Six Flags prototyped its gaming hub in San Antonio. Mexico City next.

Bathed in blue and red lighting while seated onstage at high-end PCs, celebrity gamers are immersed in “Fortnite,” a popular online video game. Their every move is captured on video feeds being watched by fans as the action is described by announcers in a broadcast booth.

If it sounds a little like a pro sporting event, that’s because it is. The gamers are competitors in a two-day tournament — with $30,000 up for grabs — at ESIX Gaming powered by Coca-Cola. It’s a first-of-its-kind facility and one the operators of Six Flags Fiesta Texas hope will give youthful visitors and their families a new reason to visit and stay longer at the park.

It was working that way during the recent tournament. In front of the stage, young people wearing headsets at rows of computers were also playing “Fortnite.” As they navigated the game and discussed strategies with friends, family members were a few feet away munching on snacks, charging phones and browsing gaming equipment and clothes for sale by Six Flags.

RELATED: ‘Cutting-edge gaming arena’ to open at Six Flags Fiesta Texas

San Antonio Spurs player Tre Jones — a gaming fan who had a spot on stage with the pros — appeared to be as excited to be there as a Spurs fan might be to sit courtside at a basketball game. 

“I watch a lot of them,” he said of the pro gamers. “To play with them was a dream come true.”

Other fans got a chance to meet the pros during breaks in the tournament, when star gamers known by stage names such as as Bugha, Sommerset, Kaz and Zemie mingled and posed for photos.

Players intently watch their screens during Saturday's E6 gaming tournament in a new e-gaming facility recently completed at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. There was over $30,000 in prize money for the event.
Players intently watch their screens during Saturday’s E6 gaming tournament in a new e-gaming facility recently completed at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. There was over $30,000 in prize money for the event.
Robin Jerstad
Players from all over the country man their screens during Saturday's E6 gaming tournament in a new e-gaming facility recently completed at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. There was over $30,000 in prize money for the event.
Players from all over the country man their screens during Saturday’s E6 gaming tournament in a new e-gaming facility recently completed at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. There was over $30,000 in prize money for the event.
Robin Jerstad
Kyle Rapozo, better known in gaming circles as Kazify, plays during Saturday's E6 gaming tournament in a new e-gaming facility recently completed at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. There was over $30,000 in prize money for the event.
Kyle Rapozo, better known in gaming circles as Kazify, plays during Saturday’s E6 gaming tournament in a new e-gaming facility recently completed at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. There was over $30,000 in prize money for the event.
Robin Jerstad


Players from across the country watch their screens during E6’s recent gaming tournament at Six Flags Fiesta Texas’ new e-gaming facility. Kyle Rapozo, (bottom right) better known in gaming circles as Kazify, was one of those players vying for a piece of the $30,000 in prize money.

Why gaming?

Housing what Fiesta Texas’ operators say is the latest high-tech equipment

Read More

Saudi Arabia is shelling out billions to develop into a world wide gaming hub. Some followers do not want to participate in

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia, the new residence of some of soccer’s most important stars and a co-proprietor of specialist golfing, is proving to be no considerably less ambitious when it arrives to a different worldwide pastime – the $180 billion-a-calendar year video sport field.

Last September, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund earmarked nearly $40 billion for a new conglomerate aimed at reworking the kingdom into the “ultimate global hub” for games and esports by 2030. In February, the Saudi fund turned the biggest outside the house investor in Nintendo, and just this month the kingdom hosted a main gaming tournament with a document $45 million prize pool.

Which is built Saudi Arabia an progressively critical participant in the industry and contributed to its breakneck transformation from an insular kingdom most effective recognized for oil and ultraconservative Islam into an rising sporting activities and enjoyment powerhouse.

The go into gaming has sparked the very same sort of backlash viewed in soccer and golfing, exactly where critics accuse the Saudis of “sportswashing” human rights abuses, which include the 2018 killing of Washington Submit columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident.

With gaming, a kingdom that sentences individuals to decades in jail more than a couple of tweets is joining a globally local community dominated by the youthful and pretty on line.

“It’s the Romans and the Colosseum all in excess of all over again, and you have nations around the world at the top layer utilizing athletics as a theater to show their prosperity and their electrical power,” stated Joost van Dreunen, a professor at New York University who has published a reserve about the business of video clip games.

“You have to request the problem: Who is the architect guiding this, and what are the intentions of these architects?” he claimed.

Saudi Arabia’s 37-calendar year-previous Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, reportedly an avid gamer himself, sees the foray into gaming as portion of Eyesight 2030, his bold approach to overhaul the kingdom’s overall economy, reduce its reliance on oil and give work and leisure for its youthful population.

“We are harnessing the untapped possible throughout the esports and game titles sector to diversify our economic system,” he mentioned past September, when he declared the establishment of the Savvy Game titles Group.

Owned by Saudi Arabia’s $700 billion Community Investment Fund and led by CEO Brian Ward, an business veteran, Savvy aims to invest $39 billion in the gaming business. It hopes to establish 250 area corporations and develop 39,000 work in the future 7 decades.

Before this thirty day period, it concluded the $4.9 billion purchase of Scopely, the creator of “Monopoly Go,” “Star Trek Fleet Command” and “Marvel Strike Pressure.”

Gaming is a substantial and speedy-increasing sector. Sector study agency Newzoo claims an approximated 3.2 billion men and women play game titles on PCs, consoles, cell units or cloud gaming companies, with the business producing $184.4 billion in revenues in 2022. Gaming provides in extra cash

Read More