Vindex-owned Belong aims to open 300 experiential gaming centers in America over the next three years.
If Vindex has its way, there’s going to be a professional-level e-gaming center coming to your area in the near future. Belong Gaming Arenas will soon open its first US esports center, and the company announced Houston, Texas as the lucky location Wednesday.
PlayStation, OMEN by HP, ViewSonic, and Mavix are among the companies equipping these gaming centers, which will soon launch in Chicago, Dallas, Nashville, Columbus and other markets in the near future. These arenas will add to the 25 existing Belong locations in the United Kingdom.
“Following more than a year of isolation, people are craving interactive and shared gaming experiences, where they can come together to celebrate a shared love of gaming and its culture,” said Belong Gaming Arenas CEO Martyn Gibbs. “Belong will play a key role in the next evolution of gaming by deeply integrating within local communities while also connecting people from around the world digitally.”
In addition to daily and weekly programming, these gaming arenas will be hubs for local community esports teams to compete in addition to serving as party venues and content and streaming hubs where the next generation of pro gamers can hone and develop their skills.
“We’re creating the equivalent of local baseball diamonds or soccer pitches in high schools and parks all over the country,” said Mike Sepso, Vindex’s co-founder and CEO.
In the fall, Belong plans to create an international network connecting each individual location together that will give everyone in their hometown and ability to form teams, build community, cultivate local pride, and compete against the world.
“Our Houston location’s gonna be able to play against London and Manchester,” Sepso said. “And as we open more locations across the U.S., that whole network will play against each other. it’s like building a minor league system.”
Belong will have a national safety policy in place for COVID-19, but will work with city and state rules and protocols as they expand in the U.S.
“We know we can open safe environments across the country,” Sepso said.
If Belong and Vindex have their way, the local esports arena will soon be as readily accessible as your local tennis court or basketball court, making gaming with professional technology more accessible to millions nationwide.