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The biggest development in competitive sports in recent years is unquestionably esports. Electronic gaming via LAN parties in leagues, university-run tournaments, and even franchises is growing in popularity at an astonishing rate. Some may find it surprising, but professional video gaming like this is becoming a spectator sport.

CNN describes the growing global esports market as a “billion-dollar industry,” and that’s just talking about competitive gaming tournament play, which is the tip of the iceberg. Beyond that, you can find a number of people (both high-skill players and “regular” folks) making a living streaming their gameplay on Twitch and YouTube.

The esports industry is here, and it’s not just a blip on the radar. 

Most esports events are streamed so that fans can watch online, but these physical, in-person events have the potential to grow into large, arena-style games like other professional sports. In fact, several esports arenas are being built around the US. The growth potential for esports competitions is staggering when you think of the number of gamers who are interested in watching and playing in these tournaments. In the US alone, there are 164 million adults who play video games!

The question then becomes, how do you up the in-person experience for both gamers and attendees? Here we look at 4 ways esports arena AV system designs can elevate the experience.

Guide Spectators’ Eyes with LED Flooring

One dynamic way to enhance the esport arena experience is LED flooring. With LED flooring, you can light up your floor with any number of visuals, from sponsorship logos to interactive elements for competitors or fans to walk on.

At an esports event, you could install LED flooring where competitors are seated and use it to visually highlight a competitor at a key moment. Think of it in much the same light as how we’ve become accustomed to using circles and graphics to draw attention to specific players in highlights in mainstream sporting events. You can also use LED flooring in common spaces for either advertising or fan engagement opportunities or even concourse activations. This flooring is so durable, that it could hold a car!

Dazzle Live & On-Stream with Projection Mapping

Projection mapping is a visually appealing technology that allows you to create large-scale visuals all over your esports venue. If you’ve seen the opening ceremony for the last few Olympic Games or halftime of recent Super Bowls, you’ve seen this tech in action. It’s how they managed to animate the entire floor of the Olympic stadium, making it appear to shift, crack, and grow.

The possibilities for this tech in esports are endless. You can map in-game visuals on walls or even ceilings for a more immersive experience. If one team desired to have their logo or an in-game moment or environment mapped on the outside of the arena, this too is possible.

Not to mention, standard projection can also apply in the esports space. If you have open floor space, you could use it for limited replays or highlights through projection mapping. You can cast sponsor logos onto walls, floors, or even the audience itself. And you can do the same with player names and stats. 

Personalize the Fan Experience through RFID or NFC Credentials

Another way to elevate your in-arena experience is by using RFID or NFC credentials to customize the fan experience. The gold standard for this may just be Disney’s MagicBand, a high-tech wristband that “magically” personalizes the park experience for each guest.

There are plenty of ways this could be implemented. Give VIP guests priority or exclusive access by waving their RFID/NFC-enabled ticketing credentials. Or outfit the esports team members with the tech so that their custom hype music plays when they enter the stadium. The only limit is your creativity!

Customize the Atmosphere with Creative Lighting

One of the interesting things about esports is that the genre is so broad. In traditional sports, pretty much all football broadcasts have the same feel. Same for basketball, baseball, and so on. You know what to expect.

But esports is a little different. Because there are so many different types of competitive gaming being played, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Tournaments could feature sports games, first-person shooters, multiplayer battle royals, RPGs, virtual reality, or anything in between.

Creative use of multipurpose lighting lets you customize the atmosphere and look of the arena to match the nature of the game being played. With quality lighting controls, you’ll have the ability to customize lighting and switch between multiple looks at the touch of a button. If your esports gaming event features multiple titles or genres, you’ll find this an especially useful option.

How Bluewater Can Help Bring Your Esports Arena Designs to Life
Bluewater is an industry-leading AV company with over 30 years of experience in pushing the boundaries of technology. Whether you are building a new esports venue, or running a tournament in an existing space like a convention center, our team can help with everything from projection mapping to sound design.