.@CEOJebailey asks, "Does the idea of having a CEO at Disney World appeal to anyone?"
CEO's flagship event is already locked in for a return trip to Daytona Beach's Ocean Center next year, during which the brand will celebrate its tenth anniversary.
But even with those plans in mind, Alex Jebailey, founder of the CEO brand, continues to think of the future where his brand is headed. Yesterday, he shared a suggestion that many would have considered out of left field years ago, but in the wake of the dramatic growth experienced by the esports industry in recent years, this particular idea has become a lot easier to swallow.
In addition to being the birthplace for Community Effort Orlando, the state of Florida is also home to the legendary Walt Disney World resort, which houses a vast selection of amusement parks that follow the themes of just about every Disney film we've been blessed with. Its counterpart, Disneyland, is located all the way across the country in Anaheim, California, and similar resorts can be found outside of the USA at Hong Kong, Paris, and even Tokyo.
But...what if CEO and Disney World were to overlap for a whole weekend?!
One week ago, ESPN struck a deal with Bobby Kotick's Activision Blizzard for TV rights to the Overwatch League, a move which marks a high point in the rise of competitive video gaming, which has spawned an industry that is seeing a steady rise in player counts and prize payouts over the years. This deal will bring the Overwatch League playoffs and finals to multiple television networks such as ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and even Disney XD (more on that here).
Speaking of Disney XD, the Evolution 2017 World Finals for Smash Bros Wii-U were broadcast to the world at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas last year via their network. It was at that time that Liquid Salem toppled TsM ZeRo, the first EVO champion to be crowned in the game's first showing at the event, to become the Evolution 2017 champion for Smash Wii-U. This added life to Disney's growing spark of interest in the rise of esports.
In recent tours of properties in Florida, Mr. Jebailey voiced his suggestion to host a future CEO event at Florida's Disney World. This idea has been immediately met with a mixture of incredulity and skepticism, but most of the input surrounding this idea falls heavily in favor of support.
But where in Disney World would CEO be housed? Perhaps ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex which is located conveniently in Disney World. It consists of state-of-the-art facilities that support a variety of sports events for athletes of all ages. While primarily geared towards what is referred to as "traditional sports," ESPN's increasing interest in esports makes the possibility of supporting CEO all the more plausible.
Also, for those whose moods were darkened by the parking fee that had to be paid at the Ocean Center this year, the Wide World of Sports complex comes with the complete opposite: free parking.
Whether or not this will actually come to be remains uncertain at this time, but one thing is for certain: according to Jebailey, Daytona Beach will be completely booked in 2020, which means that after CEO 2019, the event will need to be relocated to another temporary home. Where exactly remains unclear, but keep your fingers crossed for a possible overlap between the best of two amazing worlds.
Almost as if on cue, Jebailey instantly noted the concerns surrounding the idea of a CEO event at Disney World and quickly addressed them in a follow-up series of Twitter posts. To quote his response below:
"In reference to my earlier potential Disney for CEO post. Every concern is something already on my mind like cost, location, passes etc. If it's at a price range that isn't something I'd be comfortable or know attendees wouldn't like then I wouldn't go to somewhere like that.
"Just something to think about for 2020 since Daytona is booked that year. Although as a TO, event planner etc, everything inside of that venue at the Ocean Center in my eyes was a near perfect venue. Always finding something for everyone is a challenge as CEO continues to grow."
What do you make of the idea that a CEO event could unfold at Disney World? Let us know in your Twitter replies!
In the meantime, check out this recap video for CEO 2018!
Happen to be an anime enthusiast? CEOtaku 2018 is coming up at the Orlando Wyndham Resort this September! To learn more, simply visit smash.gg/ceotaku-2018.
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