Eden Park develops esports performance centre

New Zealand’s largest stadium and the home of sport across the country, Eden Park, is set to become the centre of esports development.

Leading sports and esports investment and advisory firm, Guinevere Capital, has revealed the Eden Park Esports High Performance Centre.

The sprawling, cutting-edge, high-performance facility is designed to act as a hub for the Oceanic esports community, and a next generation training centre for esports stars.

The Eden Park Esports Facility is expected to open in Q3 2020.

The facility will give the best teams in ANZ including Dire Wolves, famed for its flagship League of Legends team, who has just revealed a huge expansion including rosters in EA Sports FIFA, Overwatch, NBA 2K, and VALORANT, professional practice spaces, stream booths and broadcast capabilities.

Alongside providing the ultimate environment for the development of professional players, the Eden Park Esports High Performance Centre will act as a community hub for gaming, hosting weekly leagues for the likes of New Zealand’s fighting game community Standing Fierce.

The venue will feature streaming practice rooms for teams to scrim and a broadcast area for live matches and commentary, alongside LAN areas for large scale events, and 5G and fibre capabilities.

Permanent streaming booths featuring the latest in broadcast technology will be available for local and visiting content creators to use, as well as chill out areas and space for the gaming and esports communities to host events and expand.

Eden Park holds 117 years of history and is one of Oceania’s most celebrated cultural landmarks. The first stadium in the world to host two Rugby World Cup Finals, the Park is considered the home of New Zealand’s iconic national rugby team, the All Blacks, where they remain unbeaten in over 40 test matches stretching back to the 1990s. The installation of the Esports Facility represents the growing significance of esports in New Zealand, and the impact the new industry will have on the region’s future.

The stadium says the initiative will attract new audiences who may have never attended a rugby or cricket match at Eden Park, whilst showcasing some of the country’s top gamers on the world stage.

Eden Park CEO Nick Sautner said:

"New Zealand’s national stadium is iconic and at the centre of many special memories for both Kiwis and tourists around the world. The Esports High Performance Centre will showcase Eden Park’s ongoing ability to diversify, evolve, and be at the forefront of new technology."

Guinevere Capital brings together the traditional sports and esports worlds both from a performance and commercialisation standpoint, and aims to develop local esports ecosystems spanning Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

The Eden Park centre is the newest in a series of global esports facilities the firm has played a part in launching, including in the iconic Twickenham Stadium in the UK, and the Esports High Performance Centre in Australia’s historic Sydney Cricket Ground.

David Douglas, community manager, Standing Fierce, said:

"The Kiwi esports scene is an extremely passionate and vibrant one, and seeing our industry and community establish a new base in the home of New Zealand sport alongside titans of national culture such as the All Blacks and BLACKCAPS, is really exciting for us.

"The grassroots community in New Zealand has enormous potential, and having a venue like this, not just for our pro players to train, but to nurture and support local talent and fandoms, where we can hold events, network and exchange ideas will be hugely beneficial to the Oceanic scene."

David Harris, managing director of Guinevere Capital, said:

"The Eden Park Esports High Performance Centre will be a melting pot of the ANZ esports and gaming communities, where we can develop our esports science and training philosophies, and provide the infrastructure for players and streamers to hone their craft and build their brands.

"Whilst esports is a hugely modern industry which brings a new brand of athlete, setting up a facility like this in Eden Park, which holds immense legacy and cultural significance, feels fitting. Esports is going to be a huge part of New Zealand’s future, and we’re proud that we get to be a part of that."