Esports Impact in Local Environments
Following last weeks ESI event in London, many discussions regarding the future of esports have taken place. Esports is constantly evolving and opportunities are anything but scarce. However, one may argue that the esports sector is more difficult to break into for some than it is others.
Across the UK there are regions that fall way behind what is economically expected of them. Across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland there are places that suffer from complete neglect and dilapidation.
Over the years, many organisations and companies have attempted to improve those areas with incentives such as youth clubs, learning hubs and tradtional sports teams — none of which seem to have a lasting effect. However, one panelist from ESI London, Mo Isap, CEO and founder of IN4 Group, spoke passionately about how esports can improve the state of communities and how it can create social and economic production.
Isap discussed how Salford, in the North of England, has benefitted greatly from the introduction of and the focus upon esports. He stated that introducing esports programmes into school curriculums has encouraged young people to become passionate about the industry and has allowed them to pursue careers in the sector.
Discussing how industry focus can often become Londoncentric, he placed emphasis upon Salford’s MediaCity. The modern tech hub has seen great success in start-ups and media brands over the last few years and he believes MediaCity will become the hub for everything UK esports.
The introduction of learning vital skills to go into a career in esports is heavily focused on poorer areas. Encouraging the next generation of workers to be part of something that is ever-changing and innovative will give the communities a chance to prosper.
Another panelist, Becky Wright, Senior Partnerships Manager, added to this by discussing educational programmes that have been implemented through her company NSE. She spoke about how NSE’s goal was to inspire students and boost employment in those regions where the economy was severely low.
The panel also spoke about the stigma that often gets tied to esports. Esports specialists, particularly the players, can be seen as lazy, sat at a computer playing games and not getting any real life experiance. Another speaker, Oliver Weingarten stated how he feels as if the stigma is dying down. He stated that people are beginning to realise that these players and specialists have talent and it is just as economically worthwhile in comparison to traditional sports.
Overall, each speaker spoke positively and optimistically about the future of esports, especially on a socioeconomic level. Only time will tell to see where esports will take us.