Esports entertainment holding company Subnation Media and the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau have announced that Roy Cooper, the Governor of North Carolina, has signed a new State Legislature budget.
The budget will include a $5m (~£3.7m) Esports Industry Grant Fund, which will be used to encourage esports events and productions in the state.
According to the release, the grant will help impact the region and state’s economic impact, whilst also being a ‘blueprint for other government groups to model from in the future’. North Carolina is the first and only state in the United States to qualify and incentivise esports production, regardless of where it is incorporated.
Rep. Jason Saine, House Senior Appropriations Chair and lead supporter of the Bill, commented: This is not just about the esports competition and the gameplay, it’s really about the opportunity to get all generations and groups involved in education and technology, and really fostering that as a way that we build a world-class workforce for the future and higher-paying jobs for everybody.
“When you think about recruitment of esports productions and events, what this program allows us to do is showcase not only our state but also win a lot of business that we wouldn’t have secured otherwise.”
The Greater Raleigh Esports Local Organising Committee (GRELOC), an organisation that helped put North Carolina on the esports map by organising the Rainbow Six Raleigh Major, reportedly played a major part in the grant’s inclusion in the budget.
Other noteworthy events hosted in North Carolina include the 2020 PUBG Mobile Global Qualifiers, 2021 XP League National Finals, Carolina Games Summit, and this December’s Halo Championship Series Kickoff.
Esports Insider says: This news is very welcome for any and all esports industry employees and enthusiasts in North Carolina. Having a state-sponsored grant will surely attract more attention from esports, gaming and technology companies, which should help promote Raleigh and North Carolina in more ways than before.