Vue and Gfinity to open UK's first ever e-sports arena

Electronic sports (e-sports) agency Gfinity has signed an agreement with cinema chain Vue Entertainment International to launch the UK's first premier e-sports arena in London.

Vue and Gfinity to open UK's first ever e-sports arena
Vue and Gfinity to open UK's first ever e-sports arena

The Vue Cinema Fulham Broadway multiplex will be transformed into a 600-capacity e-sports venue and will open as the Gfinity Arena in March, as part of the new agreement.

The partnership will enable Gfinity to accelerate its long-term growth strategy to organise and host major live e-sports tournaments and also to stream events to a global audience of fans through its online platform.

The venue will open for the start of the 2015 Gfinity Championships and will comprise of 25 events culminating in September 2015. Live tournaments will be hosted every weekend and on some weekday evenings. The event follows the success of last year’s G3, the UK’s biggest ever e-sports event, which saw approximately 4,000 spectators visit the Copperbox Arena in London’s Olympic Park

Gfinity branding will be displayed prominently inside and outside the venue, which will have its own entrances, ticketing hall, automated ticket machines and confectionery stalls. The arena will also have an online presence on Vue’s website.

Under the deal, facilitated by Pitch International, Gfinity will commit to a monthly rental fee that will be subject to a 100% clawback principally from ticketing revenues generated by the Gfinity Arena. Any additional revenues generated from the events over and above this level, will be shared equally between the companies.  

Vue and Gfinity will explore the possibility of rolling out the concept to other Vue locations – both in London and other city centres – in the future. 

Neville Upton, co-founder and chief executive officer of Gfinity, said: "This tie-up gives us excellent flexibility while de-risking our expansion plans. Gfinity has proven it can organise and deliver world-class events and this agreement allows us to satisfy the booming popularity in e-sports as a spectator sport.

"Furthermore, the deal highlights the growing interest from leading brands here in the UK in the e-sports market."

Last week, Gfinity announced that it had been appointed by Activision Publishing to host the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare European Championships in London.

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