if it revealed something down the road.
Congrats to Blizzard on the feat. Oh, and, guys, feel free to invite us down to take a look at the shindigs. We’ll bring our gaming rigs.