Hollywood’s longstanding TCL Chinese Theatre is looking to become Los Angeles’ new esports destination.
Come late this summer, owners of the iconic theater will launch an esports facility in the Chinese 6 Theatre complex next door. It’ll operate as an MX4D Motion EFX movie theater as well as “the first immersive spectator theater” for esports tournaments, according to the press release. It’ll apparently “provide a launch pad for a network of tournament theaters beyond Hollywood.”
The TCL Chinese Theatre hosted Super Evil Megacorp’s Vainglory World Championship in 2016—and that sparked an interest in the emerging esports market. “After we hosted the Vainglory World Championship last year, we were hooked, and want to expand our participation with a unique and exciting venue for players, tournament organizers, and game publishers,” said TCL Chinese Theatre president and COO Alwyn Hight Kushner in a statement.
The 4D theater will be equipped with “moving seats, air/water blasts, leg/neck ticklers, fog, seat/back pokers, seat rumblers, and other special effects such as smoke, snow, rain, and more.” Though we’re not sure this is what esports fans want, they’ll be able to literally feel the action “as competitors bash, smash, maneuver, shoot, blow-up, and knock down a competitor all the while racking up points leading them to a victory.”
“What we are launching is just the tip of the iceberg,” said TCL Chinese Theater CEO Robert K. Laity. “We see cinema operators working together as a global network of immersive MX4D esports theaters and becoming part of the fabric of competitive gaming. We are in discussions with sponsors, esports organizations and other cinema operators to join forces with the TCL Chinese Theatre as we bring this exciting capability to the world of online and live tournament play.”
The esports theater is expected to open in late summer—and while it sounds really weird, we’re looking forward to getting Primal Rage’d by Overwatch hero Winston IRL.