eSports tourism hits Genting, Malaysia | Adults are shocked, kids are in awe! Remember when your parents did not like seeing you traveling to Roskilde just to admire The Cure or Iggy Pop? Well, now you are a parent yourself, and you will have to eat this: A pretty hip version of event tourism was flying under the radar for a long time but made it big in recent years: eSports Tourism. Fans of Starcraft II, CS:G0 or Counter-Strike know what we are talking about. Your kids might have no clue who or what Iggy Pop means, while your best guess about the meaning of #lolesports is as far away from the truth as possible. (It means League of Legends esports).
eSports events fill entire football stadiums. Latest destination: Genting in Malaysia. From January 23 to 28 the Arena of Stars at Resorts World Genting played host to 16 of the world’s best Dota 2 teams as they battled for a prize pool of whooping US$400,000.
One of the major driving forces behind this industry is the eSport Company Turtle Entertainment – organizer of events such as “Intel Extreme Masters” in Katowice (Poland, 2014) and “ESL One” in Frankfurt (Germany, 2015). The event at the Genting Arena of Stars was sold out – all 6,000 tickets gone within just 30 days of sale.
Who was coming? Predominately young digital natives, 16 to 26 years old and male. They are the prime target when it comes to eSports tourism. These customers are technology affine and as passionate about gaming as their parents were about U2. It is the 21st century version of social activity. Instead of going to the football stadium to watch Arsenal vs. Liverpool, kids fill an arena as big as Anfield to follow a battle between Fnatic and DC Dota2. Example: ESL One in Frankfurt (Germany) had an attendance of 52,000 people while the League of Legends World Final in Seoul (Korea) saw 45,000 fans filling the Sangam Stadium.
Genting is a Malaysian hill resort at an elevation of 1,740 metres (5,710 ft), one hour away from Kuala Lumpur. Turtle Entertainment did run this ESL One eSports event in the Genting Arena of Stars, part of a large casino chain with resorts and hotels.
Event tourism eSports. By Chili & Churp | © International Destinations | Read more about Event Tourism here. Header image source: RedBull.