Full Sail University is set to open a $6m (£4.66m) esports arena next month, named The Fortress.
The University have claimed that The Fortress will be the largest esports arena on a college campus in the United States. Boasting a 500-person capacity with the ability to support 100 players at a single time.
Construction started back in June 2018, with the formal announcement of the arena made in October. In that announcement, Full Sail claimed they wanted to make it not only the centre for their collegiate esports team, Armada but for live-streaming and non-esports events such as drone racing.
Sari Kitelyn, director of project development at Full Sail said: “It’s a chance for students to learn hands-on, a place for the community connection to the industry.
“We were already the home to so many types of esports activities; we wanted to help elevate Central Florida by giving a permanent place to make sure everyone can see and realise it’s the place for esports.”
Full Sail is attempting to consolidate Orlando as a hub for the games and esports industry. With numerous developers and start-ups around, Full Sail wants to build an entire ecosystem that builds and supports esports from the ground up.
“It’s a chance for students to learn hands-on, a place for the community connection to the industry”
Greater Orlando Sports Commission CEO, Jason Siegel said: “This means appealing to top competitive esports athletes, casually competitive esports athletes and esports fans by offering a holistic experience that includes top college esports competition, other external esports events and competitions and esports research and testing.
“There is no reason to believe we can’t have the same success when it comes to attracting esports events and conventions to Orlando.”
With the opening of The Fortress, Full Sail hopes to attract professional leagues and collegiate tournaments. If successful, they could continue to build on the success that the city has had in the past, by hosting national, Olympic and amateur sports competitions.
Esports Insider says: More established venues in North America are great to see, and building on the collegiate ecosystem is important for the sustainability of amateur esports teams and players. With the rumblings of esports entering the Olympics, it will be integral to have key locations where people can gather, and Full Sail looks set to capitalise if that comes to pass.