New 30,000-square foot Esports Arena opens on the Las Vegas Strip

FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2009, file photo, a participant plays a computer game during the Intel Friday Night Game, a competition of the ESL, Electronic Sports League.

Las Vegas has always been on the world map for gambling and entertainment, but now a new venue will draw gamers of all ages, from around the world.

The Esports Arena is inside the Luxor. It’s a feast for the senses. It’s interactive entertainment on a larger-than-life screen

Gamer “Miss Alayah” as she’s known, said, "10-year-old me is like crazy about it." Inside the Luxor, it’s the cutting edge of technology. It’s a hub of gaming and this is the championship destination.

Jud Hannigan, the CEO of Allied Esports said, "No place like Vegas drives excitement and anticipation." He said the concept took and build-out took about two years to complete. Now, gamers will be able to interact with each other on a new playing field.

"I'm super excited for this. I'm planning on talking to people, trying to build connections, play some games, have fun." He brought his friend Erik Fitting. Erik said gaming has opened up a whole new world for him. "I've met a lot of friends because of Esports," says 16-year-old Sean Im.

At the arena, they are all sharing a heightened experience. Perhaps even some nostalgia. Hannigan said, "We have this great history of gaming experience here where you can run from an Atari 1972 and play pong, all the way up until today."

He said it’s a place for everyone. Erik said his mom was a little concerned at first since it’s inside a casino. "You know, walking through a casino to get here was a little confusing."

The arena represents the changing face of Las Vegas, where gaming doesn’t involve a table or a slot machine. Chelsea Smith said, "We'd much rather do this than gamble. That's boring. Video games are much more entertaining."

The concept, of course, isn’t new. But, this Esports arena draws on everything that’s uniquely Vegas, including an easy-to-eat menu created by celebrity chef Jose Andres. Executive Chef Matt Dibari said, “We researched what gamers wanted to eat.” On the menu: chopstick friendly food items and things that won’t grease up a keyboard like poke bowls and flatbreads. He added, "Gamers are very nocturnal creatures, apparently, so we're going to be serving them as long as they want to eat."

It’s free to enter and watch the battles go down. You pay to play. It officially opens to the public Friday, March 22, 2018.

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