As reported by InterGame, “The largest video gaming and esports entertainment venue in the southern hemisphere is to be developed at the Emporium Mall in Melbourne, Australia.

“Fortress Esports is set to occupy over 27,000 sq. ft. across two floors and will be available for marketing events when it opens in early 2020.

Over 160 gaming PCs, console gaming suites, dedicated streamer pods, an RPG and tabletop gameplay area, function rooms, a full-service restaurant, two bars, and a 200-seat purpose-built esports arena with production facilities will make up the facility.

“Melbourne has become the epicenter for video gaming and esports culture with major events like Melbourne Esports Open and PAX Australia,” said Jon Satterley, CEO at Fortress Esports. “So, we’re excited to be opening our first flagship venue there and offer Australians a unique entertainment space that they can enjoy all year round.

“We want to make Fortress Melbourne the ultimate ‘home away from home’ for everyone, from casual gamers, competitive gamers and esports fanatics, to families and after-work crowds. Fortress Melbourne will offer the best video gaming experiences and entertainment, with the newest tech, fastest internet, comfortable decor, great food and drinks and a rich calendar of events and tournaments, plus more,” he added.

For the development, Fortress has partnered exclusively with US-based Allied Esports, a global network of esports venues and production facilities and operators of the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas, to deliver a “world-class esports experience and venue.” Allied will also be lending its expertise in global event programming, development and operation so Fortress can be a destination for tournaments.

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Fortress is also working with global architectural design firm Populous, the designers of ANZ Stadium and the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, UK, to transform the current basement and lower ground space, which will have a separate entry from Caledonian Lane, in Emporium Melbourne.

Plans are also in place to build additional Fortress locations in Australia and New Zealand with similar high-quality fit-out and facilities in the next few years.

What this could mean?  FCDN wants you to fully understand the huge scope of Esports and the mega-companies that are forming partnerships to grow this out of home entertainment sector. It is obvious that huge stadiums are great locations for Esports and big money tournaments attracting the top tier players and their huge followers are taking the place of traditional out of home entertainment offerings (like concerts, professional sports, amateur sports, and the list goes on and on. We in the ‘family’ entertainment industry need to take a closer look at exactly what the demographic ‘family’ currently means. FCDN will continue to follow eSports and search for ways that our leisure OOH entertainment industry can play a part even if it is just a small slice of the huge pie. Esports is growing so rapidly and is a phenomenon that we simply cannot ignore.