SAN ANTONIO – The “Battle for Texas” was held Friday in San Antonio as thousands of gaming fans visited the new Tech Port Center and Arena for the venue’s first major esports event.
“This is probably the most sophisticated arena I have seen built specifically for esports,” said Malik Forte, tournament host and emcee.
Forte has been in the gaming industry for years and said this new arena on the Southwest Side is tailor-made for competitions like Friday’s event.
“There’s multiple levels, tons of concessions and you can really immerse yourself and be part of the event no matter where you are in this venue,” Forte said.
Teams from Houston and Dallas are taking part in the “Battle for Texas,” playing the new Overwatch game in front of fans for the first time since 2020.
“It’s been two years since all of our competitive play has been halted. We’ve played all of our matches online,” said Lori Burgess, chief operating officer of the Houston Outlaws.
Friday’s event was also the season opener for the Overwatch League and more proof that San Antonio is now playing a part in the growing esports industry.
Burgess said many kids are turning to esports, and facilities like Tech Port Arena give them a chance to get in the game early on.
“This is a sport and an industry that’s growing like mad, and we are seeing more and more young people really thrive at very early ages,” said Burgess.
Forte said he remembers when events like the Battle for Texas were held in small ballrooms. Tech Port Arena can seat more than 3,000 for esports events, and Friday’s event was near capacity.
He said esports is leaps and bounds from where it started and only going to get bigger.
“It’s probably one of the most accessible sports there is. Not everybody is athletically gifted. Not a lot of people can go on a basketball court and slam dunk, but everyone can teach themselves how to play a game,” said Forte.
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