A nearly 5.4-million-square-foot e-sports complex will be built in Shanghai, meant to solidify the city as the center of the competitive gaming industry.
Work has begun on the Shanghai International New Cultural and Creative E-Sports Center, expected to cost nearly $900 million, according to CNBC.
“E-sports” refers to both competitive video games and the wider industry that’s emerged around them. That industry generated about $1.1 billion last year, according to games market research firm Newzoo, and is attracting big investments worldwide. In New York City, Dynamic Star is planning an e-sports arena for its Fordham Landing project in the Bronx.
Epic Games, the company behind the hit game, “Fortnite,” recently purchased a nearly 1 million-square-foot mall in North Carolina it will convert into its headquarters.
China-based company SuperGen, which owns the e-sports team Edward Gaming, is the main backer of the project in Shanghai. The complex is designed as a place where e-sports teams and companies can be based. It’s anchored by a 6,000-seat arena and a hotel, according to sports venue news outlet Coliseum.
The complex can host around 10,000 people per day and SuperGen plans to host around 300 competitions each year. The complex is being developed in phases and is expected to open in 2024.
China is the largest e-sports market in the world. About 70 percent of the 720 million gamers in the country play e-sports, CNBC reported. Shanghai hosted the 2020 World Championship of “League of Legends,” one of the largest e-sports events in the world. The event was watched by 3.8 million people.