Imagine for a second, you’re ready to play a video game. You turn on your console of choice and boot the game you want to play, whether it be Halo, Call of Duty or FIFA. As the main menu appears you get an invite to join a party. A smile comes across your face. These are your teammates; your friends.
Does this sound familiar?
The best times I’ve had in video games is when I logged into the original Guild Wars or loaded up Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. My team was a bunch of like-minded people who wanted the same thing — to competitively win. We experimented with different mechanics of the game, talked strategy with each other and, most importantly, we helped pick ourselves back up after a loss (there where many of those).
Now here’s the interesting part. Except for a few friends that I know personally, I couldn’t tell you what my teammates, my friends, looked like. Technically, they’re strangers except for the fact I play an online game with them. Unless I heard their voice, I couldn’t tell you one of my teammates from a random person on the street.
Now what if I told you a company here in Toronto is putting together a place where you and your teammates can go to play these games. To compete while sitting right beside your friends.
Enter The Arena, now called Project Arena, the company bringing eSports to Toronto.
Over several weeks I’ve sat down with founder Quinton Dixon to discuss what the company wants to bring to Toronto.
“We want to bridge the gap between socialization and isolation, ” explains Dixon.
A lot of what is going into Project Arena will come out as the company establishes itself, but there is something that I can talk to you about: A bimonthly tournament to win money and gamer gear.
Twice a month Project Arena will offer your team the chance to compete in a tournament and offer prizes for placing first, second or third. The game will have a different theme each month and, unlike any other tournament, the fans will pick the brackets. The prizes are still being worked out with sponsors but from what I’m hearing it’s high-end stuff.
As more information comes out, I’ll be the first to keep you informed so keep an eye on my blog and Twitter.