The esports sector has seen two major arena openings this week in Istanbul and Melbourne.

Located in the Turkish city, the developers of ininal Esports Arena have claimed the venue is one of Europe’s largest. Backed by the sponsorship of ininal, a new generation payments platform in Turkey, the development takes in an area of 3,800 square metres, has a capacity to house more than 1,600 people and offers the potential to host tournaments with 100 players on the same stage.

Founding president of the Turkish Esports Federation (TESFED), Alper Afşin Özdemir, said: “A few years ago, we were dealing with questions such as ‘what is esports, is it considered as a sport or does it have a future.’ Now, in our country, we see that esports-specific centres are opening, and brands like ininal are sponsoring these facilities.”

Ininal CEO Ömer Suner added: “Giving our name, ininal, to Turkey’s, Europe’s and the Middle East’s largest esports arena makes us extremely proud. We are aiming to raise worldwide esports stars from this venue.

“Through the tournaments to be held in the future, esports players will have the opportunity to compete on the international level. Besides esports enthusiasts visiting the arena, we expect to reach more than two million gamers every year via Twitch and YouTube broadcasts.”

Meanwhile, Fortress Melbourne, said to be the Southern Hemisphere’s largest esports arena, officially opened its doors today (Friday). Covering over 2,700 square metres, the facility includes a range of purpose-built attractions, including a 200-seat arena.

One of the showpiece elements of Fortress Melbourne is set to be the Tavern, a medieval-themed restaurant. Carolyn Viney, chief development officer for Vicinity Centres, the real estate company behind the development, told the Daily Esports website: “Melbourne continues to grow as an international city and will become Australia’s most populous city by 2021.

“With the night-time economy now contributing more than Aus$3.5bn (£1.75bn/€1.98bn/$2.2bn) to the state every year, Fortress Melbourne is part of our market-leading destination strategy to introduce new entertainment concepts to attract and engage people who live, work or play in the CBD.

“Melbourne already hosts major game events like the Melbourne Esports Open and PAX Australia, and we’re excited to join that list of premium game experiences and open our doors to offer an amazing entertainment space that everyone can enjoy.”