UT Arlington Esports Club Competes with Thousands at DreamHack 2018
By Kimberly Yee
Posted on June 22, 2018, June 22, 2018

Earlier this month, UT Arlington Esports Club members joined 30,000 gamers of all ages and backgrounds for a weekend of competition, live music, and fun at DreamHack Austin 2018.

The three-day festival was set in the sprawling expo hall at the Austin Convention Center and showcased esports tournaments, the latest gaming and tech gear, cosplay, non-gaming events and much more.

The UT Arlington Esports organization, which often travels all throughout Texas and sometimes beyond for esports events, attended DreamHack in Austin to compete in tournaments such as Hearthstone, Starcraft, and League of Legends. But the UTA players will soon be able to square off with competitors at a state-of-the-art esports arena much closer to home.

The City of Arlington's $10 million esports stadium is set to open in the Entertainment District in November 2018. The 100,000-square-foot stadium, with seating for up to 2,000 spectators, would be the largest and most flexible esports stadium in the country. The City is remodeling the Arlington Convention Center, 1200 Ballpark Way, to feature a Competition Arena, Esports Gallery and Production Studio for live events and video content creation.

Patrick Smiley, past president of UT Arlington Esports who attended DreamHack, expressed his excitement for Arlington's new esports stadium as "a great contribution and push for competitive and casual gaming into a more mainstream light."

He further exclaimed that having an esports venue right here in Arlington would attract major esports events such as DreamHack.

While DreamHack is fairly new to the U.S., Chief Product Officer Michael Van Driel said the festival is "always looking for places to expand to, especially solidifying their role in the North American region."

It is no question that the esports industry has seen continued growth worldwide. Tournaments can feature large prize pools and attract tens of thousands of people, with the biggest esports events drawing upwards to 100,000 people. It's an industry that Van Driel said "will continue to get bigger, with a wider distribution and viewership worldwide."

Esports, UT Arlington
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