Photo tour: our journey through the Blizzard LA grand opening celebration.

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The Overwatch Contenders playoffs is an event that has been given extra prestige due to the simultaneous launch of Blizzard's brand new esports arena. BlizzCon has traditionally been the most impressive Blizzard stage of the year, but the unveiling of Blizzard Arena LA has raised the bar significantly. The new arena was built a clear vision: premium esports entertainment and a place for fans to celebrate it year round.


The atmosphere at Blizzard Arena LA is decidedly different than BlizzCon. Instead of the stage fighting for the audience's attention amongst the glitz and glamor of a trade show backdrop, Blizzard Arena allows the esports to take center stage. Located in the historic studio that formerly hosted The Tonight Show, the arena is filled with support offices and bountiful resources to provide a comfortable experience for everyone involved. Player lounges, press rooms, editing bays, huge control centers, VIP guest seating: anything you think a tournament venue should have, Blizzard Arena LA has it.


The merchandise store located in the lobby and hall-of-fame displays will likely emerge as fan favorites and it was a wise decision by Blizzard to include them. Alongside other fan initiatives like HGC Cheer, the Hearthstone Oktober Brawl and the OWL's focus on regional pride, Blizzard esports fans have been given even more ways to support their favorite teams and players.


Check out the pictures below from our visit during the grand opening celebration and plan your next LA trip accordingly!

▲The Burbank studios has been emblazoned with Blizzard visuals.
▲ Media was given credentials to roam freely around the studio.
▲ When you walk through the lobby, past BlizzCon champions are seen honored on the wall.
▲ The merchandise store will sell apparel and exclusive Blizzard Arena LA items whenever the arena is hosting a tournament.
▲ Blizzard employees ready to sell to fans.
▲ Naturally, the store is filled with OWL related merchandise.
▲ Team InvenGlobal playing on the main stage during a just-for-fun round. We won!
▲ The arena's studio tech room is humorously named Torb's Toolbox.
▲ All around the studio are shoutouts to past Blizzard champions.
▲ Blizzard Arena merchandise is only sold at the studio and will not be found on the gear store.
▲ More Overwatch League gear!
▲ To celebrate the grand opening, many drinks were had.
▲ The main stage where the Contenders Playoffs will be held this weekend.
▲ One of the many, many lounges and green rooms located throughout the studio.
▲ The studio has a dedicated room towards managing the live stream.
▲ The opening night offered full access to the studio, including areas that will normally be closed off for staff only.
▲ Some of the most memorable photos of climatic Blizzard esports moments.
▲ Blizzard staff, players, crew, and media join in to toast the grand opening.
▲ Individual cameras capture every seat on the main stage.
▲ Aerial shot of the main lobby, featuring the merchandise store.
▲ There are multiple screens in the main stage room, a crucial addition to any esports arena.
▲ The player areas each feature microphones (as seen on the left) to pick up player comms during the broadcast.
▲ As the night came to a close, people started heading out of the arena.
▲ Each attendee was given a goodie bag filled with Blizzard Arena swag. 


Simply put, the Blizzard Arena LA is a massive leap forward compared to the venues that usually host tournaments. The Arena's visual splendor matches the prestige of the tournaments that will take place inside, giving esports fans and professional players a destination worth visiting.

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    Kirados

    Naisu, that looks amazing.

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