Corporate giant Walmart has taken notice of the esports boom.
According to the company, the world’s largest retailer is partnering with Esports Arena to open five new locations across the United States. Established Walmart stores in Roseville, CA, Spokane Valley, WA, and Colorado Springs, CO will host Esports Arena expansions, with two more set to be opened in the future.
The new Esports Arena venues will host regular “league nights during the weekdays and tournaments on the weekends,” according to Walmart.com. Per Esports Arena’s press release, these events will be aired on Walmart’s website. Additionally, Walmart will become the exclusive online retailer for Esports Arena’s OVERPOWERED line of gaming hardware.
“We couldn’t think of a better way to provide a quality gaming experience to Walmart shoppers,” said Mario Pacini, VP of Entertainment, Walmart eCommerce in the statement. “These Esports Arenas in three Walmart stores, with two additional locations coming, and the launch of OVERPOWERED, will bring unique new experiences to the millions of gamers that shop at Walmart.”
While the pairing of Esports Arena and Walmart is an odd one at face value, it makes sense for both parties.
Walmart already sells a variety of electronics, including video games and gaming peripherals. Most stores already have booths and displays that give customers the opportunity to demo recent releases. Structuring competitive events and tournaments around available games and hardware is a logical next step.
For Esports Arena, it’s a great way to increase brand awareness and quickly establish a retail presence for its new line of PCs and laptops.
The first wave of Walmart Esports Arenas has already opened. A schedule of upcoming events can be found on the official website.