A California-based tribe has teamed up with the Canadian League of Gamers to create a North American professional eSports league.
Founded in 2015, the Canadian League of Gamers' "Northern Arena" is the largest professional eSports League in Canada.
The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians and Canadian League strategic partnership will form the Southern Arena, which will build upon the success of Northern Arena. Northern Arena’s events in 2016 are expected to attract an astounding four million eSports fans through streaming video and 10,000 fans onsite. Southern Arena’s two events in the fall and next spring are expected to attract 5,000 fans onsite and over half a million viewers online.
"eSports is exploding with interest and becoming one of the fastest growing sports in the world," said Greg Spievak, co-founder of the Canadian League of Gamers. "The eSports market in 2016 is estimated to generate $1.3 billion in gross revenues, which is close to the $1.5 billion the NFL generates. According to Fortune Magazine [October 2015], eSports revenue will surpass $1.9 billion in 2018."
The Southern Arena e-sports league will be the first of its kind in North America. The goal is to bring professional and non-professional gamers together in an official league that offers a structured, professionally managed and credible platform to promote eSports in North America and throughout the world. "Building Southern Arena as a world-class professional eSports League is the first of its kind for the 486 Indian gaming operations in the US," Darrell Mike, Tribal Chairman for the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians said. "Being on the cutting edge of the eSports movement will benefit not only the Tribe and its members, but more importantly build on the Coachella Valley brand as the capital of entertainment and hospitality in the United States."
The Canadian League of Gamers was founded in 2015 by Greg Spievak and Carl-Edwin Michel, connecting video game competitions and supporting the eSports market in Canada, as well as hosting finals and qualifying events across the country each year to host the largest eSports event in Canada. The visionary behind Northern and Southern Arena, Michel said he is "enthusiastic to oversee Southern Arena events and absolutely thrilled about the partnership between the Canadian League of Gamers and the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians."
Francis A. Wong, a retired Hawaii State Senator and resident of Indian Wells, CA will act as senior advisor to the Northern and Southern Arenas.
The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, descendants of the Chemehuevi Indians who inhabited the desert area, has been a federally recognized Tribe since 1891. The tribe owns and operates Spotlight 29 Casino, which features world-class entertainment, table games and 1,600 slots in the Coachella Valley.