Fortress Melbourne has announced it's planning to open a 200-seat esports arena in the city's CBD in 2020. This means the biggest gaming entertainment arena in the Southern Hemisphere will soon call Melbourne home.
The arena, due to open in early 2020, will allegedly span more than 2,700 square metres across two floors at the Emporium Melbourne. On those two floors, there will be a 200-seat arena, function rooms, a dedicated LAN lounge with 56 PCs, a full-service restaurant and two separate bars.
Feature-wise, there'll be four dedicated streaming pods, RPG and tabletop game play area, more than 160 gaming PCs in total with at least 50 in the arena when audience seats are retracted.
Fortress Melbourne released a few design renders to give an idea of what the venue will shape up to be and it's looking pretty schmick.
"Melbourne has become the epicentre for video gaming and esports culture with major events like Melbourne Esports Open and PAX Australia," Jon Satterley, CEO at Fortress Esports, said in a press release.
"We want to make Fortress Melbourne the ultimate 'home away from home' for everyone ... 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."
Fortress Melbourne is partnering up with Allied Esports and design firm, Populous, to develop the entertainment venue. Allied Esports currently runs the Las Vegas' HyperX Esports Arena, while Populous helped design ANZ Stadium and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
While Melbourne will be the first Fortress Esports area in Australia, it's looking to build additional venues across various locations in Australia and New Zealand in the coming years.
Gfinity Esports built the first custom esports arena in Australia in partnership with Hoyts Cinema in 2018. In August 2019, Gfinity's Australian operation was announced to be closing down by the end of 2019.
Gfinity's recent closure cast some doom and gloom on the local esports industry of late, but the country is in better shape than what most might expect. With the Melbourne Esports Open kicking off across Father's Day weekend in Melbourne, TEG Live managing director Tim McGregor shared some figures worth remembering when looking at the Australian landscape.