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Esports arena at Luxor expected to be a game changer

Posted at 7:55 AM, Mar 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-22 22:19:55-04

Some history will be made on the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday.

The Luxor will open a brand new state-of-the-art esports arena. The success or failure of the Esports Arena could help shape the future of the gaming industry.

"It opens up before you and you get the sights and the sounds just like you would in a traditional sports complex," Jud Hannigan the CEO of Allied Esports said.

With one glance you can understand why he is a proud guy. You're looking at the first ever permanent esports arena on the Strip.

FAQ: Here's what you need to know about esports

It will host some of the biggest esports tournaments in the world with prize money in the tens of thousands.

"I think there is inherent risk that's so new like this. There is not a lot of history. In many ways we are blazing that path," Hannigan said.

PHOTOS: Esports Arena Grand Opening at the Luxor

The Luxor's big gamble on the 30,000-square-foot arena is the strongest evidence the lure of esports is too much to ignore.

Esports is anticipated to become a billion dollar industry within three years. Already there are indications betting on esports is outpacing other traditional sports like golf tennis and rugby.

RELATED: UNLV students hopeful for career in esports

Brett Abarbanel is the director of gaming at UNLV's Gaming Institute. She says says the valley's casinos are trying to figure out how to get a piece of that pie.

Nevada is currently the only state where you can legally bet on esports in the U.S

"The high level of interest we see is not dissipating its only growing," she said.

The casino industry believes players and fans across the world are willing to come here to watch play and bet on the biggest esports teams compete in everything from soccer, to League of Legends, to the classics like Pong.

RELATED: Chef Jose Andres crafts menu for Las Vegas Esports Arena

UNLV Junior Tyler Tsunezumi is among the people in his generation hoping to find a career in esports.

"My Parents accept what I'm doing. they support me all the way," he said.

Who knows, he could end up working at the arena where some 24 cameras will be used to stream tournaments around the world.

RELATED: Women in Las Vegas turning competitive gaming into careers