Melbourne’s Getting A Huge Esports Arena

Melbourne’s Getting A Huge Esports Arena
Image: Getty Images

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.

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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.

Image: Supplied
Image: Supplied
Image: Supplied

“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.

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  • Gods the Emporium must be tanking hard if they’re willing to give over the two lower floors to this.

    I know it’s got a lot of empty shops in it right now, but I didn’t realise it was teetering on the brink of dead mall status.

    • Emporium is going pretty well as far as I can tell. There are no empty stores and it’s impossible to get a seat at the various food court areas during lunch.

      2,700 square metres is pretty trivial in the scheme of things, about the same size as a large Coles or Woolworths.

      What’s most likely is that one of the larger retailers is pulling out or reducing the size of their lease, probably Myer which has been progressively reducing their footprint in the building for years.

      • I’m guessing you haven’t been to Emporium in the past couple of months. There’s a lot more empty storefronts (I counted around 20 when I was there a few weeks ago) than you would expect for a healthy mall.

        Also I just realised that they must be taking over the old Topshop space, which would be about that size.

        • Yeah, it’s been about six months. Not sure what’s happened to clear everyone out then, but dead mall seems an over-statement.

          • I think end-of-financial-year rent hikes may have done it. A fair few shops at my local shopping centre have gone in the past few months too.

            Either that, or the first signs of the retail apocalypse are finally hitting Australia.

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