Ask someone from Las Vegas where the city’s money comes from, and they’ll answer with a euphemistic “gaming”—the marketing term for the ruinous sin of gambling. But the city’s next big money-maker might just take the word literally.
Esports Arena Las Vegas is a temple for gaming of the video sort, and the only money to be won there is by out-battling other gamers in tournament play. The 30,000-square-foot facility in the Luxor Las Vegas (the pyramid with the light on top) features exhibition matches on a 50-foot LED video wall, PC and console gaming stations, virtual reality platforms, and a calendar full of events from combat-game “fight nights,” to cosplay evenings, to team events for big-time prizes. (Please note that the prize pool for some esports events can reach $20 million.)
Video gaming arenas aren’t exactly new; in fact, there’s been an Esports Arena in Orange County, California, since 2015. But what happens in Vegas has to look like Vegas, so the Luxor venue looks more like a nightclub you can’t get into than a basement you never leave and has six luxury VIP rooms to host private parties. Gamers who need sustenance for long raids may order from a menu created by chef José Andrés (who, Esports Arena tells us, is an “avid gamer”) and may visit a bar that serves up classic video games alongside classic cocktails. There’s also an interactive “History of the Video Game” display that lets you joystick your way through the console games your rich friends grew up with.
An all-day pass to the arena is only $25 and offers unlimited gaming to those over 13, with age and chaperone rules changing as the night progresses and for some events. If you’re the type who goes to Vegas for addictive gameplay and mind-bending overstimulation, we don’t imagine you’ll find it cheaper.