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A state-of-the-art eSports studio will open this week at the Sky Tower.

The direct-to-television studio has been developed as part of a partnership between SkyCity Entertainment Group and eSports company LetsPlay.Live (LPL).

The new studio will enable LPL to produce live high-quality coverage of eSports events, which can then be shared with linear TV or online broadcast partners around the world.

The set-up has many parallels to a standard sports studio, including PC and console booths, commentary and analysis desks, and a fully equipped control room.

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The LPL studios are near the SkyCity Theatre, allowing for physical events with a 700-strong live audience and the ability to cater for up to 3,000 fans onsite.

LPL Director, Duane Mutu, said the opening of LPL Studios is a step forward in the broadcast and production of eSports tournaments in Australasia.

“It will also provide New Zealand with the infrastructure to develop the eSports industry locally and create a platform for emerging professional talent to turn their hobby into a career competing internationally,” Mutu said.

There’s growing interest in eSports in the local market, with TVNZ Duke regularly broadcasting major events.

The announcement of this studio comes off the back of LPL’s launch of its ‘Season One’ programming lineup, which includes a $10,000 Counter-Strike tournament.

While this may sound like a large chunk of money for gaming, it’s a mere drop in the eSports pond.

Business Insider reported last year that the competitive gaming industry is set to be worth US$1.5 billion (NZ$2 billion) by 2020.

The eSports industry rag Newzoo said the industry was valued at US$696 million in 2017, with most of the revenue coming from brand sponsorship and advertising.

–Credit: nzherald.co.nz – Technology