|Blueprint for a new esports area and studio that CJ ENM plans to open in the United States next month. / Courtesy of CJ ENM|
By Jun Ji-hye
CJ ENM will make inroads into the U.S. market by opening a new esports arena and studio in Manhattan Beach, California, to produce live events and other esports content, the company said Thursday.
The nation's leading entertainment company, which operates the game channel OGN, said it will open the Los Angeles metro area studio next month.
The new facility will become the largest on the west coast at 35,000 square feet and with a capacity for 500 audience seats and 100 player seats.
It will also be the only arena in the United States to have a specialized stage set up for "Battle Royale" format competitions, such as OGN's first official game partner, "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds," developed by Korean game developer, PUBG.
Events to take place at the new arena will include the new OGN Super League (OSL) as well as OGN Super Match (OSM) invitational competitions.
The firm said it will bring to the North American esports scene a vast knowledge of how to produce, execute and broadcast massive esports events, leagues and related content as it has more than 18 years of experience.
"The moment is right to bring our experience in esports to North America and present a business model that we see as win-win for everyone ― from game publishers to brands," CJ ENM America CEO DJ Lee said. "Bringing the OGN playbook to this rapidly growing esports market will provide a robust opportunity to connect and engage with the next generations of gamers and fans."
CJ ENM will dispatch 10 personnel specializing in producing esports events to the United States, it said, noting that it will also cooperate with NGE, ESP and other esports production companies in North America.
According to the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), an increasing number of people in North America are watching esports events, leading to a rapid increase of profits from ticket sales, marketing and advertising.
Forbes also said sales of the global esports market will reach $1 billion this year and $1.65 billion in 2021.
CJ ENM said it is aiming to become the world's largest esports business operator, using North America as a strategic position.