Frank Hamlin, the Chief Marketing Officer for GameStop, remarked, “We are aiming to become the official minor leagues of eSports where GameStop provides fun and unique cultural experiences for player development while preparing the next generation of professional gamers.” Jason Lake, CEO of Complexity Gaming, stated that he hopes the new facility will further “professionalize” eSports.
The new 11,000 square feet training center will be physically connected to the headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys in Frisco, Texas. The facility will include a public gaming area and a high-tech training center. The training center will feature “enhanced gaming equipment”, a video studio, data analytics for performance training, and a merchandise wall. The facility should be open this coming May.
GameStop also plans to offer a number of clinics, parties, and competitions. First, the company will host “gaming clinics” where amatuer gamers can participate in events and learn from professionals. Second, GameSport has partnered with Matcherino, a company that provides event organization tools. Together they will host amateur tournaments to engage fans. Third, GameStop is working with the creators of Overwatch to offer exclusive events and merchandise. Last, GameStop is collaborating with the Collegiate Star League (CSL) and will participate in a variety of collegiate eSports tournaments.
The company’s latest sponsorship may help them to regain some of the sales they have lost over the last couple of years. GameStop is one of the largest brick-and-mortar retailers in the United States, but the company has struggled to compete with online retailers. Its holiday sales were down by 5% this past year. This new training facility could potentially be a wise investment for GameStop.
GameStop is not the only company that plans to invest heavily in eSports facilites this year. Comcast Spectacor, a sports and entertainment company, recently announced that they will open $50 million USD eSports stadium in South Philadelphia. The stadium will house Comcast's Fusion Overwatch League team and host a number of eSport events. The “Fusion Arena” is set to open in 2021.