Yesterday, Ukie officially launched our 2016 esports whitepaper: Growing the UK as an esports hub at an event at Gfinity's London Arena.
The whitepaper has been written following months of consultation with the UK's esports community via Ukie's esports subgroup, and outlines eight recommendations for how industry and government can work together to make the UK a global leader in esports.
The launch event saw over 120 people pack into the Gfinity Arena where Ukie CEO, Dr Jo Twist OBE, announced the recommendations and insight into sector's prospects in job creation, local economic growth, tourism, and new skills development.
The whitepaper was welcomed by Matt Hancock MP, Minister for Digital and Culture, who sent a video message of support for the growing esports sector in the UK.
The audience saw why esports has become so successful across the world during a short exhibition Rocket League match between guest teams Vanguard and I Heard There Was Free Food, with fantastic casting from ESL's professional casting duo Daniel Gaskin and Ryan Neal.
Jas Purewal, founder and partner of Purewal and Partners, led a panel discussion with Michael 'ODEE' O'Dell, owner of Team Dignitas, Veronique Lallier of Hi-Rez Studios, makers of esports title Smite, and Josh Williams, founder of the National University Esports League (NUEL). The panel covered the opportunities that esports presents the UK, from a grassroots level up the international stage, as well as their expectations of esports in the coming 12 months.
The eight recommendations in the paper include:
1. The sector to work with key government departments to develop a unified strategic approach and appealing trade and investment offer to major international tournament holders, IP owners and brands;
2. The delivery of superfast broadband and 5G to provide the best infrastructure across the country;
3. The sector should coordinate itself as an industry group to share information and encourage and facilitate the sharing of best practice;
4. Industry and government to develop a methodology for more accurately measuring the UK esports sector;
5. Government to consider the needs of esports businesses and players in policy debates around skills and immigration and ensure friction-free access to the highly skilled talent needed by the games and esports sectors;
6. The UK's already world-leading games industry education courses to include esports modules;
7. Esports companies to actively support sustainable initiatives that promote and inspire diverse participation of esports;
8. Fifteen UK esports ambassadors to be created to promote esports in the UK and internationally, picked from a diverse mix of players, developers, publishers and event organisers, and to be added to the UK's existing Video Games Ambassadors scheme
You can read the full paper below