In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I reflect back on EVO 2017, which I attended a while back:
Which brings us to EVO 2017, which took place at the Mandalay Bay last month. EVO is short for the Evolution Championship Series, an annual tournament that seeks to crown the best players in several fighting video games, one of many popular genres of esports. This isn’t the first time the tournament has been held in Las Vegas—it’s been here since 2005.
Read more: Esports Draw an Audience More Interested In Fun Than Payouts – Vegas Seven
If you don’t know anything about the tournament, it features fighting games like Street Fighter and Tekken. Esports in Las Vegas are interesting to me because they show (I think) how esports are becoming more mainstream and (simultaneously) how Las Vegas continues to adapt to a post-gambling-monopoly existence. People come to Las Vegas to do many things, and gambling seems to be sliding further down the list.
I’m not saying that’s a good thing or a bad thing; I’m just saying it’s happening.
How about those millennials? I’m more interesed in video games than demographics, but that seems to be the hook that is getting casinos interested in a different kind of gaming. You can now find tournaments at the Silver Sevens, as I talk about in the latest Green Felt Journal:
Millennials—technically those born between 1980 and 2000, but more generally anyone younger and more tech-savvy than whoever is running things—started aging onto casinos’ radar about a decade ago (today they are 16 to 36 years old). Past millennial outreach efforts have included nightlife (great for those who can afford bottle service prices) and social media (an already crowded arena).
Read more: Games Millennials Play – Vegas Seven
I’m happy that I didn’t let me Generation X bitterness flow too freely. It just bugs me sometimes that no one seems to care what Gen X does with their time or money–we went straight from Baby Boomers to millennials.
But seriously, I think LEET is doing some very interesting stuff now. If you’re into games, you could do worse in Las Vegas.
This week’s Green Felt Journal is a night in the life of an esports lounge in a Las Vegas casino. In other words, exactly what I thought I’d be writing about when I went to graduate school. I love that this is a concept that you might not be able to explain if you time traveled back to the 1960s, just like you couldn’t explain a craps pit if you traveled back a little further:
A bunch of millennials playing video games on a Saturday night in Las Vegas. Not too long ago, that might have been a casino operator’s nightmare. But in the last few months and with accelerating velocity, competitive video game playing—e-sports, as it is best known—has become a reality, just steps away from roulette wheels and slot machines. Read more: E-sports Start to Take Hold of Casinos’ Imaginations – Vegas Seven
I think that this is a compelling story for casinos and will continue to be for a long time.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I expand a little on my testimony in front of the Gaming Policy Committee:
During a meeting convened by Governor Brian Sandoval earlier this month, the task before the Gaming Policy Committee was clear: Figure out how Nevada can adapt to emerging gaming—a sprawling, shifting area that, right now, comprises three main groups: daily fantasy sports (DFS), skill gaming and e-sports—without compromising its reputation as the “gold standard” of gaming regulation. The stakes are high: Failure to adjust quickly may mean that the state’s gaming industry goes the way of faro table manufacturers.
More: How to Prepare for Emerging Gaming Today – Vegas Seven
I could have written a few thousand more words on this. Gaming is (I think) in the not-so-early stages of a historic shift. Just look at how the bigger category of games has changed in the past 20 years. I’m interested in seeing how board game sales, for example, have fared, and how home “gaming” (in the broadest sense) has changed since the introduction first of consoles, then PC, then mobile games.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I get to share what I’ve learned about the burgeoning place of esports in Las Vegas:
The IS-7 thunders over the rubble of a ruined cottage just as a T110E5 comes crashing through the trees. They simultaneously fire on the Spahpanzer Ru 251, which is rocked by explosions but manages to hang on. As the attackers reload, the Ru 251 wheels backward, searching for cover. But an SU-152 is waiting to deliver the kill shot. In a fiery blast, the Ru 251 ceases to exist.
Source: Embracing eSports Isn’t Such a Bad Idea for Casinos – Vegas Seven
This was a real education for me. I’ve got to say that I’ve found BattleViewer.com to be absolutely compelling viewing. It’s amazing how quickly I get invested in the matches. It’s nice to see casinos starting to embrace esports groups.