ARLINGTON, Texas — Out of the console and onto the red carpet.
Video games came to life at Saturday's Esports Awards in Arlington, the first time the event was held in the United States.
“This is a pretty huge deal," said Ricky Morris, a north Texas esports fan who stood in line to attend the event alongside the industry's best and brightest.
So how did it come to be held in Arlington, Texas?
Well, it's all about location, location, location.
And Arlington has the location.
At 100,000 square feet, Esports Stadium Arlington is the largest dedicated esports facility in North America, according to its website and city officials.
“I think it’s outstanding," said Tom Mercy, Esports Awards CEO.
The venue, paired with Arlington's bustling entertainment district, made the decision to bring the awards ceremony to the city an easy one.
“Anyone that knows Arlington knows it has probably the premiere entertainment district in America," Mercy said. "I think between Texas Live, AT&T Stadium and what’s going on with the Rangers, it's supremely exciting."
Esports Stadium Arlington opened in November 2018.
Since then, it has hosted large national gaming tournaments like the EA Madden Classic in August, which brought more than 500 gamers from across the country to North Texas.
On Saturday, guests traded jerseys for tuxedos. It was the first of three consecutive Esports Awards shows scheduled to be held at the venue through 2021.
“I think certainly Texas and Esports will go hand in hand for a long time and a long future," Mercy said.