The world of competitive esports is exploding in popularity right now, with huge number of players and fans flocking to events all around the world. Blizzard wants to have an official stadium for esports events to take place, so it has acquired the former home of "The Tonight Show: in Burbank Studios. The stadium will be called Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, and it will be used as a place for both pro and amateur gamers to hold events.
The facility is said to have multiple sound stages and control rooms that will support a range of live events. All of these events will have the capability of being streamed live as the event happens. Blizzard and Twitch have a streaming agreement in place, so we know the platform that will be used. There are currently no actual images of the arena for us to check out.
The arena will open for its first event on October 7, when the Overwatch Contenders season one playoffs take place. The next major gaming event to take pace there will be the Hearthstone Championship Tour's Summer Championship on October 13.
"We're at a tipping point for esports and we look forward to helping usher in a new era of competition-based entertainment," Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said in a statement. "As we open the doors of Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and welcome fans from around the world, we're honored to bring the best in Blizzard esports to the same stage that some of the biggest names in entertainment have called home."
The arena will also be the home of some other big esports events moving forward including the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship Finals and the World of Warcraft Arena Championships, both taking place in late October. At those events the top players for each game will move on to the championship stages on November 3 and 4 held at BlizzCon.
Blizzard Arena Los Angeles will also be the home of Overwatch League play with the entire series taking place predominantly in the arena until each of the individual teams sets up their own respective arenas. This isn't the first big arena that Blizzard has opened around the world; a Blizzard Arena in Taiwan opened back on March 30.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (Marco Verch)