JR East (yes, that railway company), or more specifically its subsidiary JR East Sports Co. Ltd., has announced today that it plans to open a new esports facility at Matsudo, in Chiba prefecture.The entire establishment will be built inside the city’s train station shopping district, and is scheduled to open later this month.
The facility will be divided into a PC area and an Event area. The PC area will support a maximum of 20 entire units, and are pre-set to hold events for at least thirty of the most popular (yet to be announced) e-sports titles currently played today.
The event area will serve as an information exchange hub, though it would also partly function as a small spectator section or resting area.
While the designated location for this esports center is quite peculiar, this is, in fact, pretty standard as a method to streamline the attendance of potential participants. This makes the esports event a mere walking distance from the station itself.
Additionally, opening it close to a train station also directly benefits the district’s overall business flow. It is, after all, sponsored by JR East itself.
It may not be as big as South Korea or China just yet, but the scale is steadily increasing to match the two countries. For instance, just last year, one of the biggest esports facilities in Japan opened in Osaka.
The complex dwarfs all other esports centers nearby, housing EVO-level tournaments and events, with the establishment aiming to have at least 200,000 visitors per year.
Aside from being a dedicated esports center, the facility will also be open for telework or telecommuting purposes (for other groups and organizations).
The renting specifics for this type of use were not elaborated, but fees and such would most likely be similar to minor esports events.
JR East states that this will be just one of the company’s numerous steps to invest early in esports tournaments’ ever-growing revolutionary industry.