It’s dark, save for the purple beams bouncing through the fog machine’s haze. The bleachers lining both sides of the 500-seat room are full. The players – their focus undivided – take turns walking from the stage to the seats lined in rows underneath a 24-foot, halo-shaped LED display screen overhead. The players from each team line up in front of their seats. In block letters, the backs of their jerseys read “Bucks gamers” and “Pacers gamers.” They sit down, grip their controllers and fix their eyes on the small individual screens placed in front of them, with the same game-time focus you see before a real-life NBA tip-off. One team’s visor-wearing coach whacks the back of each player’s chair. Thud . “Ready?” he mouths. He’s excited. He’s jumping up and down.
The players nod tensely in response. Thud. Thud. Thud. The teams tip off. The match begins. So does the electronic sporting era in Florida. The NBA 2K League’s 2019 “The Ticket” tournament is the first professional gaming event to take place at the Fortress, Full Sail University‘s new 11,200-square-foot on-campus esports arena. It’s home to the Armada, the university’s collegiate esports team, which comprises 80 players across 11 titles, including Dragon Ball FighterZ, Super Smash Brothers, League of Legends, Fortnite and Rocket League , among others. But it’s not the tournament that’s particularly consequential in the moment, no matter the $180,000 prize or playoff-qualifying glory that’s at stake. It’s what Full Sail wants to accomplish as it hosts its first major event in the newly opened arena: to carve out a place as Florida’s, if not the entire U.S. East Coast’s, premier esports venue. Full Sail announced the $6 million Fortress last October as the largest college esports arena anywhere; it only took a few months to […]
eSport Viral is the creation of Brian from Debt Discipline. Our goal here at eSports Viral is to curate the best news, reviews, and recommendations from the world of gaming. A one-stop shop if you will for the online, multiplayer, and competitive video game community to find the latest and best information.