The global esports industry has experienced massive growth during the last 5 years as gaming companies concentrate on developing and releasing new esports games that have gained a strong fan following across the world, especially with the younger generation. Millenial Esports recently announced that it has opened its very first eSports gaming stadium in Las Vegas, the gaming capital of the world.
The company which is led by Alex Igelman opened a 15,000 square foot esports arena to the public which is located in downtown Las Vegas. This newly opened esports arena can be found within the Neonopolis shopping mall and can seat up to 200 individuals in a similar style to a regular stadium. There is also a main room located in the arena that can seat up to 500 individuals along with a VIP room and a green room.
The eSports industry brought in $463 million in revenue during 2016 and had more than $61 million in prize money given away during 2016. Igelman stated that once he entered the eSports market, he knew that his company needed to establish its presence in Las Vegas, specifically in the downtown area as it was the place where millennials frequented, making it a great spot to open out a eSports gaming arena.
During the last decade, gaming revenue in Las Vegas hasn’t grown as much as state gaming regulators were expecting and casinos in the state have had to concentrate on a number of non-gaming activities in order to increase their overall revenues. The esports industry provides the state with the opportunity to open out a new stream of revenue and also bring in more players and tourists who are interested in watching these esports tournaments.
There were around 115 million esports enthusiasts in 2015, 148 million in 2016 and an estimated 175 million in 2017. Gaming analysts expect the industry to continue to grow at a rapid pace and register around 196 million in 2018 and 212 million in 2019. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval wanted to make sure that Las Vegas led from the front and encouraged the growth of the esports industry and also profited from its presence in the state.
Since the eSports industry is comparatively younger when compared to some of the other gaming niches, there has been need to streaming esports gaming regulations and player associations. Nevada Esports Alliance is one of the latest organizations to establish itself in the state with the focus of increasing the presence of eSports in Nevada and turning it into the number one esports hub in the world. The company has an esports arena at the Downtown Grand and runs weekly esports gaming events which brings in a number of millennials.
Sandoval admitted in 2016 that while he wasn’t a regular player of esports games and did not understand everything about the industry, he recognized the fact that it was a force to be reckoned with and stressed on the fact that state gaming regulators must be open to embracing the esports industry. Nevada officials have done just that and allowed sports book William Hill to accept its first eSports bet in November 2016. The millennials are no longer captivated by slot machine games which are more popular with the older generation but are drawn towards esports games such as Grand Theft Auto, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone and League of Legends.
Nevada is expected to host more than 12 esports tournaments in 2017 which is expected to attract more than a 100,000 visitors and help boost tourism number in the state. A significant number of these visitors will come from Asian countries where eSports has grown at a tremendous rate. However one of the concerns that can slowdown the growth of the eSports industry in the United States is the travel ban that the Trump administration is looking to pass.
The Trump administration is looking to stop individuals from seven countries from entering the United States and this could hurt the industry as a number of top eSports players hail from these countries. If they are denied a visa to the United States, the quality of these eSports tournaments will be impacted. eSports enthusiasts from around the world, especially in Asia are also concerned if they would face problems with their visas and travel and hence esports tourism could also be hurt in Nevada.

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