Fifteen charter teams will lock horns in a battle royale esports league at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas this year and the action begins on April 21. The teams, including CLG, Cloud9 and Vitality, will meet compete over the course of two 10-week splits at Caesars Entertainment Studios, a 50,000 square-feet production facility. The H1Z1 Pro League has named Vegas as its home city and its new league is designed to “redefine the current esports model”. The H1PL has been launched as a joint venture between Daybreak Game Company and Twin Galaxies LLC.
Jace Hall, co-chairman at Twin Galaxies, said: “Our goal with H1PL is to take the leap from esports 1.0 to 2.0, establishing a league where for the first time in esports history, everyone participates in success – the fans, the players, the teams and all of our supporting partners. The battle royale format has quickly become the most popular and entertaining multi-player video game genre, and we’re confident that the H1PL will drive fan engagement and excitement to even higher levels through the use of ground-breaking production techniques along with access to Facebook’s global gaming community.”
The teams competing in the inaugural season are: Alliance, Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming, Echo Fox, Epsilon Esports, GankStars, Impact Gaming, Luminosity, Noble Esports, Obey Alliance, Rogue Gaming, SetToDestroyX, Team SoloMid, Tempo Storm and Vitality. As you can see, there are some massive names from across North America and Europe in the mix. Vegas being Vegas, there is sure to be a great deal of betting activity on this league and online sportsbooks will also be getting involved in a big way. Check Bovada for the latest odds and you will find a range of betting options on eSports, whose popularity continues to skyrocket.
Caesars Entertainment Studios is the setting for the action and it is a hugely impressive arena, purpose designed for full-scale feature film, television show and live esports event productions. Senior vice president Jason Gastwirth said: “Given our long-standing relationship with the entertainment industry, the studio’s close proximity to the famed Las Vegas strip, as well as its state-of-the-art infrastructure, the opportunity to open Caesars Entertainment Studios makes perfect business sense. We saw an opportunity to do something that’s never been done in Nevada, and we’re confident that production companies will see the value our space provides. Caesars Entertainment has always supported innovation and world-class entertainment, and hosting esports events is the kind of emerging interactive gaming we have been and will continue offering to those customers looking to test their skills along the way.”
Christian Stuart, Caesars Entertainment executive vice president of gaming and interactive entertainment, added: “Caesars Entertainment strives to partner with some of the most important esports events in the world, and we couldn’t be more proud to host H1PL. The combination of an intimate venue, like Caesars Entertainment Studios, and a jaw-dropping production set will deliver a unique experience for anyone who wants to see what competitive gaming is all about. This partnership further solidifies our commitment to esports and builds on our strategy to be at the cutting edge in all forms of interactive entertainment.”
In another sign of big companies taking a huge interest in esports, Facebook has been announced as the exclusive broadcaster of the H1PL season. It will live stream the entire competition via Facebook Live and also introduce various community-focused features to “augment the viewing experience”, including free, redeemable in-game rewards. “The battle royale genre is fast becoming one of the most popular and accessible gaming categories to both watch and play, and we’re excited to help this brand-new league for H1Z1 grow its community on Facebook,” said Patrick Chapman, manager of esports partnerships at Facebook. “The league’s primary focus to engage and support players and fans aligns closely to our commitment to help build the world’s community for people to play, watch and share the games they love.”
The 15 teams will compete for points over the course of the season, and the league places an emphasis on aggressive gameplay, solid strategy and creativity. After the league, there will be an H1PL Battle Royale Championship in the fall.