EVA Raises $5m for U.S. VR Esports Arena Expansion
Recently, French tech startup EVA (Esports Virtual Arenas) completed a financing round that would bolster its growth on an international scale. Founded in 2018, EVA is responsible for a VR arena framework that has grown to cover most major cities in France, and a location in Belgium.
Now, the firm seeks to expand overseas, and the $5.05m secured in its second financing round will enable the company to push into the United States VR esports arena market.
However, it can be said that the concept of a VR arena isn’t a new one. There are countless outlets around the world that offer VR-based entertainment, and the United States already boasts a string of top-tier, high-tech VR arenas. With that being said, EVA is attempting to apply a twist to the formula, pushing to introduce an esports ecosystem to the VR arena concept, offering a perfect fusion between physical activities and digital sport.
Making The Digital, Physical
For several years, companies have been exploring the potential of virtual reality technology. From the origins of the metaverse to the re-creation of popular, mainstream games in VR variants, there’s a veritable feast of developing technology out there. At present, virtual worlds are likely the most immersive form of gaming that exists, thrusting players into environments that they feel they can reach out and touch.
EVA has been expanding all across France for the last four years with great success. As a company, it offers users the ability to compete in multiple VR-based titles in arenas that boast the latest in virtual reality technology. It has expanded so effectively through the use of a franchising system, giving avid VR entrepreneurs the opportunity to open their own VR esports arena in their local region.
With EVA’s imminent expansion into the U.S. VR market, we’re asking if there’s room for the VR esports concept to grow?
Wanted or Needed?
In the diverse and dynamic world of esports, a revolution is taking place, with rapid growth being witnessed across all areas. For the top-tier titles, the average esports tournament can boast multi-million-dollar prizes and draw in hundreds of thousands of viewers. However, while traditional esports are experiencing unprecedented growth, the idea of VR esports is just beginning to be explored.
By 2025, EVA endeavours to have 100 VR arenas open across France, and by the end of 2023, the firm’s leaders want more than 50 locations in the United States. Within the last few years, we’ve seen an undeniable growth in the range of VR arenas being made available, even with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the industry to an extreme level. For example, one of the most popular providers of VR venues, Sandbox VR, has enjoyed a resurgence in recent months and will be opening a large venue in Las Vegas by the end of 2022.
Currently, the Virtual Athletic League is undergoing a crowdfunding stage, but seeks to evolve into the ‘largest independent VR esports league’. While most of these venues cater for friends and families seeking out some exciting, digital entertainment, there’s a strong foundation being built that could support a thriving VR esports ecosystem. It may be that one day in the near future, firms like EVA are laying the groundwork for a healthy VR esports betting vertical.