EVA Complex in Dijon: The First Virtual Reality Esports Arena in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

The EVA complex (Esports virtual arenas) opened on June 2 in Dijon. Inside is an arena for playing video games in virtual reality with others. It is the first of its kind to open in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and the public was there.

The future of video games? For many, it is virtual reality. SIf some are already playing with an immersive headset from home, it is now possible to join a dedicated arena in Bourgogne-Franche-County.

It is in a renovated complex in Fontaine-lès-Dijon that two arenas of 500m2 have been fitted out. They allow players to move freely in the real world and in the game. All you need is a helmet, a rifle… and you’re off.

This June 2 was the official opening. The opportunity to see what the first customers thought of it.

They were the first to tread the ground representing a QR code. These friends did not want to miss the opening of the complex. After watching a briefing on the basic rules, then donning the rifle helmet and harness, they are ready for battle.

They then wander in directions that may seem crazy, but in the game they must avoid obstacles and take cover to survive. A playful and physical test, since all the players were covered in sweat at the end of the game.

Tetsuya (a real gamer introduces himself under his nickname) was one of the first present at the opening. He had already tested in Lyon, but it’s something else at home. “There it is next door, we absolutely had to come“, he launches. “Just having tested once in Lyon, it made us want to do it again very quickly.“Benjamin, his colleague, did not see the time pass, once again:”It goes so fast… it’s really like being inside, it’s really immersive.

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The first compares with his personal virtual reality (VR) headset that he has at home: “It’s completely different. The VR headset, you can have a headache while playing it, but here you really feel like you are in normal life, there is no discomfort.

The Dijon arena is EVA’s 25th in France. All these complexes are sized in the same way, with sensors placed to the nearest millimeter, and colors scrupulously respected.

The interest? Being able to compete in “inter-room” esport matches. “Our objective is to develop the competition aspect”explains Richard Devaux, the director of the Dijon franchise. “Soon there could be a Dijon game against Strasbourg, or even against Bordeaux, just by staying here.”

The position of the players is carefully monitored by a computer. There are 22 in all in the complex, one for each player. The arenas are covered by “Wifi 6” technology, which allows them to be located in the game in real time and without the need for additional mobile equipment. Added to this are the renovations of the building to meet the strict standards requested by Jean Mariotte, the founder and manager.

“In all, we got 1,000,000 euros. It took us several months to find the right place. I had found a room, but it was too small in length… two meters! You have to great precision so that the arenas can run smoothly and smoothly”says Richard Devaux.

The network tends to develop. 50 rooms have already been signed across France, and should be built by 2025.

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