Esports Arena has announced a semi-professional gaming ecosystem, which will debut in May, titled Esports Arena Series E.
The company also unveiled that it will open 11 more in-store arenas in Walmart locations by April.
Esports Arena Series E is being touted as a “first of its kind semi-professional gaming ecosystem” that will hand out player contracts with a monthly stipend of $1,000 (£770) and covered travel costs – as well as sponsorship opportunities for up to 40 players. In addition to the monthly salary, players will also represent one of Esports Arena’s partners, including Cheez-It, G Fuel, Intel, MTN DEW AMP GAME FUEL, Nerf, Pop Tarts, Pringles, and Rice Krispies Treats.
Open qualifiers are being held from February 6th through to March 27th in Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Each arena will have one representative in each game and compete in a 20-week series and LAN final.
Tyler Endres, CEO of Esports Arena, discussed the initiative in a release: “The announcement of Esports Arena Series E is the next step in providing opportunities for gamers to realize their potential and become a contracted professional within the Esports Arena ecosystem. Our national expansion provides accessibility to gamers throughout the United States who may otherwise not have competitive gaming opportunities.”
Esports Arena Series E is due to run every weekend for 20 weeks, with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate events taking place on Saturdays and Fortnite events on Sundays. Competition is restricted to players who are at least 16 years of age. Games will be streamed out of Esports Arena’s production facility through an embedded Mixer stream on Walmart’s dedicated Esports Arena page.
Esports Insider says: Setting up a path-to-pro style competition providing a monthly income for players is a great way to draw in talent. How the company is measuring the success of Series E will be incredibly important. Seeing about $200,000 plus travel spent is great for players, but from a business perspective that’s a decent chunk of money on top of the costs of running the series itself.