September 29, 2022

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Sunderland car dealership to become esports campus

Sunderland car dealership to become esports campus

A centre dedicated to competitive electronic gaming is set to open in a former car showroom in Sunderland.

The British Esports Association (BEA) will create a campus with classrooms and performance arena at the Riverside.

Competitive gaming, where teams of players pit their skills against rivals online, has tournaments with prizes of millions of pounds and attracts huge audiences across the globe.

BEA said the centre would be inspirational for players and coaches.

The National Esports Performance Campus (NEPC) in the city will also aim to attract and nurture new talent.

BEA, the national body for esports, wants to transform the showroom near to the Stadium of Light into classrooms where students can study for a BTEC in esports.

The development would include performance rooms, streaming booths and an arena space where spectators can watch tournaments.

Esports differs from standard video gaming in that it involves organised teams competing against each other, often with spectators.

Chester King, the founder and chief executive officer of BEA, said: “It’s going to put Sunderland on the map, there is no other facility like this.

“We’re like the FA [Football Association] of esports – we run grassroots tournaments and look after the national team.

“There are a lot of professional teams that have their own bases around the country, but nothing of this scale.

“The campus will be an inspirational site, a place for players and coaches to work, learn and develop,” he added.

The NEPC is set to open in the summer and as well as hosting events and tournaments it will be used as a training base for the Great Britain esports team.

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Sunderland City Council leader Graeme Miller said: “If we’re going to have people coming here to play esports and we can get a lot of people into this venue, that will grow and from that there’ll be jobs and it will add to the local economy.”

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