This post was sponsored by the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas. All opinions and writing is my own.
I wrote about the HyperX Esports Arena at Luxor Las Vegas previously, and they invited me back to witness and experience the hype and hubbub of their most popular tournament, the Friday Frag, where dozens of players ranging from pre-teens to adults compete for a prize pool of thousands. I wanted to see the crowd, tournament specific promotions, and get a feel for what the weekly tournaments at this Arena were like.
By the time I arrived, the tournament was underway with 90+ contestants, and no other players could join. When I got to the back gaming area, it was packed – with players, all clicking away at Fortnite, surrounded by their friends and family, parents looking excited, and parents looking bored. Free popcorn sat on a table for guests, and there was a desk right at the gaming area entrance staffed by two employees promoting a HyperX periperal raffle – simply tag @HyperXESALV in any of the socials and get a ticket corresponding to your player team color. You could even take a photo in a gigantic Game of Thrones-style HyperX chair, equipped with radiating keyboards and mice, making for a beautiful shot.
Aaron, the Director of Marketing, was kind enough to take me behind the scenes to see the casters and production staff in action, ensuring the smooth transition and flow of the tournament.
My very limited understanding of the game notwithstanding, the players have a certain amount of time (45 minutes and then 30 minutes in two rounds) to rack up as many placing or top finishes in online matches as possible, and the top 10 or 16 go on in a FFA format to determine the overall tournament placing. In this example, the top 16 recouped “at least” the entry fee, where the top finisher would win something like $900-$1200, or 30-40% of the prize pool
Interestingly enough, the entry fee is only $30, and at about 90 players, the $3,000 prize pool exceeds the total entry fees – meaning this is a loss-leader for the Arena! Of course, when you have the adjacent revenue streams of food and drink, especially to non-players such as the families around, I’m sure the Arena is doing just fine. Payment is rendered via check I believe, as Paypal was too difficult to set up.
They also had top players on stage, some of which were wearing their sponsorship or team jerseys. Very cool experience to see.
I could definitely see this being a very strong draw for the locals, and it certainly helps the Arena connect with the community and local gaming groups. Aaron mentioned this is their most popular event, drawing anywhere between 60+ to 90+ participants each week. If I were any good at this game, I’d test my luck, and the staff told me they do have regular, high-caliber gamers hustling their skills for prizes. Think about it as a pre-teen or teen, making a few hundred or even a thousand bucks each week for playing Fortnite – I’m sure every gamer has fantasized about being the best and destroying others in a tournament, I know I have!
This review was sponsored by the HyperX Esports Arena – no other compensation was received. Special thanks to Aaron for hosting me and answering many of my questions, as well as to my marketing partners Hannah & Brianna for making this visit possible!
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