British Esports Announces Further Investment in Sunderland
British Esports has announced its plans to increase investment in the state-of-the-art National Esports Performance Campus (NEPC), the UK’s most advanced esports and education performance and training centre.
To complement the globally-recognised esports facilities, capable of attracting and developing the UK’s very best esports and creative talent, British Esports has announced it has now acquired a multi-purpose entertainment venue, as well as brand new esports and gaming accommodation.
Combined with the multi-functional sporting, creative and educational facility, the National Esports Performance Campus, now a multi-site venue, represents a multi-million-pound investment in the city of Sunderland and takes the total footprint to over 30,000 sq.ft.
Located within easy reach of the NEPC, the hub and the Grade II listed townhouses are situated in a conservation area, first established in the 17th century. Split over four floors and currently undergoing extensive renovation and internal refurbishment to restore them to separate residential dwellings, the esports and gaming houses are scheduled to open in late Spring 2023.
Providing accommodation for up to 25 people, the fully self-contained properties will feature separate living and leisure areas, plus a cutting edge digital performance and gaming room, kitted out with the very latest in gaming and creative technology.
Designed to stimulate team and player performance as well as a healthy, balanced lifestyle, the fully managed accommodation alongside the National Esports Performance Campus will seek to deliver greater success on the international esports stage.
The National Esports Performance Campus, scheduled to open in late 2023, is an 11,000 sq.ft esports training and educational complex, split across two floors, featuring state-of-the art creative, educational, coaching and training facilities, with provision for over 150 students.
The venue will feature the very latest in digital and computing technology, a 100 seater esports arena, dedicated esports stage, classrooms, performance and training rooms, broadcast and content production facilities, sim racing and much more.
As a founding member of the Global Esports Federation, British Esports will be the first amongst its 120 members to have its own dedicated esports campus, ensuring that the UK is continuing to lead the development of esports education, infrastructure and opportunity.
“We are proud to be making a significant investment in Sunderland and the North East with a new multi-site venue capable of attracting and developing the digital forward society of tomorrow. We are excited to be developing infrastructure for the UK esports ecosystem, but, as part of the UK’s national levelling up campaign, we are equally thrilled that the people of the North East will have an incredible facility on their doorstep,” said Andy Payne OBE, Chair, British Esports.
“Sunderland is a hugely ambitious city, and one that fully embraces the transformative power of digital to bring communities together, so it is fitting that a sport that is built on digital and technology is investing so significantly here. British Esports’ investment in Riverside Sunderland with its Performance Campus and in Sunniside with the gaming accommodation, fits perfectly with our regeneration programme, which is transforming both of these parts of the city centre, and we’re delighted to be working closely with them to support them with their plans,” said Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council.
DMCC Publishes Latest “Future of Trade” Report on Gaming and Esports
Gaming revenues are expected to almost double by 2027 from 2021 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, reaching USD 6 billion, according to DMCC’s latest Future of Trade 2023 report titled “Gaming in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA): Geared for growth”. A young and digital-savvy population, high levels of digital connectivity, and government support are driving the region’s emergence as a consumer and creator hub.
Gaming and esports are both fast growing consumer segments, benefiting from rapid advancements in technology as well as broader and more inclusive audiences. The UAE and Saudi Arabia lead the region, supported by high income levels, strong digital engagement, and public investment initiatives. Globally, Asia Pacific constitutes the largest market share and China, the US and Japan are the largest individual markets.
The report gathers contributions from key industry leaders to establish the critical drivers of the industry’s accelerated growth in the MENA region and beyond. It also examines the impact on gaming and esports from a technology, culture and business perspective, covering global consumer trends, the emergence of MENA as a gaming and esports hub, and the key challenges that the industry needs to address to increase revenues further.
Guiding the global industry’s accelerated growth from nearly USD 200 billion in revenues in 2021 to USD 340 billion in 2027, the report outlines a set of key recommendations for governments and businesses, namely:
- Diversify esports revenue streams from sponsorship to new direct-to-fan monetisation models – including digital merchandising, loyalty programmes and training platforms for amateur gamers – to boost revenues.
- Develop appropriate regulatory safeguards to ensure privacy, security and safety online in the digital gaming ecosystem and provide a business-friendly environment – including smoother visa systems to allow esports professionals and audiences to attend live events – to attract talent into the region and elevate it into a global industry leader.
Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said: “Gaming has come to the fore of entertainment globally, driving rapid growth especially in the MENA region, which now constitutes 15% of the global player base. The rise of gamification in areas such as education, healthcare, and other sectors has demonstrated gaming’s role in facilitating economic activity more broadly. Ensuring the accelerated growth of the gaming sector will have a measurable impact on the future of markets around the world, as well as the future of trade. As DMCC seeks to solidify Dubai’s reputation as a global trade and economic hub, efficiently activating opportunities within the gaming sector will prove essential.”
Among the most closely watched segments is esports, which is expected to post revenue growth of 23.3% between 2019 and 2024 in MENA. Fuelling this is the region’s young demographic, engagement from international broadcasters and sponsors, and government support. Tapping into this economic potential, DMCC partnered with YaLLa Esports, the Dubai-based professional esports organisation, to launch the DMCC Gaming Centre in December 2022. The Centre supports the growth of the industry in Dubai by providing gaming businesses with access to global capital, leading industry talent, and an ecosystem that allows them to operate efficiently and with confidence.
Due to the UAE’s strong business environment and infrastructure, as well as its status as a gateway to the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions, various international gaming developers have set up their regional headquarters in the country. Ubisoft is based in Abu Dhabi, while the gaming giant Tencent set up its MENA HQ in Dubai along with Riot Games. In Saudi Arabia, the kingdom has included gaming as a core element of its Neom project and has already made investments worth over $1.7 billion on the gaming industry.
SPORTFIVE Partners with Saudi Esports Federation
SPORTFIVE has announced that it has partnered with the Saudi Esports Federation (SEF) to provide strategic sales support and project management on a range of the federation’s initiatives.
The key component of this will be providing the necessary support as the main partnership agency on Gamers8: The Land of Heroes, the world’s biggest esports and gaming festival. The event, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, runs for eight weeks from July 6.
Last year Gamers8 hosted esports tournaments for PUBG Mobile, Dota 2, Fortnite, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege and Rocket League, as well as music concerts from the Black Eyed Peas, Marshmello, J.Balvin and more. Featuring the world’s top esports organizations such as Team Liquid, G2 Esports, OG Esports and Team Falcons, the event attracted 122 million unique viewers.
SPORTFIVE began working with SEF last year providing marketing, strategic sales support, project management, follow-up and on-site support. SPORTFIVE will look to support SEF in the development of partnership packages and commercial documents, assisting SEF in updating and maintaining marketing materials to showcase SEF and Gamers8 to potential sponsors and investors.
SEF has engaged SPORTFIVE to provide guidance on optimizing the overall strategic sales process to secure partnerships for the federation’s rights. SPORTFIVE will ensure uniform and effective strategies are implemented across all stakeholders in the market. SPORTFIVE will look to bring new strategic partners for the Gamers8: The Land of Heroes event, using its extensive network of contacts and expertise to identify and approach potential partners for SEF’s flagship event.
Mohammed Alnimer, Senior Sponsorship & Partnerships Manager at the Saudi Esports Federation, said: “The Saudi Esports Federation is pleased to continue its partnership with SPORTFIVE and looks forward to building on the work achieved last year at Gamers8. Our flagship event this summer, Gamers8: The Land of Heroes, the world’s biggest esports and gaming festival, will continue to grow Saudi Arabia’s ambitions of becoming a global hub for esports and gaming. When partnering with international organizations, we seek those who have the same vision as us – and believe that in SPORTFIVE we have partnered with an organization understanding of our aspirations and requirements.”
Alexis Barrassin, Senior Director, Esports & Gaming MENA at SPORTFIVE, said: “At SPORTFIVE, we are thrilled to have partnered with the Saudi Esports Federation, which represents a key milestone in our efforts to further grow our presence in the MENA region. We are committed to building a long-lasting partnership with SEF and leveraging our collective expertise to deliver exceptional service to the biggest stakeholders in Saudi Arabia. This partnership continues to strengthen our position in the region, and we are excited to explore new opportunities and innovative ideas that will benefit both organizations.”
Bollywood stake in Indian Esports; actor Tiger Shroff invests in Revenant Esports
The youngest action superstar, Tiger Shroff ensured Bollywood’s foray into the Indian Esports industry with his decision to invest an undisclosed amount in Revenant Esports, one of India’s fastest-growing esports teams. The decision was announced in a joint press release on Monday.
This strategic investment comes as a huge boost to Revenant Esports who now plans to utilize the latest funding to bolster their Esports rosters, content creators, and bootcamp infrastructure as well as invigorate their ambition of cementing Revenant Esports’ name as the finest Esports organization in India and expanding its footprint globally.
“We are delighted to welcome Tiger Shroff to the Revenant Esports family. Everyone is well aware of his fondness for gaming and connects with the millennial and Gen Z audience. In Revenant he has the perfect platform to be more actively involved with the Indian gaming community. The entertainment industry starting to set foot in the world of gaming is massively beneficial to the industry as it helps spread awareness about its potential and importance among the not-so-informed Indian population. Tiger’s massive fanbase and his zeal for gaming will accelerate our vision of creating an enriching and engaging ecosystem for our organization as well as for the Esports community as a whole,” said Rohit Jagasia, CEO and Founder of Revenant Esports.
First-gen entrepreneur, Rohit initially started with a single-game roster in BGMI for Revenant Esports in 2021 which has now grown many folds with the organization presently having multiple content creators and multi-game rosters that not only compete in innumerable major Esports tournaments but also win laurels for the country.
Tiger Shroff shares a great passion for fitness, games, and MMA and is also an avid Esports enthusiast had made his passion for gaming known by engaging in various gaming activities in the past. The young superstar’s decision has initiated the coming together of the two most powerful genres in cinema and esports-a cocktail of which has all the ingredients to be the most successful brand alliances.
Speaking on what this association means to him, Tiger Shroff said, “Revenant Esports is one of the biggest names of the Esports landscape in India and I am delighted to be a part of it. They have achieved commendable success in such a short span and with the gaming and Esports revolution taking the country by storm I am confident that Rohit’s and my passion, knowledge, and vision will help us to achieve remarkable success and experience. Being an ardent gamer myself and having followed the industry closely, I also hope to use this association as a launchpad to more meaningful growth in the sector.”
Revenant Esports boasts of being home to some of the country’s best Esports talents as well as the leading content creators. The organization has proved its mettle on the regional and international stage by triumphing in multiple international tournaments such as the BGMI: Master Series(Star Sports) Valorant: Valorant Challengers League South Asia, Pokemon Unite: Asia Champions League 2023, Brawl Stars: ESL Masters Japan, Apex Legends: ALGS Split 2 playoffs, and CODM: World Championship 2021.
In recent times, they have brought on-board three of the most watched content creators in the Indian Gaming scene which are Emperor Plays, Bitty and Ayush is live and plans to add more valuable creators in the upcoming months.
Last year, their Pokemon Unite roster became the very first Indian team to represent the country at the Pokemon Unite World Championships in London.
As per the recently launched FICCI-EY report “Windows of Opportunity”, the number of Esports players across all competitive level games in India increased from 600,000 in 2021 to 1 million in 2022, and it is expected to reach 2.5 million in 2023. The number of brands investing in Esports in India grew from 72 in 2021 to 80 in 2022, and it is estimated to reach 100 in 2023.
Revenant had recently onboarded high-profile brand associations with global brands like AMD, PUMA, CORSAIR and CYBEART. This investment from a key Bollywood icon further proves how the entertainment industry can leverage the Indian Esports industry with its limitless potential.
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