Esports (competitive gaming) is gaining traction as a major force in the world-wide sectors of gaming and entertainment. Walmart has now become an active partner with Esports Arena in an interesting joint venture.
Walmart recently began installing Esports Arenas in three stores (Colorado Springs CO, Roseville CA, Spokane Valley WA). Their goal is to create a place where casual online and competitive players can play, socialize, eat/drink, and partake in tournaments/leagues and be able to purchase esports gear as well as games. Packaging all of this in one destination location puts Walmart in the esports spotlight.
The Walmart Esports Arena hosts league nights of competitive gaming during the weekday nights as well as tournaments on the weekends but also has open play sessions available. Open play is currently $5 per hour and league nights and tournaments have a $10 entrance fee.
Background Quote: ‘In addition, Walmart makes the tournament and e-sports community way more accessible, since it has locations all over the country. Rural, suburban, and urban areas all now have the potential to be access points to the world’s biggest tournaments and competitive gaming leagues, since Walmart can host big-name tournaments at any Walmart that has an Esports Arena.’
[Esports has been all about allowing the best players in a particular video game to come together to compete while an audience of fans watches. Walmart and Esports Arenas are also attracting new players, something the amusement and FEC industry needs to understand.]
Top played esports games include League of Legends, Dota 2 and Overwatch (but no one game dominates everything) with hundreds of thousands of viewers for drawn to the biggest events. The market potential has been estimated to reach $1.5 billion by the year 2020.
Two examples of Esports Gear at Walmart