Arlington Stadium Hosts First Live Esports Competition Since Pandemic Onset – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Arlington Esports Stadium is once again welcoming fans to the building for its first live esports competition in over a year.
The stadium was built in 2019 and is recognized as the largest esports facility in North America. Chino Lee is the stadium’s recipe manager.
“Esports is a booming industry that has been booming in recent years,” said Lee. “The simplest way to say it is with the number of viewers. The NFL audience in 2019 was 141 million. Just below them in second place was esports with 81 million viewers.
The stadium hosts the Battle for Texas game on Friday between Dallas Fuel and Houston Outlaws in the Overwatch League. The match is the first major esports event since February 2020.
The Outlaws will play from Houston, which means only the Fuel will be presented to the Arlington public on Friday.
Justin Rojas, vice president of Envy Gaming, said the event is expected to attract fans from across the country and abroad. Capacity is limited to 50% and the approximately 1,000 tickets available sell out within 72 hours.
“I think our fans, in particular, are very passionate about the game and our team. They really can’t wait to get back to space. It’s a very big community for us. The game itself is about community and teamwork, ”said Rojas.
Cesar DeLeon drove from San Antonio to attend the event in person.
“The road trip was worth it. I had, like, a bunch of beef jerky on the way here. We’re stocking up on snacks, ”DeLeon said. “Mainly to have a group… like, all these people. Usually in public, okay… I’m just a weird guy who plays Overwatch, but all these people play Overwatch and it’s really great.
Felipe Sorto from Irving attended the game on Friday with his brother.
“I’m a huge basketball and football fan, but taking a little break and watching a game I’m playing really turns me on,” Sorto said.
Lee said that while many attendees are local, the national event is poised to give the city of Arlington an economic boost.
“It generates a lot of income for the city,” he said. “The hotel industry is therefore happy. The restaurateurs are happy. Obviously, we are happy.
The match starts at 5 p.m. and will also be broadcast on the Overwatch League Youtube Channel.