News recently broke of Work America Capital Management’s intention to invest $70m into a state-of-the-art eSports arena named ‘The Cannon’.

The Houston, TX based venture capital firm have plans in place to develop a 120,000 square foot arena which would belong to part of a wider Work America Capital development called the Founders’ District as reported by the Houston Chronicle.

Overwatch / Blizzard

This is believed to have arisen due to the City’s strong connection with eSports through their very own Houston Outlaws, the city’s professional Overwatch team who compete in the recently launched Overwatch league (OWL).

With such significant investment such as this being made all over the world to develop eSports exclusive infrastructure, which of the existing arenas throughout the world are currently considered to be the best?

Wembley Arena, London

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London is one of the world’s go-to cities in terms of eSports events and is undoubtedly one of Europe’s eSports capitals. There are various venues around the English capital that have hosted tournaments in the past, however, none compare to the Wembley Arena.

With a capacity of 12,500 the venue can attract some of the largest eSports crowds around, on top of the millions and millions of viewers that tune in to watch the competition streams all around the world.

2017 saw the eSports Championship Series Season 3 Finals be played for in London’s famous arena, where the world’s best Global Offensive teams battled it out for glory. The European LoL Championship Series has also taken place here in the past.

Sang-am World Cup Stadium, Seoul

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Once a host stadium for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Sang-am World Cup Stadium has played host to some of the world’s most popular eSports events. With gigantic stadium held a crowd of 45,000 during the LoL World Championships in 2014, that is 6,000 more than the average attendance of a Premier League football game! Astounding.

There figures should come as no surprise when you consider the size of the eSports market in South Korea. The video gaming industry makes up a considerable amount of the entire nation’s GDP and pro gamers are generally treated like celebrities, or other high profile athletes in traditional sports.
In 2014 it was believed that Korea’s eSports industry was worth some £5bn. Just let that sink in.

Staples Centre, Los Angeles

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When you think of the Staples Centre you probably think of Kobe Bryant or the Lakers. However, the Staples Centre has also played host to some of the world’s largest eSports tournaments. In 2013 and 2016, it famously hosted the LoL World Finals and took under an hour to sell all of the 12,000 available tickets.

Just like basketball, one of America’s big three sports, eSports attracts same sized crowds, uses the same arenas and ultimately, big money is at stake. eSports is already as big if not already bigger than traditional sports in some Asian countries. Could the trend be carrying over into the US as well?

List page image © Hyunjoon Yoon

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