Yesterday saw the Houses of Parliament opening its doors and welcoming UK esports onto its premises for the first time ever. In partnership with Intel, Digital Schoolhouse, and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Video Games, Ukie led the event enabling Members of Parliament to join esports businesses, sports organisations and brands to learn of the scale of esports in the UK.
Our event coincided with the announcement of the 2018 budget. To still have such a positive turn out from the industry and political world clearly emphasises the importance of esports in the UK. With the BFI’s recent Screen Business report having highlighted esports as one of the fastest growing sectors within the UK games industry, generating £18.4million in GVA in 2016, the turn-out is clearly justified.
The event featured topics such as the opportunities for growth in the sector on a local and national level, and how it could inspire young people into developing digital skills whilst exploring careers in an ever-digital world. Alex Sobel MP, the new chair of the All-Parliamentary Group, highlighted the significance of esports, describing it as “a serious sector with many opportunities”.
The event also held a panel chaired by Alex with Mo Fadly, Head of Esports at Riot, and esports Team Diginitas’ owner Michael ‘Odee’ O’dell, to express their views on where the opportunities lay for UK esports. Also, on the panel was Director of Ukie’s Digital Schoolhouse, Shahneila Saeed, who spoke about the impact that their esports tournament has had in developing careers education, based on research from its report, Esports: Engaging Education.
Digital Schoolhouse (DSH) powered by PlayStation’s 2017-2018 tournament, saw over 2000 students aged from 12-18, take part as players or the teams’ event management team, highlighting the sometimes-hidden roles in the games industry.
The event was a huge success and we will continue to push for esports’ importance and significance within the UK’s economy and look forward to opening the floor to esports once again.
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