Blizzard opens new esports arena in California

Game developer and publisher Blizzard Entertainment has opened a new esports-dedicated arena in the US city of Burbank, California.

The venue, which has been named Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, has been built to host leading esports events.

The arena will host its grand opening event on October 7-8 when staging the Overwatch Contenders Playoffs.

A range of broadcasts and events will be able to run out of the arena simultaneously, with multiple sound stages, control rooms and player lounges having been installed at the facility. An on-site Blizzard store will also be open during events, showcasing a range of gear and goods associated with tournaments being held that day.

On October 13, the arena will host the Summer Championship for the Hearthstone Championship Tour, which will feature a prize fund of $250,000 (€208,000).

In addition, Blizzard Arena Los Angeles will serve as the home for the Overwatch League, which is due to launch later this year.

The arena will span 50,000 square feet and will have a capacity of 450. It will feature three studio spaces, along with practice facilities for competitors.

In a statement reported by the Forbes business news website, Bilzzard chief executive and co-founder Mike Morhaime said: “We’re at a tipping point for esports and we look forward to helping usher in a new era of competition-based entertainment.

“As we open the doors of Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and welcome fans from around the world, we’re honoured to bring the best in Blizzard esports to the same stage that some of the biggest names in entertainment have called home."