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Why Topgolf is putting esports lounges in its entertainment venues

Topgolf has built 52 venues where more than 17 million people a year use their driving ranges and other high-end entertainment. And in December, the company announced that it will create esports lounges at six of its outposts in partnership with TV brand TCL. It’s a big bet that such venues will be the next growth opportunity in the larger esports economy.

The company launched its first lounge at CES 2019, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas earlier this month, at its Topgolf Las Vegas location. The idea is to give gamers a place to come to watch esports entertainment in a lounge with wall-to-wall monitors, comfortable seating, and chef-driven food and beverages.

At Topgolf, fans can compete against each other, on their own or in exclusive events and leagues. It’s all part of Topgolf’s expansion into new kinds of entertainment. In 2016, Topgolf acquired World Golf Tour (WGT), an online game with millions of players. YuChiang Cheng, who headed WGT, is now president of Topgolf Media.

I recently talked with Cheng about why it makes sense for a place with a driving range and putting greens to expand into esports. To date, Topgolf has entertained more than 100 million people, and it is going to tap that network and expand beyond it, reaching out for gamers from all walks of life as esports goes mainstream.

TCL will add its 4K UHD 6-Series TVs for both individual and esports group gaming so guests can play esports games and participate in special events, coaching sessions, viewing parties and meet pro gamers. The Las Vegas is a natural one, as the Strip is already home to other gaming venues like Esports Arena, which

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