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HOYTS is turning cinemas into esports arenas around Australia

Gfinity Esports Australia is teaming with the cinema chain for the project. The first dedicated esports arena will open in the second quarter of 2018.

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GFinity Esports Australia

The esports scene in the US has been big for years, with League of Legends matches selling out LA's Staples Centre as far back as 2013. Slowly but surely, Australia is getting there.

Gfinity Esports Australia on Monday announced a partnership with cinema chain HOYTS which will see the creation of esports arenas around the country. Existing cinema space will be renovated to morph into these dedicated arenas.

The first esports arena will open at HOYTS in Sydney's Entertainment Quarter by Moore Park in the second quarter of 2018, Gfinity said Monday. Each arena will house professional-grade gaming equipment, as well as a production suite that will broadcast the live action to the world. No details are out yet on whether that broadcast will end up on Australian TV, like Blizzard's Overwatch World Cup games which ended up on 7mate.

Gfinity is making a major push to bolster Australian esports. In December it announced its Elite League, an esports competition with a prize pool of AU$450,000. Featuring three games in Rocket League, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Street Fighter V, the league also offers amateur players a chance to go pro with the Challenger League.

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The new esports arena in the Entertainment Quarter will host Gfinity's inaugural Elite Series event. Gfinity CEO Dominic Remond said it "will be the first event to be staged at the new Arena, in front of a live audience, each weekend for seven weeks."