Pennsylvania Goes All-in With eSports
Pennsylvania is not cutting on expenses on their effort to be known as the host state for e-Sports in the United States. The cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh announced some exciting news this week. It includes the first purpose-built e-Sports arena. The company Comcast Spectacor announced this week their plan to build a 3,500 seat venue in Philadelphia, exclusive for e-Sports tournaments. This would make it the first ever purpose-built e-Sports stadium in the United States.
Comcast Spectacor owns the Philadelphia Flyers from the NHL. The stadium will be in South Philadelphia, next to the Xfinity Live. This is relatively close to the Wells Fargo Center, which host games for the Flyers and the Citizens Bank Park, from the Philadelphia Phillies. The new arena will cost around $50 Million and will be the home of the Philadelphia Fusion, the e-sports team owned by Comcast Spectacor.
The Fusion is one of the 20 teams that are participating in the Overwatch League. The videogame Overwatch has over 40 Million players around the world. ESPN tracked around 11 Million viewers for the 2018 Overwatch League finals in 2018, only via streaming. The League is being played at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles, California. However, for 2020, all teams will be playing in their home city. Right now, only the Philadelphia Fusion has announced the construction of an e-sports arena.
China is one of the countries with a substantial investment dedicated to e-Sports. They have an “e-sports town” Hangzhou with over a $280 Million investment. In 2022 the Asian Games will give e-sports participant a medal, becoming a sport officially. The United States, especially the city of Philadelphia is aiming for something similar. With Pennsylvania being one of the states where sports betting is legal, betting on home e-Sports tournaments and leagues will be available.
Pittsburgh To Host The “Steel City showdown”
The city of Pittsburgh is also making outstanding efforts to support the e-sports tournaments. They announced the “Steel City showdown” will be held from May-10-12 at the Pittsburgh Playhouse on Forbes Avenue downtown. The cool thing about it is the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, and the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers are teaming up with the Pittsburgh Knights to host the event. The Knights are Pittsburgh’s professional e-sports team.
Why the Cavaliers? The Cavs CEO Len Komoroski is a Pittsburgh native. “Pittsburgh is part of our region,” Komoroski said. “We are the only NBA team in the state of Ohio, western Pennsylvania, western New York, northern West Virginia, so this is Cavs country.” The fee to play Super Smash Bros is $10 and $20 each for NBA 2K and NHL 2K. If you want to go as a spectator, then the ticket will cost $5.