The burgeoning Australian esports scene received another massive boost this week. Fortress Esports has confirmed its plans to develop an esports “flagship” location in Melbourne.
Fortress Melbourne, at the heart of the city’s central business district, should open to its first customers next year.
The hub will feature:
- A purpose-built arena specifically for esports, complete with retractable 200-seat grandstand.
- Space for 50+ networked PC’s within the arena (when the seats are retracted)
- A themed esports bar
- Facilities to produce live streaming and broadcasts
- A tavern themed bar and restaurant
- A separate 56-PC LAN Lounge area
- 4 Streamer pods
- A function room containing 40+ PC’s available for hire
- Areas for RPG and tabletop gaming
- Esports boot camp and training facilities
- Multiple large screens across the venue which will show live streams and live tournaments
- Casual console gaming sites across the site
- Merchandise store with dedicated esports clothing and hardware/software
Fortress Melbourne will stretch across two floors and the scope of the design means it will be the largest such facility anywhere in the southern hemisphere and one of the largest in the world today.
The design of the facility will be completed by Populous, the firm who developed the ANZ Stadium, and they have picked the brains of Allied Esports, who helped design the similarly hi-tech Hyper X Esports Arena in Las Vegas.
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Australia’s budding esports scene
The news further reinforces the fact that esports is becoming a major player within Australia. The Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney is one of the other premier venues in the country and it has hosted the popular CS:GO tournament Intel Extreme Masters over the past three years.
Australia has lagged a little behind other nations when it comes to esports over the years. Issues such as high latency (lag) due to the fact that Australia is so distant to the main esports hubs in Asia, North America, and Europe, has made things tough for Aussie-based esports gamers in the past.
However, development of new higher-speed wireless technology and improving infrastructure both surrounding and within Australia is lessening these issues to a degree and it seems with this new development, Australia is keen to open more doors within the esports industry.
Earlier this year, Dr. David Cumming from the University of Melbourne stated:
“Traditionally this distance [between Australia and the main esports centers in the world] has also deterred large eSports organizations from entering the Australian eSports market, leading to fewer local tournaments and opportunities for Australian fans and competitors to engage and train. Fortunately, we’re starting to see progress, but there’s still a way to go”.
This new development of Fortress Melbourne in his native city may well go a long way toward addressing these issues and allow Australian fans and players to enjoy top-level CS:GO, League of Legends, Overwatch and Dota 2 gaming, among others.
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Image Courtesy of Fortress Esports