UMG To Provide Competitive Gaming Booths at 2018 WSOPMay 10, 2018 7:26 am
UMG Media Corp (UMG), a premier North American esports company, has partnered with the World Series of Poker (WSOP) to bring competitive gaming to the prestigious poker festival in Las Vegas this summer.
Last year, the WSOP attracted more than a quarter of a million people to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, but players attending its grueling 50 day run this year will be offered a nice diversion from its demanding schedule by being able to compete at a variety of free to play video games including Hearthstone, FIFA, and Fortnite.
“Last year we watched our initiative to grow esports in Las Vegas grow by leaps and bounds,” explains UMG CEO Dave Antony. “Bringing the UMG Esports Stage into the World Series of Poker events is an amazing next step in continuing this initiative into 2018 and beyond. UMG will utilize its ground breaking event management app to help organize the event and to constantly update participants of upcoming play and special events at the UMG stage.”
UMG Esports Stage
The 2018 WSOP takes place from May 29-July 17, with the Rio’s Pavilion Conference Center providing the primary poker playing area for the live tournament series. The huge room also features a raised built-in stage, which is where the UMG Esports Stage will be situated, with poker players this year able to amuse themselves during their downtime by competing at a variety of different video games on both PC and Xbox One platforms.
In order to participate, a player must first download the UMG App from Apple Store or Google Play, and once registered the app can then be used to scan one of the many gaming booths on the stage, after which an attendant will assist players to set up a match. Unlike the live poker tournaments that they will be playing, however, the games featured on the UMG Esports Stage will be free to play, with real-money wagering not permitted.
Esports and Poker Crossover
UMG’s partnership with the WSOP allows the large Pavilion stage area to be put to good use by providing a welcome distraction for gamers, who like poker players at the WSOP, generally tend to be 20-30 year old males. It is therefore little surprise that there already exists such a strong link between the worlds of esports and poker, with pros such as Bertrand ‘ElkY‘ Grospellier and Daniel Negreanu heavily involved in the industry, and poker players in general enjoying competing against one another in sports and first-person fighting games such as FIFA and Blizzard’s Hearthstone.
Distraction from WSOP
The WSOP is the world’s most prestigious poker tournament series, and each year creates a huge buzz of excitement in the media and poker playing community. While thousands of players travel from the all across the USA and the world to take part in its numerous events, playing marathon sessions day after day for almost two months can be both monotonous and taxing. UMG providing a complementary product at the WSOP will therefore provide a welcome distraction for the players during their free time and dinner breaks.
Popularity of Esports
Esports have become increasingly popular over the past few years, with its presence in Las Vegas having also been ramped up in recent times to reflect its changing status. Downtown Grand and MGM, for instance, have had esports facilities since 2016, while Luxor opened an esports arena this March hosting a number of high-profile events. In the meantime, more and more venues are starting to offer esports options of their own, with UMG’s presence at this year’s WSOP representing just another stage in the industry’s continuing growth.