It looks like the world of eSports is getting a new set of power players as Vindex, Andbox, and Envy partner up to launch a fleet of gaming centers in major metropolitan centers across the globe. With eSports as a primary focus for these centers – and, we assume, the events and spectator festivals that go along with it – this could prove to be a very lucrative move for the three companies as entertainment’s fastest-growing segment seeks to further that advance.
Vindex’s purchase of Belong Gaming for $300 million is the first volley in what is expected to be a long campaign to roll out this concept, especially given the constraints presented by the COVID-19 pandemic on public events like this.
Envy Gaming’s president and COO Geoff Moore said of the planned Dallas center, “The Dallas-Forth Worth market has been, at least until this year, very event, team and competition focused as an entertainment source. So we’re very happy to have such high class experienced operators who understand esports to partner with us as we build out the entire esports ecosystem.”
Andbox’s president and co-founder Farzam Kamel said in a statement concerning the partnership, “These new gaming centers we’ll be launching in partnership with Vindex will provide a high quality, best in class experience that esports fans in the New York metro area deserve. One of Andbox’s goals has always been to provide the local community here with physical spaces specifically designed for and dedicated to gaming, and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of making that a reality.”
A huge component of the plan is to bring together various gaming communities into one space. This is not only to agglomerate talent and thus find tomorrow’s stars but also to elevate certain games that are staples of the scene but that don’t draw huge crowds currently.
“Here, there are hundreds of thousands of people playing all these different games, but they’re all doing it individually from their homes and they’re linked together through their headphones and the internet. But what’s been the missing part of that vertical stack is the venues that allow them to scale and come together for events or participatory entertainment. It’s just a big piece of the puzzle that gets filled in,” Moore added.
Both executives noted how fast eSports is rising not only as an entertainment source but also as an accepted activity using school-sponsored eSports as an example of just that phenomenon. Even with all of this optimism, however, the question remains as to what impact the novel coronavirus pandemic will have on this development moving forward. While no one thinks that the pandemic is going to stop anything dead in its tracks, it is question as to how much of a delay we can expect before massive public events become acceptable again.
What do you think of Vindex’s big move into eSports venues? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments section.
And don’t forget to check out our other video game articles by clicking here.