Is London Set To Get A World Class Esports Hub?

Posted on March 11, 2021

For a city that places itself at the heart of sport, business, transport, recreation, and finance on a global scale, it is perhaps somewhat unusual that as of yet, London has not yet had its own bespoke esports facility.

However, that could be about to change with the news this week that the Technology and Innovations campus Here East is about to kick start a new initiative aimed at accelerating the growth of a proposed ‘eSports cluster’ sited on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The details of the proposal are outlined in a report that was published today by Delancey’s Here East, supported by the London Legacy Development Corporation. In it, the report details the plans to develop a world-class Esports hub that will provide new jobs within the local community.

It is envisaged that the new hub would also attract a number of top events into the region ensuring that London is well-placed to benefit from the fast-expanding Esports industry, which the report puts at being worth $130 billion globally.

Why Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park?

The report considered the views of a number of prominent people with a vested interest in the project including eSports leaders, academics, and local business leaders. It outlined why the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was the perfect venue for the project.

Key reasons for this included the fact that it was close to state of the art sporting venues (including West Ham’s London Stadium, the former Olympic Stadium), as well as being close to local academic institutions and a number of local esports initiatives and organisations that would greatly benefit from such a fabulous facility being right on their doorstep.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has already played host to a number of esports competitions at the Copper Box Arena and at Staffordshire University’s London site, which offered the UK’s first esports undergraduate course.

It is also the place where a number of businesses with a direct interest and relations with esports, such as BT Sport, Sports Interactive, and Bidstack also have offices.

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Nurturing New Talent

Part of the process for the project is not just providing a venue and facilities for esports, but also tapping into the largely untapped esports and gaming scene in London to look for new talent, both in terms of players, but also in terms of the wider esports industry.

A number of marketing and communication campaigns will therefore be a key element of the drive to promote the facility both within London, the wider community, the UK, and on a global scale.

It is reckoned that the esports industry generated just £60 million in revenue across the United Kingdom in 2019. The feeling is that given the growth experienced in other parts of the world, notably in North America and the Far East, this new project can see the UK bring in far greater revenue from esports, driving up the creation of jobs in the vicinity and promoting further economic growth in London.

“Talent, Venues And Expertise To Become A Global Capital For Esports”

Here East CEO Gavin Poole was enthusiastic about the development and the future of Esports in London and the UK, stating:

“Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park already hosts some of the most high-profile eSports competitions, teams and businesses in the UK and Here East has become the fastest-growing community of Esports innovation in the country.”

“This report outlines our vision to transform the Park into a world-class eSports cluster that sends a clear message to the global eSports community – London has the talent, venues, and expertise to become a global capital for eSports.”

“We have outlined an ambitious roadmap to realise the potential of eSports on the Park in a way that brings significant economic and social benefits to the capital, the emerging British eSports industry, and local communities.”

“We look forward to working with the London Legacy Development Company and the wider Park community to bring this roadmap to life.”

Related: Top Esports Betting Sites in the UK
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Ian John

A lifelong poker fan, Ian is also well-versed in the world of sports betting, casino gaming, and has written extensively on the online gambling industry. Based in the UK, Ian brings fresh insight into all facets of gaming.

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