The world of professional competitive computer games – eSports for short – is one of the world’s fastest growing markets, with a global audience estimated at 370 million expanding at 17% a year, and a turnover that is shortly expected to reach $1bn.
One major tournament, the 2016 League of Legends World Championship finals, attracted 43 million viewers, who watched gamers battle for $1m in prize money.
Now London-based eSports company Gfinity and consulting engineer Arup have announced plans to design the ideal modular eSports stadium concept. Â
The aim is to develop the template for a scalable building purpose-built for spectating and broadcasting tournaments.
Chris Dite, an associate director of Arup, said eSports facilities were "high on the agenda" for some of its largest clients.
He added: "The focus of the project is to create facilities that exceed the expectations of the professional players and the amateurs who want to compete in a fun, safe environment, and the fans who support their teams."
The design would also try and give players and fans access to some of the areas of life that computer gamers tend to neglect, such as "learning, fitness and nutritional centres", he said.
The stadium will also include accommodation, so aspirational gamers can come throughout the year to learn their craft.
Garry Cook, the executive chairman of Gfinity, said: "We will draw on our experiences of owning and managing Europe’s first eSports arena in London and engage with our community, which numbers tens of millions of passionate eSports players and fans, to hear what they have to say.
"The final design will be informed from the ground up. This is another example that the eSports industry is exciting, growing, full of opportunity and is now."
A video of the team’s plans for eStadiums can be seen here.
Image: An eSports tournament in action (Red Bull)