Grant funding to bolster British Esports’ National Esports Performance Campus

14 September 2023


Image credit: British Esports

The British Esports Federation has announced that its National Esports Performance Campus in Sunderland will receive major connectivity upgrades in the coming months.

As a part of UK government’s Open Networks Ecosystem Competition, the Stadium of Light and the National Esports Performance Campus will receive faster and more stable 4G and 5G connectivity.

ESI Lisbon 2024

More than £5.7m in grant funding will be allocated to the two venues as a part of the Open Networks Ecosystem Competition, a nationwide project aiming to support innovation in the field of telecommunications across the UK.

The project in question is the Sunderland Open Network EcosysTem’ (SONET), a venture led by the Sunderland City Council and several partners. The project is one of 19 selected.

The main tangible advantage for esports players and fans is a major improvement in the speed and stability of mobile internet at the Esports Performance Campus. The Campus consists of an esports competition arena, gaming houses providing accommodation for up to 25 people, as well as classrooms, practice spaces, and other facilities for esports and gaming.

According to the project, visitors at the Stadium of Light (Sunderland FC’s football stadium) and the Campus will now be able to benefit from interactive, digitally enabled facilities and services, including smart venue navigation.

As such, the new capabilities could potentially improve the interactivity of esports tournaments taking place at the Campus. Of course, the fact that browsing the web will be faster under heavy loads is also a major benefit.

Chester King, CEO of British Esports, commented on the news: “I’m immensely proud of British Esports and our partners for securing the SONET 5G bid in Sunderland. This signifies a monumental leap forward for our new arena, part of the National Esports Performance Campus. With the power of 5G connectivity, we are poised to redefine the future of live esports and sports experiences.”

King added that the esports arena, scheduled to open in early 2024, will become a centre for cutting-edge technology, and offer a great environment for growth, engagement, and innovation.”

Ivan Šimić
Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.