Esports Stadium In Chongqing, China, To Be Completed This Year
A new esports stadium "has risen on a bank of the Yangtze River in southwestern China’s Chongqing municipality," according to Christopher DeWolf of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. It is the world’s first "purpose-built" esports stadium "and it was designed by Hong Kong architect Barrie Ho." The architect, whose firm designed Chongqing’s Zhongxian E-Sports Stadium, said, "The number of people watching esports online is higher than the number watching the NBA." Phase one of the project was completed at the end of last year. Ho: "Everybody thinks esports is about two people playing a game online. It’s not like that. It’s like a carnival." It is "even more than that:" it is a "phenomenon." Market tracking company Newzoo projects that 427 million people will be watching competitive video gaming next year. Stadiums around the world "are already being used" for esports events. In '14, more than 45,000 fans "crowded into Seoul’s World Cup Stadium" to watch the League of Legends World Championship. Blizzard Entertainment has already opened dedicated esports halls in Taipei and L.A. But the 60,000-square-foot Zhongxian stadium, "which is slated to be fully completed by the middle of this year, is the first fully fledged stadium dedicated entirely to professional video gaming" (SCMP, 2/19).