The Columbus Dispatch
Belong Gaming Arena ready to open today
A new esports gaming arena will open Friday outside the Polaris Fashion Place mall.
At more than 12,000 square feet, the space will be the largest U.S. venue operated by Belong Gaming Arenas, which operates 27 arenas in the United Kingdom and two in Texas.
The arena, in space formerly occupied by the Lifeway Christian Store, will seat 84 gamers. Each station will feature gear including Omen HP gaming PCS, Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles and Mavix gaming chairs. Players can get memberships or rent stations by the hour.
The Polaris venue is part of an ambitious expansion plan by Belong Gaming Arenas, which was acquired in 2020 by the esports company Vindex, an investor in the Columbus-based broadcasting and
programming firm Esports Engine.
Vindex plans to open 300 Belong Gaming Arenas in the next five years, starting with arenas in Chicago and Nashville, in addition to the Texas and Columbus sites.
“Columbus has always had a passionate gaming community behind it and is home to our sister company Esports Engine,” Belong Gaming Arenas CEO Martyn Gibbs said in a news release. “We can’t wait to provide a new home for gaming culture to continue growing in the Columbus area.”
Each Belong Gaming Arena will develop a team for different games to compete against other Belong teams, using Esports Engine’s platforms. The Polaris team will be called the Polaris Pilots.
Next year, Belong Gaming plans to launch the Arena Clash program, allowing the Pilots to compete against other teams.
The Belong Gaming Arena is the latest in a string of esports venues to open in the Columbus area the past few years, including an Esports Arena at Ohio State University, and Game Arenas in Hilliard and Columbus. email@example.com @Jimweiker