ARLINGTON (WBAP/KLIF)- The largest turnkey esports facility in North America, Esports Stadium Arlington, is turning to new management to start the new year: North Texas-based Envy Gaming Inc. Envy, which owns professional esports teams, operates content creation networks and has a live and digital events business, completed an agreement to acquire the operating contract for Esports Stadium Arlington from Esports Venues LLC, a group previously owned by Texas Rangers co-owner Neil Leibman and other investors.
Esports Stadium Arlington will start 2022 hosting the season kickoff tournament for the global Call of Duty League. All 12 teams and thousands of fans will be in Arlington for the Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic Presented by Zenni Gaming on January 21-23, 2022. A limited number of tickets are available HERE.
“Esports Stadium Arlington has been in the national spotlight since day one with its high-tech capabilities and the caliber of new events it has brought to our city. Opening this stadium was part of our broader economic development strategy to appeal to a younger generation, to attract entrepreneurs in the fast-growing esports industry, and to brand Arlington with a more modern vibe,” said City Manager Trey Yelverton. “We are excited to partner with Envy Gaming to play host to their home matches and to continue attracting esports and gaming events that will bring fans here from around the globe.”
The City of Arlington opened Esports Stadium Arlington in November 2018 as a pioneering venue for large scale esports productions, events, and community building. The venue is the largest turnkey space for large spectator gaming events, featuring 100,000 square feet of adaptable layout, a fully functional RGB stage, 90-foot LED displays, theatrical quality lighting and audio, secure technology systems designed for competitive LAN environments, multiple high-performance internet service providers, and access to adjoining expo hall space for festival and adjacent activations.
Esports Stadium Arlington recently hosted the Esports Awards, attended by hundreds of esports luminaries and gaming personalities from around the world and drawing more than 300,000 live viewers. In July 2021, Esports Stadium Arlington hosted its first sellout event since the beginning of the pandemic, at which Envy Gaming’s professional Overwatch League team – the Dallas Fuel – defeated cross-state rivals the Houston Outlaws in front of a raucous live arena audience. Envy plans to host multiple home team matches for its esports teams at Esports Stadium Arlington and will be working to secure a naming rights partners for the venue.
“Esports Stadium Arlington is without a doubt the best venue in North America right now for any publisher or league considering an esports event with spectators. Keeping Esports Stadium Arlington operating at a high level is a natural extension of what we strive for at Envy Gaming: we want to give all people that love gaming the opportunity to enjoy amazing competitions in a social environment,” said Geoff Moore, president and COO at Envy. “Live events, and the reactions they generate from the players and audiences, create a unique experience for both the attending fans and anyone watching the broadcast. The beauty of Esports Stadium Arlington is that this valuable experience can be created very efficiently.”
Envy Gaming is no stranger to operating live events; the organization owns distinction as the first esports team to host matches in its home market in front of a live crowd in North America. That 2019 two-day sellout event to 4,000+ attendees each day helped spur Envy’s development of full-service offerings in event planning, logistics, production, content creation, and more. In addition to the July 2021 live event for Dallas Fuel fans, Envy’s events staff have operated major events at ESA including 2020 Overwatch League Opening Weekend, 2021 Call of Duty League Major IV and Major V, and Nishi Fest, an anime and Asian pop culture festival.
“As an entertainment company, we are bullish on the role and importance of hosting live events to grow the fan bases around games, esports leagues, teams, players and content creators. Esports Stadium Arlington gives us another springboard to give local fans and partners access to and impact with the global gaming community. If we can work to grow our region’s reputation as the preeminent choice for esports and gaming events and activations, everyone in North Texas wins,” said Moore.
Envy owns and operates the Dallas Fuel team in the Overwatch League, the OpTic Texas team in the Call of Duty League, the OpTic Halo team in Microsoft’s Halo Championship Series, as well as professional teams in Riot Games’ Valorant and Psyonix’s Rocket League Championship Series. The organization intends to tap into strong relationships with game publishers, league operators and teams’ passionate fanbases to attract future events to Esports Stadium Arlington.