The West Midlands has entered into a 10-year Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) with the Global Esports Federation (GEF), accelerating the region’s commitment to driving international growth in this booming sector.
The partnership will see the West Midlands join a network of global hubs, including GEF headquarters in Singapore and ongoing developments in Brazil, China, Turkey, Japan, the Middle East, Africa and America, among others. .
The deal, led by the West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC), will cement the region’s position as a hotbed of the games and esports industry, with the West Midlands already responsible for a quarter of UK production in this sector.
The partnership builds on the West Midlands’ position as the UK’s gaming and esports hub, with the region home to a total of 130 gaming companies – mostly clustered around Leamington Spa – including Codemasters, Ubisoft, Playground, Sega Hardlight and others.
The sector employs a workforce of over 3,000 gaming professionals in the region. The University of Warwick was also recently named UK Esports University of the Year for the fourth consecutive year, following significant investment in state-of-the-art facilities and talent.
Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers have also made a strong commitment to esports, hosting their own esports organization with teams in the UK, Europe and China, and last year announcing a partnership with North American esports giant Evil Geniuses.
Paul J. Foster, CEO of the Global Esports Federation, said, “GEF Chairman Chris Chan and the entire Global Esports Federation Board of Directors have designated strategic global hubs as anchor points. for our development of esports, sports, immersive technologies, innovative entertainment and adjacent sectors. Leadership in the West Midlands continues to demonstrate 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, hands-on commitment to this region, unlocking a decade of boundless, growth-accelerating opportunity for the people and businesses lucky enough to be here. »
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands region, said: “I was delighted 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 Global Esports Federation shows the scope of our region’s ambition – to be a global leader in what is the fastest growing entertainment sector in the world. We’re lucky to have big names in gaming like Sega Hardlight and Codemasters on our doorstep already, all of which contribute to the West Midlands’ growing status as an esports hub. We are now taking the next step by partnering with the World Esports Federation to drive investment and create high-quality, cutting-edge jobs in this incredibly dynamic sector. These are important times for the West Midlands, and I look forward to seeing this sector continue to thrive. »
Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “With Birmingham and the wider West Midlands synonymous with youth, dynamism and pioneering new innovation, our region is well placed to become the new strategic center for British esports. . Through our partnership with the Global Esports Federation, we are transforming this growing global economic and cultural opportunity into a regional plan for growth. The 10-year commitment will help us bring more major events to the city – bringing international visitors to the region – and includes the development of a new esports innovation and research centre, which has the potential to galvanize local technological capabilities. We look forward to bringing esports to new audiences of fans and talent right here in Birmingham, starting with the inaugural Commonwealth Esports Championships next August. »