One of the first states to adopt esports as a varsity sport, Georgia has embraced the industry.
Students from Georgia State University have competed in the Collegiate Esports Championships, and over 50 teams are competing at the high school level across the state. Atlanta has enthusiastically welcomed esports to the peach state and worked hard to maintain close ties with gaming companies. For all of these reasons, Atlanta ranks among the best cities in the country for gamers.
Atlanta has had its eye on becoming the nation's esports capital for many years now. With the recently announced arrival of Skillshot Media's esports gaming hub, it's hard to argue that any city is more deserving of the title. Esports fans will have their sights set on Atlanta and will want to take advantage of the latest tips from Fox Bet Sports Review to keep track of the odds for their favorite teams.
Atlanta's Gaming Industry
Skillshot Media released a fact sheet earlier this year, making a solid case for why Atlanta is the nation's gaming hub. A few of the interesting tidbits from the report include Atlanta professional esports teams — Atlanta Reign, Atlanta FaZe, Ghost Gaming, and Hawks Talon. On top of all that, Atlanta's SMITE teams have over 30 salaried pro players.
It's not just about gamers. Atlanta boasts several local developers and publishers, including Hi-Rez Studios, Blue Mammoth | Ubisoft, Tripwire, plus over there are over 150 game development studios across Georgia. All of this is just the tip of the iceberg. Atlanta has a lot more to offer esports, which is why Skillshot Media decided it was the ideal location for a gaming hub.
Esports Initiatives in Atlanta
Atlanta is serious when it comes to esports, and in many ways, the city places it on equal footing with traditional team sports. Northridge Hospital in Atlanta has developed a program to treat gamers the same way they'd treat other professional athletes. The program focuses on player's physical health while treating their gaming injuries.
Other initiatives include the Atlanta Sports Council's Esports Alliance launched in 2019. The council describes its goal as bringing “new opportunities for teams, tournaments, venues, and esports service providers and partners” to the Atlanta area.
Atlanta is home to some of the largest esports events in the world. The city hosts Dreamhack, which is the world's largest digital festival. Dreamhack is held every November and draws thousands of gamers who participate in round-the-clock competitions and tournaments. Call of Duty Vanguard will undoubtedly be on display at this year's event.
The city's award-winning Technical College System has received 87 awards and distinctions related to gaming. Plus, the state's colleges and universities are busy training the digital entertainment and gaming industries' next generation of talent.
Georgia's tax incentives initially designed to attract film and TV crews have also fueled the growth of esports in Atlanta. Esports qualify for a tax credit of up to 20% towards production costs.
Skillshot has played an integral role in esports initiatives throughout Atlanta, so it's no surprise the company has chosen Atlanta as the site for its gaming hub.
A Gaming Hub in Uptown Atlanta
All of the hard work Atlanta has put into developing esports is paying off, and Skillshot announcing the development of a gaming hub in Atlanta is icing on the cake. Skillshot's hub will be a 47-acre community dedicated to the industry.
Plans for the hub include classrooms and training space for local students. Not only that, the site will also serve as a production studio, collaborative learning center, and retail space. The hub's 35,000 square foot atrium will have enough room for between 300 and 400 gamers for in-person events and will be equipped with a giant LED screen for living streaming to millions of gamers worldwide.
Skillshot has partnered with HyperX on this project, and the company will supply the facility with various products, including keyboards, mice, microphones, and headphones. Skillshot's vision is to create a gaming ecosystem in Atlanta to develop esports talent further.
Images via: Unsplash