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Enter the Inferno: Las Vegas’ official esports team aims to win you over – Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada 2021-10-21 05:00:00 –

Sunday is Game Day and you can’t see any of the Raiders jerseys or the Golden Knights flag.

People of all ages gather at the HyperX Esports Arena in Luxor to watch and compete in regional tournaments for iconic fighting games. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.. Within the 30,000-square-foot arena, commentators’ voices boom on the sound system as a 50-foot LED screen captures all punches, kicks, and dying collisions. smash Fans track every move.

Such esports events are exciting for gamers. Such a community reminds us why Jairo Urcuyo first set up the first official esports team in Las Vegas.

“we [needed] Something that supports Las Vegas. There were other teams here in the past, but I didn’t have a sense of family or community engagement, “says Urcuyo, who launched Las Vegas Inferno in January 2020.[Past players cared so much] About the championship, and about supporting the local community, the next big thing they’ve never been drawn to in official homes in esports. “

Inside the HyperX Esport Arena in Luxor Super Smash Bros. Ultimate competition

Urkuyo, whose CV includes stints at the e-sports organizations Strictly Business and Denial Esports, was before Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman declared the Inferno official in June, or even before it was called Las Vegas Inferno Day on January 6. , Started to change it.

The team will participate in an online tournament with the game of their choice. Rocket league, Fortnite When Hello, Against hostile squads in the United States and abroad. The prize pool can run from $ 9,000 to $ 200,000 depending on the event, Urcuyo says.

Inferno’s commitment to the community has led to collaboration with local businesses, charities, Susan G. Comen, the American Cancer Society, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and other national nonprofits. The team has also advocated empowering and educating young gamers. By creating the Ignition Initiative Program, Inferno aims to teach young adults about financial education and planning, and how to navigate a successful esports career.

Urkuyo says he hopes these efforts will leave a lasting impression on the city. “We want to be as big as the Golden Knights, where we do more, host events and give back more for the community,” he says. “We feel we are moving in the right direction.”

Inferno has grown into a group of 54 people since its launch in 2020, but only a few are actually competing professionally. “I just don’t want to be a competitive team,” says Urcuyo. “Esports has so many businesses built into it: content creation and streaming, merchandising, production, [and then] We have a competitive team. “

Think of it as a “lifestyle brand”. “Mix with sports brands and mix with esports brands,” he explains.

Based on that idea, Urcuyo has also established relationships with sponsors and brand ambassadors such as Los Angeles Angels pitcher Matt Ramsey and professional mixed martial arts Eric “Ghost Pepper” Gonzales.

This is the formula behind the successful esports lifestyle brands today. Millions of dollars like 100 Thieves and FaZe Clan compete regularly, but build loyalty through custom products, partnerships, video game streams, and well-made YouTube videos.

Increasing followers online before real life may seem counter-intuitive, but it has caused Las Vegas notoriety for major esports organizations. For example, FaZe Clan recently hosted a summer chip-off gaming event at Resort World with a Grammy-nominated rapper Jack Harlow headlining show.

Briana Mercado and Victor Luu are two of the many leading content creators in Las Vegas Inferno. Mercado started streaming other activities, but his followers immediately persuaded her to get into the side of the game. After four years of streaming, she moved from renting her brother’s equipment to building a custom PC to play competitive first-person shooters. call of Duty..

“Streaming is very therapeutic,” says Mercado. “Many people are having a bad day or have lost someone, but they just want that smile. We bring it to them. We have a bad day ourselves. If so, we don’t bring it into the stream. There are so many negatives in the world that we give them a positive experience. “

For Mercado, “streaming is a lifestyle, not a job,” Luu adds, “I have all the support to keep it going.”

Esports is an evolving $ 1 billion business. Inferno’s general manager, Leo Martinez, has seen a changing trend over the years, from failed businesses to ambitious start-ups that invigorate the industry here. The official team offers more ownership and pride within the community.

In recognition of that, Martinez hopes to become the esports city Las Vegas has been aiming for for years. “We are here, and we are here to stay,” he says. “Everyone knows our name.”

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