English professional football club Sheffield Wednesday has unveiled a new gaming facility at Hillsborough football stadium.
In collaboration with several partners, the area will be used by Owls Esports — Sheffield Wednesday’s esports branch of the club — to develop its players and staff.
According to a release, gaming chair manufacturer noblechairs, monitor manufacturer AOC, gaming furniture retailer EsportsGamingFurniture.co.uk, and peripherals brand HyperX all teamed up with Owl Esports to build the facility. The area will be located in Hillsborough’s south stand.
Noblechairs, HyperX, and AOC have provided equipment for the facility while EsportsGamingFurniture created a desk space that features blue and white lighting to reflect Sheffield Wednesday’s identity. In addition, noblechairs will launch a range of Owls Esports-branded chairs which will also be made available in the Owls Megastore.
Founded in 2022, Sheffield Wednesday’s esports project included competing in the Virtual Pro League, a platform that utilised FIFA’s (now EA SPORTS FC) Pro Clubs game mode. The club continues to compete in EA Sports FC 24 Pro Clubs tournaments.
Sheffield Wednesday is one of several football clubs around the world that have embarked on esports initiatives. Over the years, the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sporting CP, PSG, Barcelona, Manchester City and FC Schalke 04, among others, have branched out into the industry with varying degrees of success.
Rob Hawden, Esports Executive at Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, spoke on the news: “I am immensely proud to have played a part in delivering this new facility. The aim was always to create a venue here at Hillsborough in which we can create a sustainable grassroots platform.
“This will enable us to build not just a new club brand in Owls Esports, but to help us find and develop our very own esports players and staff of the future. We are excited to see what the future holds in this space!”