Esports arena sets up shop on the Strip, eager to ‘harness the power of Las Vegas’

Teams eUnited, background, and Spacestation compete in a SMITE show match during the grand opening of the Esports Arena Las Vegas at the Luxor Thursday, March 22, 2017.

Esports Arena Opens in Luxor

A chandelier made of gaming consoles and video screens is shown in the Esports Arena Las Vegas at the Luxor Thursday, March 22, 2017. Launch slideshow »

Esports Arena Las Vegas at Luxor is more than the Strip’s first esports facility. The 30,000-square-foot complex in the former space of LAX Nightclub also pays homage to the history of video games.

There are console, personal gaming and arcade-style games for visitors to try their skill in — and, most important, create a nostalgic effect, according to officials. It opened Thursday.

“We have history of gaming here,” said Jud Hannigan, Allied Esports chief executive officer. “From all the latest games, all the way to Pong, Pac-Man and other all-time greats.”

Las Vegas was chosen as the group’s flagship Esports Arena location because it is a destination city. There are six other Esports Arena facilities in the Allied Esports International’s repertoire, where events will occur through the year and lead to larger events taking place in Las Vegas.

“Las Vegas has so much potential when it comes to esports events. It’s such a great destination market, where we’re going to harness the power of Las Vegas,” Hannigan said. “We run events that are all going to lead here. So, it’s bigger than, ‘Hey this is our arena in Las Vegas’ — this is our championship destination.”

The facility offers three connected spaces, including a competition stage with arena-style seating and a two-story tall video screen where games are displayed. It also includes a VIP room, two bars and a production facility.

Also, “The Dome” is an interactive area that features older, retro games and a 360-degree video board. Lastly, the front lobby greets players with gaming stations, a streaming booth and a virtual reality experience.

“We want people to come in here, sit down and have an experience,” Hannigan said. “We’ve got this great video wall, with all sorts of content here. We want people to hang out for hours. We want it to be a real destination for them.”

The arena will also host a World Poker Tour event final table. The tour, where Hannigan previously worked, is a sister company of Allied Esports.

“This is really an amazing 30,000-square-foot production facility,” Hannigan said. “So, there are other things happening here outside of traditional esports. While that’s our focus, this space will lend itself to a lot of unique and fun activities.”

Esports Arena Las Vegas is open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily. Entry is free.