Telefonica has opened an esports centre in Madrid which will be the official headquarters of its Movistar Riders club. The website states that the centre spans 1,000 square metres and is open to the community. It’s dubbed a “sports city” that has the purpose of becoming a hub for video games and esports. The centre houses four training rooms and an arena which will seat 70 people.
The esports brand, Movistar Riders, houses rosters under seven different titles. League of Legends, Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, FIFA, Hearthstone and Clash Royale are all games in which Movistar compete.
There’s no shortage of telecommunication companies busy in the Spanish space. Orange signed a deal last year to see the LVP (Liga de Videojuegos Profesional) renamed to Superliga Orange and Vodafone has held a partnership with the Spanish G2 team for a while now.
It’s not the first time that Telefonica and Movistar has revealed deals in esports. In January, Movistar partnered with ESL to support and widen their access to tournaments, at events and on television. It also saw Movistar set to launch an esports channel across television which would showcase Spanish esports events and broadcast 13 major events in 2017.
It comes as more and more establishments are starting to put in place significant infrastructure for their rosters to train and become the best. We’ve seen PENTA already do similar and there’s training facilities starting to pop around the world.
The recent news about the North American LCS being franchised also has emphasis on fostering and creating environments as the scene continues to grow. If rumours are to be believed, building an arena in a city is a pre-requisite to joining the regionalised Overwatch League system and although it only sits 70, a small arena in Madrid is an interesting step.
Esports Insider says: As seen on the video, the centre looks the part and should definitely help Movistar players become ever better. As we mentioned, it’s becoming increasingly common to see these pop up. For someone with the financial clout of Telefonica and Movistar it’s probably not too big an outlay.