Dream Cruises has unveiled the world’s first permanent eSports facility at sea, giving members of the public had their eSports experience debut and a chance to enjoy a friendly match of FIFA18 with their favourite radio hosts.
The 1,700-sq. ft venue is part of ESC Experience Lab, the VR games central aboard World Dream, the 150,000-ton megaship with dual homeports in Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
Referring to video game competitions that involve intensive mental and physical training, eSports has emerged as a rapidly growing sector globally with vast market potentials.
It has already been admitted as a medal sport for the 2022 Asian Games and is now under review by the International Olympics Committee as a potential sports activity for 2024 Summer Olympics.
In Hong Kong, the financial secretary Paul Chan Mo-Po has pledged HK$100 million in the 2018-2019 budget to promote eSports in the city, namely to promote eSports as a mainstream sport and to educate the public on this emerging trend.
Thatcher Brown, president of Dream Cruises, said: “We are excited to announce that the world’s first dedicated eSports facility at sea is now available on World Dream, where professional and recreational e-players can compete in state-of-the-art setting with a great variety of games.
“This initiative also supports the Hong Kong government and Tourism Board’s commitment to promote eSports in the region.
“We look forward to inspiring our guests from millennials to the young in spirit in these exciting eSports activities.”
To celebrate the unveiling of World Dream’s dedicated eSports facility and in anticipation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Dream Cruises collaborated with CR1, the most listened-to radio station in Hong Kong, to host an eSports football competition on the cruise ship, where football enthusiasts enjoyed an exciting match of FIFA 18 at sea with their favourite radio hosts and a cheering crowd, which was streamed live on the only 4K LED wall to be installed on a cruise ship.
The dedicated eSports facility on World Dream can accommodate a live audience of 80 persons and up to ten players; any eSports event in the facility can be streamed live to all cruising guests on LED screens and monitors of the cruise ship, from indoor venues such as the 999-seat Zodiac Theatre, the lobby, Silk Road Chinese Restaurant and every in-cabin TV, to the outdoor theatre in Zouk Beach Club, totalling in an on-board audience of 3,376 minimum (based on lower berth of World Dream).
For those who wish to give eSports a try, they may learn the basics from professional staff of the eSports facility with complimentary workshops and free trial games, available on every cruise departure. In addition to pro-gamer favourites such as DOTA, gamers can get their adrenaline rush with wide selections of games, including classics like Street Fighter and Tekken.