Microsoft turns its physical stores into esports gaming arenas with new League of Legends events

Via Microsoft.

There may be some heated League of Legends competitions going on the next time you pass by a Microsoft Store.

The tech giant announced today that it is partnering with ASUS Republic of Gamers and HyperX to host weekly League of Legends events at its physical stores across the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and Australia.

Called “ROG Arena at Microsoft Store,” the competitions invite local players to sign up for 5-on-5 battles each Saturday beginning Aug. 26, with up to eight teams at the weekly tournaments. The only requirement to compete is an active League of Legends account; Microsoft will provide Windows 10 ROG G752VS gaming laptops, along with mice, mouse pads, and headsets.

Microsoft already hosts similar esports events at its stores, with games ranging from Counter Strike to FIFA. It also has the Mixer NYC Studio, a dedicated digital production shop at its flagship store in Manhattan that hosts gaming tournaments with a live audience.

These are the latest examples of Microsoft getting into the esports world. Last year the company acquired Beam and turned it into its game streaming platform, now called Mixer. It competes with Twitch, the streaming platform that Amazon acquired in 2014 for $970 million.

Microsoft also hosts the Halo World Championship and last year built a new way for Xbox Live users to create esports tournaments.