If the question of how the UK can become a global leader in esports is a question which keeps you up at night, then read on.
At the Gfinity Arena in London yesterday UKIE, the country’s trade body for the games and interactive entertainment, unveiled its esports whitepaper on this very topic.
Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said: “For some time, we have been proposing that esports in the UK could be a high value opportunity for the economy, provided the right infrastructure and support is in place so we can compete at a global level. Ukie stands for interactive entertainment, and esports is born out of the meeting of games, competition, fandom, live events, and digital innovation, and so in many ways is the epitome of interactive entertainment.
“Combining industry commitment with political and practical support both nationally and locally, collectively promoting the sector, and supporting the grassroots esports movement across the country, we can make the UK the leading global destination for esports.”
UKIE worked with Fnatic, which opened its Bunkr London popup store in Shoreditch in the past few days, Team Dignities and endemic operators such as FACEIT, Gfinity, ESL and more to produce the following set of measures noted below:
Fnatic’s , and this is just one esports organisation that UKIE has been working with as it looks to get a handle on the growing scene in the UK.
1. The sector to work with key government departments to develop a unified strategic approach and appealing trade and investment offer to major international tournament holders, IP owners and brands;
2. The delivery of superfast broadband and 5G to provide the best infrastructure across the country;
3. The sector should coordinate itself as an industry group to share information and encourage and facilitate the sharing of best practice;
4. Industry and government to develop a methodology for more accurately measuring the UK esports sector;
5. Government to consider the needs of esports businesses and players in policy debates around skills and immigration and ensure friction-free access to the highly skilled talent needed by the games and esports sectors;
6. The UK’s already world-leading games industry education courses to include esports modules;
7. Esports companies to actively support sustainable initiatives that promote and inspire diverse participation of esports;
8. Fifteen UK esports ambassadors to be created to promote esports in the UK and internationally, picked from a diverse mix of players, developers, publishers and event organisers, and to be added to the UK’s existing Video Games Ambassadors scheme.
It was also revealed that UKIE will be supporting Digital Schoolhouse next year where it will hold its first schools esports tournament in 2017, in association with Playstation.
Esports Insider says: The outlined measures make for great reading for the scene in the UK, especially the delivery of superfast broadband, government support and higher education courses.
It’ll also be fascinating to see who is selected as ambassadors. We’ll be publishing a write up of the launch event, and paper in full, later this week.