MGM Resorts and Unikrn eSports Plan Weekly LEVEL UP Events

LEVEL UP eSports Tournaments

LEVEL UP eSports tournaments take place each Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 10pm.

MGM Resorts and Unikrn eSports announced a partnership to bring live competitive gaming and electronic sports events to the Las Vegas Strip. The two gaming companies will host eSports tournaments in the LEVEL UP room in the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.

The plan is for Unikrn to host LEVEL UP gaming tournaments every Friday and Saturday between 4pm and 10pm. The events will have a prize pool include cash prizes and UnikoinGold tokens, as well as other rewards. Competitors also can win exclusive deals at MGM Resorts properties around the globe.

MGM Grand Casino had its grand opening of the LEVEL UP arcade in early November 2017. The arcade and gaming lounge opened in September to select gamers, but was not fully operational until this past November.

MGM Resorts and Unikrn eSports

Rahul Sood, the former Microsoft executive and current CEO of Unikrn, said, “There’s never been a partnership quite like this fusion, and we’re pumped to be in the center of it.”

“Traditional entertainment destinations have a lot of room to grow in appealing to esports and gaming fans, and MGM Resorts International is leading the way, with Unikrn, by bringing regular esports tournaments to LEVEL UP — this is thrilling.”

LEVEL UP Gaming Lounge

Early reviews suggested LEVEL UP would change the way lounge entertainment works on the Las Vegas Strip, because it offers “interactive, skill-based fun”. The arcade is found between the Hakkasan Nightclub and the MGM Grand Race and Sports Book. MGM Grand describes their newest gaming space as a “tech savvy, adult playground [which] features pay-to-play offerings in a social atmosphere. The LEVEL UP lounge includes peer-to-peer experiences using Oculus Rift-style virtual technology, along with traditional games like pool, foosball and ping pong.

Esports gaming tournaments should draw in more millennial game enthusiasts. Like similar eSports events in Atlantic City, the immediate goal is not to convince gamers to transfer to the MGM Grand’s traditional casino gaming floor. Instead, the idea is to bring in a whole new community, charge a walk-in fee, and sell them concessions. The revenue is more akin to a nightclub or concert event than slots row. With the inception of skill-based gambling machines and slot machines, those gamers might one day bemore more like traditional casino gamblers.

Lovell Walker on Electronic Sports

Lovell Walker, MGM Resorts International’s Interactive Gaming Development executive director, said, “LEVEL UP was designed to attract both the next generation of players and current players seeking innovation, making this partnership with Unikrn a great fit within the space. With our commitment to the future of esports and increased focus on enhancing our guests’ entertainment experience, we know Unikrn will be a tremendous partner.”

Unikrn eSports Entertainment

Unikrn is a Seattle-based online gaming site which focuses on interactive eSports, including video games, computer games, and social games. Because real money online eSports gaming is illegal in the United States at the moment, players do not compete for real money, but instead compete for Unicoins or merchandize.

In Nevada, electronic sports betting is legal, which is why Unikrn and MGM Resorts can partner the way they are at the moment. Rahul Sood believes eSports will one day be legal in the United States, and he expects that business will be hugely profitable. Mr. Sood was the head of Microsoft Ventures, before leaving to found his own eSports gaming company.

Late last year, Rahul Sood traveled to Macau to discuss similar business deals with Cotai Strip casino operators. Electronic sports is massively popular in China, so a Chinese version of LEVEL UP is likely to be a huge success in Macau.