A new eSports studio has come to The Strip. It is the second studio of its kind to be built in the area. ESP Gaming and Poker Central, one of its sister companies, has created the studio at the Aria Resort & Casino. It will play host to various events, including as the mobile league from Super Evil Megacorp, Vainglory Premier League, etc.
Operated and owned by Poker Central, the studio encompasses 10,000 square feet and is not oversized when judged by industry standards. It can hold as many as 300 guests and includes enough room for 120 spectators. There are some larger eSports events that fill huge arenas. While the Aria Casino studio may occupy a small space, its proprietors have a unique vision.
Jeff Liboon, ESP Gaming president, said during one interview that the ESP Gaming studio aims to deliver a VIP experience for visitors. Each event will be designed to offer an intimate experience for the individual with the goal of creating a very memorable night. This will not be a one-size-fits-all experience.
The studio, he says, was built entirely within Aria and has every technologically advanced feature imaginable. Liboon went on to say, “We’ve partnered with MGM and Aria to build out a multiuse poker studio into an arena. Poker Central was building it out for poker events, but it was apparent we needed to change the design, add features, and make it available for eSports competitions.”
Poker Central’s First Event Scheduled for Mid-May. Are You Ready?
Poker Central and ESP Gaming plan to share the new Las Vegas eSports studio. It will be used as the hub for Poker Central’s live events, distributed on PokerGO, the company’s subscription service. The grand opening premiere event is scheduled for May 16 through May 18 and will include Poker After Dark. In a statement, JR McCabe, chief digital officer for Poker Central, said, “While this studio marks the fulfillment of that goal, it also doubles as a promise to our loyal viewers – to continually expand our programming slate, offer even more tournaments at all levels and get fans even closer to the mind sport they love.”
The poker network has been in the making for over a year, and it plans to showcase what it calls the best tournaments in the world, alongside other lifestyle content. Over the past 12 months, Poker Central has been securing expanded broadcasting partnerships with major companies, such as the NBC Sports Network and ESPN. Licensing has even been expanded to Asia, with some World Series of Poker events, including the World Series of Poker events expanding to China’s Doupai.tv.
ESP Gaming is also going to use the studio for its eSport productions. The space is ideally suited for such events, with several sound stages, main studio area, break desk and lounge dedicated to streaming. The venue has the flexibility necessary to host all kinds of eSports and poker events. All are, of course, subject to the gaming laws of the state of Nevada, and, depending on availability, the public is allowed.
Liboon says the studio can hold events, such as an 80-participants battle royale, with PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, which is quite large. He says that Las Vegas is a hub for these kinds of events and hopes that, over time, these happenings could be held weekly at the studio.
The studio at the Aria Casino is actually the second of its kind on The Strip. Allied Sports, a rival, teamed up with eSports Arena in partnership with MGM Resorts International and built a venue for eSports inside the Luxor Hotel & Casino.
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