Anybody active in the esports space will be aware of the growing popularity of the Battle Royale (BR) genre of games, which started back in DayZ and Z1 (formerly H1Z1) but evolved and eventually skyrocketed with games like Fortnite and PUBG capturing new audiences and cementing the popularity of the genre.
Now, esports for the Battle Royale scene in the US has taken the next step forward with OGN building their ‘OGN Super Arena’ in Manhattan Beach, CA back in December 2018. The 35,000 square foot studio was designed from the ground up to cater specifically for the unique demands battle royale titles bring, such as the increased number of players onstage. Up to 100 players can be brought up to the stage at a time to build their way to a Victory Royale in Fortnite or stalk their opponents to secure the Chicken Dinner in PUBG – all while the studio audience of up to 500 cheer on their favourite teams.
The Super Arena debuted with a special opening event – the OGN Supermatch: Alpha at the last December, where they invited pros, streamers and celebrity guests like DeadMau5 and The Try Guys to battle it out in PUBG. Following the special event, the National PUBG League (NPL) - North America’s first Pro league for the game – began running at the arena in January 2018 and has seen tense competition as 16 teams battle relegation to stay in the league and get their share of $1 million prize money.
The arena is centred on a massive 14,336×1408-in. LED display (comprising 1,100 Barco LED tiles) and features an Astro Spatial Audio (ASA) immersive 3D sound system. In addition to the main display, player sleds are outfitted with 6144×640 LED displays, the floor is completely lined with LEDs (totaling 2160×1120), and the tunnel where players walk out has another 640×896 in LEDs. All the LED is controlled by D3 servers and Ventuz graphics software.
Currently set for 64 players for NPL competitions, the stage can be expanded for up to 100 players for large battle royale events, such as Fortnite. During gameplay, the LED display in front of each sled shows the player’s game handle and pulls data directly from the game’s APIs to display the player’s health, remaining weapons inventory, and other stats.
“We integrate all the APIs from the game to show players’ inventory and health,” says Endi Maricevic, broadcast technical manager, Detune . “We are able to grab other data from the gameplay to show if a player’s life is at 50% and their complete inventory: how many bombs, how many grenades, and so on. The graphics are all tied in together for the user experience.”
OGN are the company behind the arena, and being no strangers to esports, the South Korean esports powerhouse has had experience in almost every esports game over their 19 years in existence, they made sure that the new Super Arena wasn’t limited to BR games, designing it with modularity in mind to be able to adapt to any kind of game as required. Any MOBAs, shooters or even mobile games can be hosted at the arena, and this decision already seems to be paying off with the creators of popular mobile game Clash Royale making a deal with OGN to host the first North American esports league for the game (CRL West) at the new Super Arena.
OGN’s gamble on Battle Royale seems to have paid off, the schedule for the arena has been fully booked, with the NPL and CRL West taking up most weeks. OGN themselves are planning various events at the arena too, with the OGN Super League and OGN Super match events rumoured to be making an appearance at the arena in future. The Super Arena means great things for anybody in the BR esports scene, which is set to prosper further now the genre has a purpose-built arena to house it’s impressive live events and passionate fans.