Excluding Antarctica for now: Yura Lazebnikov on the new WePlay Esports Kyiv Arena and future plans

Sep 10 2020 5 min read

Excluding Antarctica for now: Yura Lazebnikov on the new WePlay Esports Kyiv Arena and future plans ⚡⚡⚡ Esports news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

The new WePlay Esports Arena Kyiv will open its doors very soon. All the magic you are used to watching on our broadcasts will happen on the stage. Get ready for lots of esports and colorful shows!

We decided to find out all the details about the Arena, its purpose and the company's plans for the future. Is there a person who can tell better than someone at the helm of WePlay since its inception? Yura Lazebnikov is the managing partner of WePlay Esports. The stars converged and we were able to talk to him just before his departure to Los Angeles, where, in turn, another arena will be launched soon! Interested? We all are!


Let's start with a question about the new arena. How will it be used, and what is its purpose? What is the direction of development?

Now we are talking about the Kyiv arena, but in general, we can outline the entire WePlay arena industry. We started with the Kyiv Arena because we are competent in this region and can implement some of our thoughts or ideas much faster.

The idea of ​​the arena is to provide the highest quality of non-stop content on a weekly or daily basis, with breaks for literally one or two days just to change the scenery or focus on other disciplines. The arena is a transformer; it fits most of the esports disciplines: 5v5, 1v1, no difference. There are screens, spots for teams, players, and hosts. Everything is adaptable to several languages.

WePlay Esports prepares and builds its entire ecosystem in order to reach everyone starting from semi-pro to tier-1 teams. This is also connected to a large amount of content that we plan to produce. One of the Arenas’ main goals is to create synergy with the tournament platform so that our registered users will be able to participate in tournaments and enter the arena to get on the pro-stage.

In addition to the quarterly and big monthly tournaments, the arena will constantly host matches that may not be of interest to such a wide audience, but it will show players that access to the pro-stage is open; that the real arena with qualifiers and tournaments is not a myth. You just pass the gates and find yourself in the spotlights, with cameras locked on you.

Yura Lazebnikov at WePlay Kyiv Arena

What regions do we want to conquer, and why?

We are already finishing the launch of our Los Angeles, USA arena. There is some specificity in broadcasts, logistics, and disciplines, and it is very convenient for us to have a distributed structure on two continents. In addition, we are definitely planning to launch a high-seating arena in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2021, given the size of the region and the interest in esports from people in Brazil and Argentina.

Also, arena construction in China is an interesting and super-developing direction for us now. We are cooperating with the China Cultural Foundation on this subject, and the potential result of this cooperation could be esports arenas with more than 10,000 seats, which will focus on mainland China and the disciplines that are popular there.

Some say that WePlay is building an arena in Australia. How true is this?

In parallel with the Chinese arenas, we are interested in being present on all more or less populated continents of our planet. It is clear that we are excluding Antarctica from this for now. Australia and New Zealand are a fairly remote time zone, which, perhaps, is inferior in population, but absolutely not inferior in quality and ability to pay. As we understand it, the esports core audience there is one of the sweetest that exists. Therefore, having a presence in Australia is our 2021 target.

At the moment, construction is not underway. We are examining plots and considering real estate proposals. I think that we will announce the project of the Australian or New Zealand arena in the first half of next year. Again, it would be nice to understand how we will be allowed in this new world to fly, go out, and travel somewhere. But I think we will adapt to the situation anyway.

Yura Lazebnikov at WePlay Kyiv Arena 2

The arena in Kyiv will host tournaments of various levels. People frequently ask: "Guys, when will WePlay bring the Major to Kyiv?" Is it possible to hold a Major in our arena?

No, this arena has a capacity of 200 seats. Kyiv Arena is just right for online tournaments; it will meet the challenges of delivering weekly content. I think WePlay will definitely bring a Major to Kyiv, and it will be at one of the halls. Perhaps, it will be our favorite ninth [VDNG] hall or some other venues in other cities. We understand that at least 2,000–3,000 spectator seats are needed for the Major, and the WePlay infrastructure and technical base will be involved, including the ones from the Arena. And in terms of the place, we will build on the capacity rather than on the desire to hold the tournament in our favorite and cozy place. After hosting the Minor in the Carpathians, I think we can handle any venue.

We often hear about the Los Angeles Arena. How will its infrastructure be set up? Do you plan to have a full-fledged production team and office there?

It will have everything. This is a full-fledged independent functioning facility with offices, production facilities, dressing and practice rooms, lounges, and a stage. In fact, this is exactly the same object as the one that we are building in Kyiv. It has a slightly different design and specificity due to the strength of the market. It may have a slightly different color scheme or other decorations, but according to ideology, it is an absolutely independent object, the same as at VDNG. It will be able to cover all the needs of the North American market. Again, if there are Majors, we will look for sites with a large number of seats and solve this issue purposefully according to a single event. The arena in Los Angeles is similarly geared towards a regular number of weekly events proposed towards an online audience rather than the thousands of people who want to watch it live.


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