Walmart Wants To Become Your Esports Destination

You can finally get paid to fight at Walmart.

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Up until this point in history, access to the world of competitive Esports has been largely confined to major metropolitan areas. As a result, many highly talented gamers living in the heartland or outside the continental U.S. have been forced to either move where the prize money is or give up on the dream entirely. Now, in an effort to make Esports more accessible, Walmart has partnered with Esports Arena and Xbox to host its own tournament, Esports Arena E.

Between now and April 2020, Walmart is constructing Esports arenas in 11 supercenters and two standalone facilities. Qualifying matches are already underway and will run through March 27th, 2020. Ultimately, the top 40 competitors will receive contracts and sponsorships, including $1,000 of monthly pay and compensated travel expenses.

Check Participating Walmart Locations

Moving forward, each location will host its own professional-level player who competes in a tournament every weekend of the season. Even if you miss out on the first round of qualifiers, you can still rise through the ranks by playing in future league night events at your local Walmart. You can also watch the tournaments here.

Credit: Walmart Esports Arena

Why Does Walmart Care About Esports?

While the idea of Walmart hosting a video game tournament may sound like the plot of a bad ’80s movie, this new innovation in Esports aims to make the burgeoning hobby and profession more equitable. With close to 5,000 locations across 49 of the 50 states, Walmart is one of the most accessible institutions in the U.S. By leveraging this ubiquity, the mega-retailer is able to bring the concept of competitive gaming to a massive new audience. And with Esports scholarships (not to mention massive prize pools) on the rise, this decision could seriously alter the course of talented players’ lives.

If nothing else, the “fight videos” coming out of 2020 Walmarts will hopefully feature less real-life brutality and more Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate — the two titles featured in the inaugural season of Esports Arena E.

Can Casual Players Participate Too?

Absolutely! For $5 an hour, Walmart will provide you with gaming PCs, consoles and peripherals as well as snacks and beverages for purchase in the Pro Shop. There will be weeknight tournaments open to the public for those who wish to break into the game or play casually with some local competitors.

The current roster and schedule:

  • Monday: League of Legends 
  • Tuesday: Overwatch and Call of Duty
  • Wednesday: Street Fighter V 
  • Thursday: Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • Friday: Fortnite Frenzy
Credit: Walmart Esports Arena

Other Walmart Game Deals to Consider

Now that you’re armed with knowledge, it’s time to start training! Walmart is running a bunch of deals that will excite gamers right now, here are a few of our favorites:

Do you want the newest titles but don’t want to pay the new-release premium? Set up a Deal Alert and we’ll let you know when the games you want go on sale within your preferred price range.

UP NEXT: Walmart Has Enlisted A Grocery-Picking Robot to Streamline Shopping For Food

Check out this popular Walmart deal from our Frontpage:

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Oliver Pretl-Drummond

Oliver Pretl-Drummond is a writer and Scorpio living in Baltimore, Maryland. They are weak for hot deals on niche kitchen appliances and they're forever on the hunt for cheap travel and lodging. When they're not surfing for bargains, you can find them writing about little-known historical narratives and the occult for Ranker. They are always down to talk about Baltimore history, printmaking and bass music.

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