HOK and SAP envision 'esports venue of the future' in new report

by Andrew Manns | 30 May 2019
Esports have a unique audience that seeks more connected, hands-on experiences.
– Nuno Guerreiro

Architectural design and planning firm Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum (HOK) and software company SAP have released their joint report on the future of esports design.

According to their white paper, esports – the fastest growing industry in the entertainment sector – will soon require specially designed facilities to accommodate the unique needs of spectators and competitors.

"As technology helps break down cultural barriers," reads the report, "esports are redefining fan expectations and experiences, leading to the development of new entertainment ecosystems with distinct values."

The report also states that future venues could feature a number of non-traditional elements, including integrated arenas and concourses, immersive hospitality offerings, and data-driven spaces shaped to cultivate "microambiences" (socialising outside game days).

Speaking on the report, Nuno Guerreiro, an architect with HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment division, said: "Purpose-built venues have historically had a significant impact in establishing a sport in a culture and community.

"Because of the length of these events and technological requirements, esports have a unique audience seeking more connected, hands-on experiences.

"Architects and designers have an opportunity to rethink every aspect of the traditional sports and entertainment environment – from a building's location and form down to the seat."

Total revenue for the esports market is expected to reach US$1bn (€892.6m, £792.5m) this year and exceed US$1.8bn by 2022.

HOK  SAP  esports 
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