Gfinity reveals details of U.K.'s first esports arena
Gfinity has wasted no time in securing a heavyweight partner to help launch the U.K.'s first esports arena.
The company, which announced plans for the arena in December, has partnered with Vue cinemas to convert part of their Fulham Broadway branch into the Gfinity Arena—a 600-seater permanent esports venue, the first of its kind in the U.K.
The arena will open next month and host events "every weekend and on select weekday evenings" according to Vue, with 25 events taking place between March and September as part of the 2015 Gfinity Championships. These include championships for Counter-Strike:Global Offensive, Call of Duty, Hearthstone, StarCraft 2 and FIFA.
The venue will have its own entrance, ticketing hall and conveniences, but all tickets will be available through Vue's existing platforms.
"Esports has seen explosive growth both in the UK," Vue's UK & Ireland managing director Kevin Styles said in a statement, "and throughout the world with popular events attended by thousands of fans and viewed by millions more online.”
Vue operates 80 cinemas in the U.K., making it the third largest cinema chain in the country. In 2013 the Vue Entertainment group was sold to the Canadian firms OMERS and Alberta Investment Management Corporation for £935 million ($1.44 billion).
Gfinity also say that the venue will broadcast major events from Activision, Blizzard, Riot and Valve. That means U.K. fans may soon be able to enjoy events like the League Championship Series or The International as part of a crowd of fellow fans without having to travel the world, rather than in their own homes.
Gfinity is renting the space from Vue Cinemas at a cost of around $350,000 over the period of the agreement, including marketing and branding.
Aside from live events, Gfinity promises the venue will provide a hub for esports and video game fans to meet, try the newest releases and compete in amateur competitions throughout the week.
The organization also recently announced it would host the Call of Duty European Championships at London's Royal Opera House on Feb. 28.
Photo via Gfinity/Facebook