Regional Canadian tourism board Explore Waterloo Region has partnered with gaming and esports media and marketing platform Subnation.
The two organisations will collaborate to assess and develop esports-focused business and event opportunities in the Waterloo region – about an hour’s drive southwest of Toronto.
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The initiative is driven by Explore Waterloo Region and the Region’s Sport Hosting Office to develop a framework and implement an operational model that gives the local area the resources and capabilities to become a sustainable esports community.
With the framework in place, Explore Waterloo Region intends to attract esports and gaming events from the local to international level as part of its offering as a tourist and entertainment destination.
Allister Scorgie, Director of Sport Hosting with Explore Waterloo Region, commented: “Waterloo is already a national leader in the tech sector. Esports is a new and growing market and a lot of people in the traditional sports sector are unaware of its potential and possibility. This is a chance for Waterloo Region to start building some excitement around esports.”
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The first part of the four-phase project will see Subnation conduct market research and evaluate the assets currently in place to support the growth and business readiness for esports and video game events and initiatives. Activities and events that are aligned with the Region’s current and future capacities will be identified based on the findings.
Ed Tomasi, Co-founder and Chief Managing Director of Subnation, added: “We are seeing first-hand how COVID has accelerated the need for major cities and regions to advance their internal strategy and external conversations around gaming and esports.
“It is exciting to have this opportunity to work with the innovative Waterloo Region team given their past reputation of embracing new technology and progressive business initiatives. The region has all of the critical components needed to support a diverse spectrum of events and programs, as well as attract new businesses and associated talent.”
Esports Insider says: Seeing a regional tourism organisation invest in esports as part of their entertainment offering is great to see. As a growing startup and tech hub that’s close to Canada’s most populous city, the region has a lot of potential. Producing quality esports events with lower overheads than larger cities that can still attract attendees from those big population centres is a big asset for the region.