West Midlands announces massive esports deal

West Midlands announces massive esports deal

June 20, 2022

UK metropolitan county West Midlands has signed a ten-year Strategic Framework Agreement with the Global Esports Federation (GEF) to become a ‘global esports hub’. The agreement was signed by the West Midlands Growth Company and the GEF in an attempt to make the region an esports centre.

West Midlands consists of major cities such as Coventry, Wolverhampton and Birmingham and is home to a host of gaming companies, including the Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers’ esports club. The region also is home to the University of Warwick, which recently launched an esports department as well as an esports centre.

The West Midlands Growth Company is a regional development and investment promotion agency. The Strategic Framework Agreement consists of plans to commission an independent report into esports in the region and aims to host the Global Esports Tour starting from 2023 till 2026. As per the agreement, the region will also submit a potential bid to host the Global Esports Games in 2027/28. The GEF and West Midlands will also work towards developing an Innovation and Research Centre to encourage innovation and collaboration between universities and private sectors in the West Midlands. The West Midlands will host the annual GEF World Forum, which focuses on various areas such as health, local communities, education, youth leadership and careers, amongst others.\


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Speaking about the agreement, Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, commented:

I was thrilled when we confirmed that the first ever Commonwealth Esports Championships would be staged this summer right here in the West Midlands and this exciting partnership with the Global Esports Federation showcases the scale of our region’s ambition – to be a global leader in what is the world’s fastest growing entertainment sector. We’re fortunate to already have huge gaming names like Sega Hardlight and Codemasters on our doorstep all contributing to the West Midlands’ growing status as an esports hub.

Now we’re taking the next step by partnering with the Global Esports Federation to drive investment and create high-quality, state-of-the-art jobs in this incredibly dynamic sector. These are momentous times for the West Midlands, and I cannot wait to see this sector continue to thrive.

Paul J Foster, Chief Executive Officer, Global Esports Federation, added:

The GEF President, Chris Chan and the entire Board of the Global Esports Federation have earmarked strategic global hubs as anchors for our development of esports, sports, immersive technologies, innovative entertainment, and adjacent sectors. The leadership in the West Midlands continues to demonstrate a strong collective ambition and the diverse capabilities of this dynamic region. 

Through our partnership with the Commonwealth Games Federation for the upcoming Commonwealth Esports Championships and this historic Strategic Framework Agreement, we are proud to bring our support, expertise, and strong, tangible commitment to this region, unlocking a decade of limitless opportunities and accelerating growth for the people and businesses who are lucky to call it home.

Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, stated:

With Birmingham and the wider West Midlands synonymous with youth, vibrancy and pioneering new innovations, our region is well-placed as the new strategic centre of UK esports. Through our partnership with the Global Esports Federation, we’re turning this rapidly growing, global economic and cultural opportunity into a regional blueprint for growth. 

The 10-year commitment will help us to deliver more major events in the city – driving international footfall into the region – and includes the development of a new Esports Innovation and Research Centre, which has the potential to galvanise local tech capability. We look forward to bringing esports to new audiences of fans and talent, right here in Birmingham, starting with the inaugural Commonwealth Esports Championships this August.

The partnership betweenthe West Midlands and the GEF comes ahead of the Commonwealth Esports Championships and the Commonwealth Esports Forum, which is going to be held in Birmingham in August 2022. 

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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