A Blackburn entrepreneur is launching a first of its kind esports studio in MediaCity on World Esports Day to offer a dedicated training space for local esports teams and bootcamps, focused on fostering future gaming talent and supporting the development of the esports and XR immersive community in the North West.
Mo Isap, founder and CEO of IN4 Group, hopes the HOST Esports Studio will offer a training ground for esports, sporting local tournaments and act as a central gateway for stimulating skills and employment routes for young people to get into this emerging sector.
The esports industry is continuing to increase in popularity as global market revenue is predicted to grow to $1.62 billion in the next three years, and according to a study by Hitmarker, the number of jobs available in esports globally grew by 87 per cent from 5,896 in 2018 to 11,027 in 2019.
Lancashire-based IN4 Group operates HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology, and is working with industry partners across the region to create an accessible, multi-disciplinary studio, to advocate esports related skills to prepare the next generation for tomorrow’s jobs, today.
It is building on its existing technology pedigree to establish an esports academy as part of its Skills City bootcamps, committed to providing fair access to digital skills training and breaking the barriers faced by those from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds, with links to its immersive labs and the UK Unity Centre of Excellence, a world leader in real-time 3D (RT3D) content.
Mo is partnering with Vexed Gaming, one of the UK’s leading esports organisations, to support local talent at the HOST Esports Studio alongside education partners the University of Salford, to engage with young people interested in the digital and media-related skillsets esports offers in formal education.
Blackburn-born Mo said:
“The incredible explosion of the esports market is continuing at a global scale, and we are excited to be leading on this accessible esports skills programme with our partners Salford City Council. Our ambition is for the North West to be a beacon for esports talent and to provide the industry with its next generation of pro gaming talent. Being part of the innovation ecosystem allows us to nurture local talent with the digital skills they need and support them into esports related careers, creating the most diverse, industry-ready talent that will help to drive prosperity in the region.”
Dr Maria Stukoff, Co-chair Esport Industry Partnerships at the University of Salford, added:
“This is really very powerful. This unique collaboration brings together local businesses and councils, esports professionals and educational giants all working together to develop a dynamic platform to engage with our local esports community and to connect talent straight into the industry.”
Mark Weller, Chief Gaming Officer of Vexed Gaming said:
“I am delighted to come on board and to secure a training ground for our professional teams here at Vexed Gaming and to support a local opportunity for young people to foster their passion for esports. Esports has provided me with a rewarding career, and we’re keen to invest back into our local community to build an esports ecosystem for everyone.”
World Esports Day is a joint initiative set up by the British Esports Association, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes and supports grassroots esports, along with streaming platform Twitch, the Singapore Esports Association (SGEA) and the Global Esports Federation.