Twitch is bringing its own esports arena to E3 2017 and will livestream tournaments during all three days. Sponsored by T-Mobile, the free event will be open to the public and located outdoors at L.A. Live. Tournaments will feature professional players competing in Street Fighter V, Tekken 7 and Injustice 2, with a different game and player match-up each day.
“E3 is traditionally the time of year when the world at large tunes in to see what’s happening in the world of games,” Twitch’s vice president and commercial director for esports, Kristen Salvatore told AListDaily. “While we know that esports has had a significant place in that world for years, a true esports experience hasn’t been significantly represented at E3 in the past. We’re changing that in one enormous go with a major multi-day event that’s front and center at L.A. Live.”
This year marks the first time in which E3 will be open to the general public—an event that was previously exclusive to members of the press and the video game industry but is focusing more on consumers, particularly influencers. Twitch Esports Arena aims to entertain thousands of consumers now headed to the biggest gaming event of the year.
“Though the number of esports events held each year around the world continues to grow, we know many fans have only seen an event while watching Twitch,” Salvatore said. “Because 15,000 consumer passes have been sold to E3, it means a lot of fans will have the chance to be part of a live esports event.”
T-Mobile customers who visit the Twitch Esports Arena can get access to an exclusive, VIP seating area. All audience members regardless of seating can vote for who they think should be MVP for each tournament. Voting will take place across Twitter and in Twitch chat during the live broadcast. Audience members will vote by using the hashtag #TMobileMVP and the gamer tag of who they’d like to nominate.
“Street Fighter V, Tekken 7 and Injustice 2 all deliver in a big way on the action that makes an esports event so incredibly exciting—and so fun to attend,” Salvatore explained. “Capcom, Bandai Namco, and Warner Bros. are all valued Twitch partners, and we’re proud to support these linchpin FGC titles, whose leagues are exclusively broadcast on Twitch.”
Esports will be a major focus at E3 this year, with an official Esports Zone on the show floor sponsored by ESL. Nintendo is hosting its first Switch tournaments with pre-invited teams set to compete in Splatoon 2 and ARMS. Players hailing from Europe, USA, Japan, and Australia/New Zealand will compete live from Nintendo’s booth across June 13 and 14.