Montreal, Malta Unveil Plans To Become Major Esports Hubs

View Of Montreal Downtown, Quebec, Canada

You may recall last week we brought you news that the Japanese city of Kanazawa had developed a strategy to become a major esports center.

Now, add two more names to the list of locales around the globe vying for that status.

Malta’s vision for esports

Malta has become something of a hotbed for esports in recent years. The country hosted the very successful GO Malta Esports Festival in December 2018. Even then, as the details of the tournament were being finalized, the Maltese government announced bigger plans.

Last week, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat signed “a memorandum of understanding” between his country and the ESL, a globally significant esports organization.

The agreement was revealed at the launch of Malta’s Vision for Video Games Development and Esports, which was presented by the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Silvio Schembri. Here’s his statement:

“The video games business model is structurally different from igaming, and game developers need industry-led and sector-specific expertise and support.

“Hence, after discussions with key stakeholders, we sought into taking significant educational initiatives to sustain the existent talent pool, cater for the needs of the industry and make it easier for future generations to pursue a career in this thriving sector which is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.”

The overarching aim of the vision is not only to sustain the esports economy within Malta but also attract video game developers and esports tournament organizers to Malta.

Having successfully hosted a large-scale esports event at the end of 2018, it is going to be interesting to see how the partnership with ESL continues to develop. Will we soon see The International visiting Maltese shores, for example?

Largest esports complex in Canada opens in Montreal

Across the pond, Montreal has hosted a number of top esports tournaments over the years. Now the city has taken the next step by launching the “biggest esports complex in Canada.”

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The Esports Central Complex, which opened on May 31, is 13,000 square feet of gaming space. It boasts a large selection of esports facilities, including an extensive PC suite of 94 machines, Virtual Reality, 20 gaming consoles, and six DBOX hi-tech racing simulators.

The complex’s management team has already secured deals for tournament play. The owners have also been keen to market the site as a family friendly venue where different generations can come together.

There is absolutely no doubt any city wanting to become a world leader in esports should have a bespoke facility for events. Montreal now joins those ranks.

And with the Montreal Rebellion becoming the official academy team of the Toronto Defiant in the Overwatch World League, it would not surprise many if the city applies for further franchises that become available in the OWL.

The upshot

As Montreal and Malta are showing, there are different ways to promote your city or country as a viable venue for esports. It remains to be seen which approach is the one most likely to be successful.

Ian John

About

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.