Oakland, California To Get New Esports Arena With Chinese Investment

Written By Joss Wood on August 12, 2016 - Last Updated on January 22, 2018

[toc]Allied eSports has entered into a strategic partnership with California’s Santa Ana Esports Arena to build a new “Esports Arena: Oakland.”

Development will begin straight away at a location in the Jack London Square area. The new venue will host a weekly event schedule and “be equipped with a modular gaming and event space, state-of-the-art broadcasting equipment, a production studio, a green room, and a bar.”

Senior Vice President of Allied eSports Jud Hannigan commented:

“Partnering with Esports Arena is the next step for Allied eSports in building our worldwide arena footprint and launching consistent tournaments on a global scale. Not only will Esports Arena be the North American home of our upcoming tournaments and leagues, but we are looking forward to expanding on the success of Esports Arena Santa Ana, bringing its distinct impact on the esports community to Oakland and other markets.”

Allied eSports plans a global network of esports arenas

Alliend eSports lays out its mission as building “a global, competitive esports property designed to connect players and fans via a network of arenas around the world, which will serve as both battlegrounds and content-generation hubs.”

The company was formed in China in 2015 as a joint venture between five companies:

  • Ourgame International—Ourgame bought the World Poker Tour from bwin.party in 2015 for $35 million.
  • Wangyu Wangka—the largest internet café chain in China.
  • KongZhongNASDAQ listed company that operates the largest Chinese military gaming platform under the “WAR SAGA” brand, which includes games such as World of Tanks, World of Warplanes and World of Warships.
  • Ourpalm—Licensed telecoms service provider that has evolved into a leading web and mobile game developer, publisher and operator.
  • iRena—Describes itself as a sports industry platform company that puts on sporting events for some of China’s most popular sports teams, including China’s national soccer team.

Allied eSports opened its first esports location, the Wangyu eSports Arena, in late 2015 in the center of Beijing.

The company plans to open over ten more esports properties globally in the next 3-5 years. A European location will be the next to be announced at the Gamescom conference in Cologne, Germany on Aug. 17.

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Santa Ana Esports Arena will be able to increase broadcasting

As part of the deal, the broadcasting facilities at the Santa Ana Arena will be upgraded.

CEO of Esports Arena, Paul Ward, said:

“While Esports Arena has taken pride in our ability to translate the energy of our events in the arena to our broadcasts, the chance to add an industry-leading studio in Santa Ana will enable us to offer much more dynamic broadcast options to the industry, with increased opportunities for content creation.”

The deal with Santa Ana makes a competitor an ally

Jud Hannigan said that Santa Ana was already doing in Southern California what Allied eSports has planned for its global rollout.

“Esports Arena is a perfect fit for us as its founders share our vision and are already executing in Southern California what we are developing globally. Ultimately, this worldwide infrastructure is what is going to attract gamers, publishers, audiences and sponsors to our tournaments and leagues and allows us to create impactful events and content for the esports community.”

The deal is good for California esports fans, and for Santa Ana, but it also marks the increasing extent to which the Chinese gaming companies are getting ahead in developing the esports industry.

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Joss Wood

Joss Wood holds an English degree from the University of Birmingham and also earned a master’s degree in organizational development from the University of Manchester. Joss has a special focus on the international online gambling market, though he also writes extensively on US regulated markets, sports betting, and esports betting.

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