Former Village Roadshow exec building ‘largest’ esports venue in Southern Hemisphere

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 3 September 2019

Esports business Fortress Esports says it’s building the largest video gaming and esports entertainment venue in the Southern Hemisphere.

The new precinct  in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD is due to be ready for marketing events as early as next year.

Fortress Esports, co-founded by former Village Roadshow chief digital officer Jon Satterley and technology entrepreneur Adrian Giles, is hoping to offer a new entertainment experience.

“Melbourne has become the epicentre for video gaming and esports culture with major events like Melbourne Esports Open and PAX Australia, so we’re excited to be opening our first flagship venue in Melbourne and offer Australians a video gaming entertainment space that they can enjoy all year round,“ Satterley, CEO at Fortress Esports, says.

“We want to make Fortress Melbourne the ultimate ‘home away from home’ for everyone, from casual gamers, competitive gamers and esports fanatics, to families and after work crowds.”

The venue will include more than 160 gaming PCs, console gaming suites, as well as a 200 seat purpose-built esports arena.

Satterley says it’s currently looking to add to its roster of brand partners and has teamed up with US-based Allied Esports to develop the venue.

The news comes after HT&E announced it’s shutting its esports division Gfinity due to an “unsustainable market" in Australia. Despite the news, media agencies remain positive about esport and gaming’s potential, with Publicis’ Ashley O’Rourke saying brands need to better understand how to advertise in the space.

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