The British Esports Association (BEA) has revealed its plans to open a National Esports Performance Campus (NEPC) in Sunderland.
According to the release, BEA has made a ‘multi-million-pound commitment’ to the city of Sunderland. This has resulted in the acquisition of a retail premises adjacent to the city’s Stadium of Light football stadium.
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The new campus will reportedly offer educational and coaching courses for athletes and other roles within the esports industry. Moreover, it will feature dedicated esports classrooms, performance rooms, streaming booths and arena space.
BEA intends to use the facility to host regular esports events, community tournaments, summer camps. The campus will also be utilised as a training base for the Great Britain esports team, which recently took part in the Global Esports Games in Singapore.
Chester King, Chief Executive Officer at BEA, commented: “The UK is Europe’s second-biggest video game market and ranked 6th globally – this speaks to the potential of esports which will capitalise on gaming’s popularity, with talented competitors emerging and a growing audience keen to spectate and enjoy esports as a leisure activity. This is a market that we know will explode in the UK and we want to support its growth.
“Sunderland is a hugely ambitious and future-focused city and that aligns very much to BEA and esports, which has vast growth potential and ties into Sunderland’s strengths in gaming, digital and sport. The campus will be an inspirational site, a place for players and coaches to work, learn and develop. This is a much-needed facility and through my team’s experiences we understand its importance.”
The National Esports Performance Campus, which is set to open in summer 2022, supposedly aims to ‘support and nurture the next generation of esports talent’. Furthermore, the facility looks to provide access to equipment, training and investment that will support Sunderland, the North East and the UK. In the release, BEA has stated that its goal is to make NEPC ‘a globally-recognised esports hub capable of attracting and developing the world’s best esports talent’.
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Patrick Melia, Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council, stated: “Esports has been a phenomenal global success, and it is a huge growth market in the UK, that will be realised over the coming years. BEA’s move puts Sunderland at the beating heart of that, and we couldn’t be more pleased.”
Esports Insider says: It’s good to see the UK actively nurture its esports scene in the country. Building a dedicated national esports campus is certainly a step in the right direction and should boost the growth of the UK’s esports scene. Moreover, the placement of the campus — adjacent to a football stadium — bears its own bit of symbolism.