The 30,000 SF multilevel Allied eSports Arena in Las Vegas, the first permanent eSports venue on the Las Vegas Strip, is designed to host every form of gaming, from daily play to high-stakes eSports tournaments.
The facility features a competition stage, a broadcast-quality TV studio, an interactive history of gaming display, a 360-degree videoboard, a streaming booth and a virtual reality experience. The world-class production facility uses 24 cameras to deliver network broadcast-quality content to the arena’s 50-foot-long, two-story LED video wall and live streaming across the world. The arena seats about 250 people, but the largest audience is the millions watching the competition via streaming video online. The project team developed a specialized approach to lighting, avoiding glare and contrast issues while achieving broadcast-quality illumination on faces. Lighting the players who are partially masked by their reference displays was particularly challenging.
NV5 used extremely slim and low-profile lighting fixtures integrated into the players’ stations (referred to as “Player Pods”) to the left and right of each player. By experimenting with various source angles, distracting glare to the players was avoided while still achieving a nice illumination on their faces — even when players were wearing ball caps or hoods that would otherwise shadow their faces from the overhead lighting. The very bright, very large direct-view LED video wall so close to the players posed several unique challenges in lighting to broadcast quality. For example, all stage lighting had to be carefully aimed to avoid throwing light onto the screen, which could deteriorate the contrast ratio and distort the color of the displayed image. Despite conflicting needs for each of these modes, the venue had to simultaneously support both a good image and experience for the live audience, as well as the online viewers. Every aspect of the lighting system was controllable, so adjustments could be further fine-tuned as needed.
The largest challenge came in interconnecting the architectural lighting and controls system. The production lighting needed to be able to control the architectural lighting during broadcasts. With a combination of careful planning, finding that perfect interface device, and working closely with the entire design and integration/building team, the team successfully tied the two systems together in a way that truly enhanced the overall functionality of the entire system.