As eSports continues its meteoric growth, its ecosystem continues to evolve. The new arena where the Sacramento Kings will play professional basketball when the 2016-17 season begins was designed to be “the most technologically advanced arena in the world, so it’s perfect for eSports,” said the teams co-owner Andy Miller. The $507 million Golden 1 Center will have 1,000 Wi-Fi access points, 17,500 seats, and an 84-foot-long 4K video board.
Miller is already involved in eSports as a founder of Miller NRG eSports, along with Kings co-owner Mark Mastrov. The company currently has a League of Legends team and a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team. Miller has noted, “The early days of eSports looked a lot like the early days of the ABA and the NBA, where you originally had the owners of these teams as players who developed and brought the sport along,” and that “now you’re seeing folks with more of a business background or traditional sports background or marketing background, trying to [bring] eSports to the next level by raising money, getting investors, and being able to professionalize the organizations.” The company plans to expand and has added funding to do so with the recent addition of co-owners Shaquille O’Neal (future NBA hall of famer) and professional baseball players Alex Rodriguez and Jimmy Rollins.
Other eSports-specific venues are being discussed. Earlier this year, Beijing-based Ourgame International Holdings Ltd. (parent company of the World Poker Tour) indicated that it is reportedly looking to build an eSports-specific venue in Las Vegas. If it moves forward, the arena would be a 14,000 square foot complex with a broadcast studio and hundreds of gaming stations, similar to the one the company has in Beijing. This would be part of a set of such arenas built around the world with the intention of establishing an internationally connected set of competitions aimed at bringing along eSports similar to the way the World Poker Tour did for poker.