Plans to create 'world-class esports cluster' in Stratford
- Credit: GG Archard
Plans to establish a “world-class esports cluster” in Stratford - creating jobs and driving investment in the area - have been revealed.
Tech and innovation campus Here East, on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP), will lead an initiative to accelerate the growth of esports - competitive video gaming - at the former London 2012 site.
Through interviews with stakeholders, esports leaders and academics, Here East and London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) identified “unique characteristics” that make QEOP “the natural home” for esports in the UK.
These include sporting venues, close proximity to international esports teams and close engagement with academic institutions and local initiatives specialising in esports.
A report published on March 11 outlines a plan to harness these assets and drive the growth of an industry which generated £60m in revenue across the UK in 2019.
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Here East chief executive Gavin Poole said: “Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park already hosts some of the most high-profile esports competitions, teams and businesses in the UK and Here East has become the fastest growing community of esports innovation in the country.
“This report outlines our vision to transform the park into a world-class esports cluster that sends a clear message to the global esports community: London has the talent, venues and expertise to become a global capital for esports.
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“We have outlined an ambitious roadmap to realise the potential of esports on the park in a way that brings significant economic and social benefits to the capital, the emerging British esports industry and local communities.”
A dedicated team, led by Here East and LLDC and including other park stakeholders and venues, will be established to deliver marketing and communication campaigns, new esports partnerships and collaborations with local initiatives to develop pathways to foster talent.
QEOP is already home to global esports competitions at the Copper Box Arena, esports and gaming businesses including BT Sport, Sports Interactive and Bidstack, as well as Staffordshire University London, which offered the UK’s first esports undergraduate course.