Asia’s largest e-sports complex opened for business on Monday with around 20 people queuing up outside at 3pm. The 25,000 sq ft CGA (Cyber Games Arena) eSports Stadium at Macpherson Place, in Mong Kok, covers two floors and includes training facilities, equipment for streaming, an 80-person arena and high-end computer hardware for gaming.
The stadium will be open 24 hours a day, and is expected to host more than 100 local and overseas competitions every year, attracting 1.2 million visitors.
There is also a cafe with drinks and food, and an area selling gaming gear including monitors, keyboards, mice, and everything else you would need to set up your own rig.
Entry to the cafe, shop and console game-playing areas is free, but to use the computers, visitors will have to register as members. Signing up is free, while all charges will be deducted from the account they open at the counter.
Ryan Chow Kai-hong, CEO of Cyber Games Arena, said registration was required to protect their equipment, which cost around HK$15,000 for a full set.
“It is all high-end, full e-sport level gear. Mouse, keyboard – everything. At minimum, we have GTX 1080 graphics cards and 144hz monitors.” That’s high-quality computer hardware.
The higher than average fees – HK$30 per hour for a standard seat – have been justified for the same reasons. Their special rooms command even higher charges – HK$240 an hour for a five-person group and HK$100 for one of their special “boss rooms” fitted with the best and most expensive hardware on the market.
“The biggest difference between us and a normal internet cafe is that we provide an all-in-one experience,” Chow says, pointing out their stage, entertainment area, VR section, girls-only zones and upcoming events. “We want to let people know more about e-sports. It’s not only for professional gamers. There are levels like [in] basketball – local leagues and street games. Everyone can enjoy it.”