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The aim of most operators who are striving to build and maintain a successful entertainment venue is to build a community and ensure “Repeat Visitation”.

The design of a space that is both compelling and electrifying is an important part of the formula, but additionally, creating unique entertainment options that draw return visits.

eSports is the form of competitive gaming that is taking the world by storm, and although many operators are familiar with the term, most are not quite sure how it fits into their entertainment offering. ‘Esports’, which stands for “electronic sports”, is used to describe a video game that has individual or team competition and tournament play.

It is important to remember that the entertainment facility business is already home to competition and tournament play from the origins of the high-score chart to the leagues of laser tag and bowling. With a multiplayer gaming platform like HOLOGATE ARENA, think “laser tag”, but now played in virtual reality in a digital arena.

When Nicole Madörin, Managing Director of MatrixZone Entertainment in St. Gallen Switzerland had the idea to add eSports tournaments to their venue, initially, as a way to encourage their customers to come out with their friends and play as a group rather than stay home and play alone.

Nicole states, “After our first event, which featured over 10 teams, and over 6 hours of fun-filled competition, many new friendships developed, which in turn created long-lasting competitive teams that would both practice together and play with each other in future tournaments.”

Nicole continues, “Here are our suggestions for a successful tournament. First, choose the right games. Player vs. player games like ‘Simurai Arena’ or ‘Rig Rebels’ work really well. Second, use a flexible payment structure. Make the payment model dependent on the number of teams. Third, calculate a good lead time. Make sure that you have enough time to promote the event and give players enough time to register and practice beforehand.”

Other notable examples of successful eSports tournaments using HOLOGATE ARENA titles are a ‘Tower Tag’ tournament in China drawing thousands of spectators and Two Bit Circus in Los Angeles, hosting a ‘World of Tanks’ tournament during the E3 video game industry trade event.

These eSports tournament examples are important to note as they drew large crowds comprised of many first-time visitors, generated increased revenue through team registration fees, sponsorships, guest post-tournament spending, and created an exclusive experience the attendees won’t forget.

HOLOGATE currently provides many game options for the ARENA that will be ideal for you to host your own eSports tournaments. As with MatrixZone Entertainment’s experience, they found success with ‘Simurai Arena’ and ‘Rig Rebels’, others with ‘Tower Tag’ and ‘World of Tanks’, but essentially most of the games in the HOLOGATE ARENA library can be featured in an eSports tournament. Whether it be a dance-off with ‘Groove Guardians’ or a cook-off with ‘Captain Cook’, it’s all about organizing an event that’s manageable, marketed, hosted, and most importantly fun for all.

Gregg Katano

SVP, U.S. Operations. 25+ year entertainment and media professional, entrepreneur, and strategist in the areas of live production, vfx, and stereoscopic 3D. Prior to joining HOLOGATE in 2017, Gregg had been a leader in the immersive space speaking internationally and creating activations for Google and CES.