Esports and Virtual Reality facility to open in downtown Davenport in August

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Good news for video game lovers, a new first-of-its-kind ESports and Virtual Reality Facility is coming to Davenport.

Paradigm announced Thursday the gaming center will include a "cutting-edge free-roam virtual reality facility."

"Throughout the world there are great esports arenas and great virtual reality arcades," co-founder of the facility Steve Grubbs said. "But Paradigm will be the first to combine both of those and throw in a free-roam virtual reality facility on top of it."

The facility is located on 2nd Street in downtown Davenport and Grubbs says the facility will have multiple uses. During the day it will be used for corporate training in virtual reality. Sexual harassment training and other types of training will be used. There will also be school tutoring in the late afternoon for students who can study multiple things including the photosynthesis process. Finally, the evening will be focused on gaming and entertainment.

The $400,000 facility will use HTC's Vive Pro for it's virtual reality auto racing league and organizer say it is likely to use Acer's Predator computers for the eSports arena and gaming tournaments.

"We are developing partnerships with the best virtual reality hardware makers in the world," Grubbs said. "Gamers will find the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive Pro and Microsoft Mixed Reality Systems to use. We expect our esports tournaments to bring up to 10,000 gamers into downtown Davenport through the first year."

The facility already has big-name sponsors onboard including Intel and Respawn Gaming Chairs, which is a division of Hon Industries.

The first tournament is scheduled for the first weekend in August with a Fortnite competition. Grubbs says they have the top-rated Fortnite player in the state of Iowa attending the event.

"According to Forbes, eSports will reach nearly a billion in advertising and participation revenue in 2018. Worldwide viewership is 300 million this year and expected to reach half a billion by 2020." The facility released in a press release.

Contractors working with Paradigm are Russell Construction, Petersen Plumbing and HVAC, Shaw Electric and Granet Construction.