Disney Looks To Get Into Esports Even More By Hosting Live Events

Written By Dustin Gouker on August 3, 2017 - Last Updated on February 3, 2023

[toc]Disney had already been dipping its toe into esports in recent years. But it looks like it might be jumping into the esports industry a little more in the near future with live events.

Disney World and esports?

A report at Forbes detailed the entertainment giant’s interest in esports via its Walt Disney World Resorts property in Florida. The idea would be to host esports competitions at its Wide World of Sports Complex on site.

Faron Kelley, vice president of sports at Disney World, spoke with Forbes:

“We are trying to keep up with what sports are breaking and how we can be involved in them,” says Mr Kelley. “Esports is a big one we are looking at and are very excited about it.” It has an ideal home. …

Although Mr Kelley won’t give any specifics about when esports will make its début at the Wide World of Sports it is clearly only a matter of time as he says it “will come here very soon.”

The plan appears to be to host events at a new 8,000-seat facility that is slated to open in January.

Disney’s esports forays

Disney is just one of a number of huge companies with an eye on the future of esports, like Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook.

So far, Disney has a major equity state in BAMTech, which last year struck a deal with Riot Games for live streaming League of Legends competitions. It also started an esports vertical via ESPN online and in print.

Getting into hosting esports events seems like a natural evolution for the entertainment company.

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No shortage of interest in hosting esports events

Disney’s isn’t alone in its interest in esports events:

Also, Seattle’s Key Arena is again hosting The International 2017 for Dota 2 this month. The event features the richest prize pool in esports, of more than $23 million and growing.

Image credit: Matthew Kaiser / Shutterstock.com

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Dustin Gouker

Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner. You can also find his work at Legal Sports Report.

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