Raleigh, NC Preparing to Host Major Esports Events

Creative services company Big Block is teaming up with the city of Raleigh, NC as it prepares to host major global esports events, it announced on Tuesday.

Big Block, which specializes in esports consulting, will now help the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) and the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance to evaluate local facilities, as well as educate them on the esports industry and ensure they’re ready to host major events.

Previously, it helped the city nab its first big esports event in over five years, The Rainbow 6 Raleigh Major, which takes place Aug. 16-18.

“Big Block quickly helped Raleigh identify the unique assets within our existing venues and gaming ecosystem here, then began connecting us strategically utilizing their global relationships with esports leagues and event organizers,” said Loren Gold, executive vice president of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. “As a direct result of our partnership with Big Block, Raleigh has quickly ascended to the global stage and is well for positioned to host world-class esports events.”

Global esports revenues are expected to hit $1.1 billion this year, according to market intelligence company Newzoo. That’s a nearly 27% increase compared to 2018. It’s no surprise then that cities like Raleigh want into the industry. Over 16 million people visit the area annually and spend an estimated $2.5 billion, according to the GRCVB. Hospitality and tourism accounts for roughly 10% of the local workforce, employing more than 68,000.

But Ed Tomasi, the managing director of esports at Big Block, said esports is something that can’t be quickly homegrown. “Our team has been involved with esports for over fifteen years, and we’re well positioned to establish global relationships for forward-thinking cities like my hometown of Raleigh,” he said.

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