Train2Game ESports beneficial for children


The British Esports Association, the not-for-profit national body set up to support grassroots competitive gaming, has found that esports can be a beneficial activity for children when played in moderation.
The Association partnered with Westminster City Council and DinoPC for a free two-hour after-school esports training club, running every Tuesday for a month at Maida Vale Library.

The idea was to bring in 10 different children each week from local schools, aged 8 to 14, and give them a taster session on esports, including the careers available and the skills it can develop. The training club featured games of Rocket League, coaching, casting (aka match commentary) and journalism segments, followed by a Q&A.

British Esports has published a video and extensive PDF report reviewing the event, stating some of the key findings.

The pilot scheme was a sellout, with more children and parents signing up to attend than space would allow, showing there is real demand for more regular clubs in schools and libraries in the future. It also secured national and specialist press coverage.

Children and organisers identified several benefits and skills that the esports pilot promoted, including strategic thinking, teamwork, communication, leadership, performance skills and confidence. These skills are transferable and can benefit children in other areas, such as schoolwork, physical sports and general wellbeing.

Nic Carnelutti, marketing manager for DinoPC – which provided the systems for the esports sessions – said: “We believe the educational aspects of what the British Esports Association aims to achieve are highly beneficial to children and younger audiences.

“This scheme encourages young people to learn teamwork and participate in a challenge – building up their social skills which can then be used in other aspects of life.”

British casters Harry “DocDa” Evans and Ryan “Flakes” Oliver were on hand to teach the children commentating techniques.

One of the children, 13-year-old Mohammed Badamasi from Paddington Academy, added: “I think it was extremely fun and I really enjoyed casting and working with my team to win. Commentating is fun, Rocket League is fun – we had to work as a team to score. I would absolutely love to do this again 1000%.”

All of the children that took part in the pilot scheme said they would like to take part in a more regular esports club, either at their own school, nearby library or at a similar event in their area. For more feedback from the participants, please read British Esports’ full library PDF report.

Nick Fuller, Tri-borough Libraries Children’s Services Manager, Schools Library Service, Maida Vale Library, commented: “The new initiative between The British Esports Association and Westminster Libraries offers children a new and exciting experience, which is not only popular and fun, but also develops important skills for such as their strategic skills, emphasizing the need for teamwork and making computer gaming more social. 

“The initiative will help to raise the profile of libraries to young people and a wider audience that libraries are a community space, offering new, exciting and fun activities that many would not associate with libraries. It also gives the children involved the opportunity to mix with other children from different schools and backgrounds.

“The Library Service is hoping that the partnership with British Esports will grow and that the esports offer can continue and be rolled out to more libraries, envisioning thriving leagues and competitions in libraries and across the service.”

Each child received a British Esports certificate, T-shirt and cap after the event.

Going forwards, the Association aims to help other schools and libraries roll out their own esports clubs for children.

Dominic Sacco, Content Director at the British Esports Association, said: “The idea is to better educate Britain regarding the benefits of esports, and to show parents, teachers and children there are viable career paths within the industry.

“There is a real demand for regular clubs at libraries and schools. And by targeting the younger demographic, we are looking at the bigger long-term picture with the goal of creating more British esports talent in the future.

“Also, with the likes of Ukie hosting the Digital Schoolhouse children’s esports tournaments, and several universities starting to offer esports modules, it’s a very exciting time for esports in Britain. We look forward to future developments.”

Train2Game News eSports affecting PC Hardware sales

​Technology management consulting firm Jon Peddie Research has added an eSports hardware analysis to its PC Gaming Hardware report series and forecasts the market to reach $856 million in 2017. 

Growing at a blistering 42% CAGR, eSports influenced PC Hardware purchases will reach over $2.2 billion in annual sales by 2020.

Ted Pollak, JPR Senior Video Game Industry Analyst said, “Much of the current eSports research focuses on advertising and event revenue as well as game sales influenced by eSports tournament creation or adoption. Often overlooked is the fact that eSports is increasing hardware revenue in multiple ways. The first and most important factor is that eSports is minting new customers. Their initial system and peripheral purchases often measure over a thousand dollars. Additionally, hardware marketing via team sponsorships are encouraging new and existing gamers to select better parts and accelerate upgrades and rebuilds which also enhances the market.”

From high refresh/resolution displays, to mice and keyboards, to headsets and entire systems, the eSports influenced PC Gaming Hardware market comes in many forms.

Jon Peddie, President of JPR noted, “Our analysis not only measures eSports influence across hardware segments, but it drills down to pricing tiers within each segment and does this for all major geographic regions globally. If one adds our data to even the most conservative advertising, software, and event revenue, the market has already breached $1.5 billion. eSports is about and for the gaming community, not just who’s selling ads, or running conferences.”

Pricing and Availability

The Worldwide PC Gaming Hardware Market report series by Jon Peddie Research covers 33 countries, notebooks, desktops, DIY, and accessories, comes in three versions: High-End, Mid-Range, and Entry-Level, with each version selling for $7,500 and the set of three for $15,000. JPR also offers annual subscriptions, consulting and custom analysis, and discounted packages across multiple services.

Train2Game News Esports not a sport

“Esports is not a sport, but a credible activity in its own right,” the British Esports Association has said.
Following last week’s reporting by the BBC – The State of Sport week – many listeners and readers have debated whether esports (electronic sports) is an actual sport or not.

Some have argued that esports should be classified as a sport partly because recognising it officially would grant it access to sports funding. However, esports is competitive video gaming: it is currently classified in the UK as a game (like chess and bridge) and not a sport.

The British Esports Association is also keen to emphasise that when done in moderation, esports can have positive cognitive, social and communicative benefits.

It can help to increase perceptual skills, decision making, reaction times and multitasking, and help stimulate brain growth. Playing and watching esports is very engaging to younger audiences, and esports is also a beneficial alternative to watching passive media like television.

Attempts have been made in the past to classify certain games, such as bridge, as a sport in the UK, and having learned from these experiences, the British Esports Association feels that the time is not right for such action for esports. Instead, we want to focus on educating the Government, media and general public on making sure esports gains the credibility it deserves and move away from the ‘esports isn’t a sport’ debate.

British Esports founder and CEO Chester King said: “I can see why there is a bit of confusion as millions of people play and watch esports; there are many professional teams, managers, coaches and tournaments. There is no international standard classification either as in some countries such as Poland, esports, chess and bridge are classified as sports.

“The ‘sport’ in esports may be misleading, but like traditional sports, competitive video gaming involves training, long-term dedication, determination, exceptional skills and reaction times, teamwork and coordination, and fun for all the spectators, casters, commentators and fans involved.”

In the UK, the British Esports Association positions esports as a modern mind game, celebrated at all levels of play which should not rival or replace traditional sports.

King added: “It’s time to get away from the ‘esports isn’t a sport’ debate and start realising esports’ true benefits and potential.

“Whether or not esports is or is not a sport does not change the fact that the esports industry has enormous creative potential. We must educate audiences to realise its benefits, such as gaining cyber skills and the many career paths it offers, like becoming a professional player, commentator, journalist, manager, or coach.”

Train2Game News Performance Gaming Wear

KontrolFreek® today announced its Performance Gaming WearTM apparel line, the first to be specifically designed for gamers and eSports professionals.
Items in the collection include the Icon Performance Gaming Hoodie and Icon Performance Gaming Shorts and feature DRYV® Technology, a patented system that blends ultralight, high-performance moisture-wicking fabrics with an absorbent outer layer, allowing gamers to easily dry hands and stay cool.  

   -The Icon Performance Gaming Hoodie is designed with an oversized hood to accommodate headphones while still giving players a sense of enclosure, increasing their ability to focus.
    -The Icon Performance Gaming Shorts have extra-deep storage pockets and a low-waist design that falls just above the knee when sitting, maximizing player comfort.

    -Implemented DRYV® moisture-absorbent panels featuring patented technology provide multiple areas for gamers to easily dry their palms and fingers, mitigating thumb slippage to increase control and accuracy.

    -All pieces of Performance Gaming Wear apparel were developed with input from top eSports teams like The Rise Nation and Team Kaliber to ensure they met performance standards of the best professional gamers.

    -KontrolFreek unofficially debuted its line of Performance Gaming Wear apparel during the Major League Gaming (MLG) Vegas tournament in December 2016. Throughout the event, The Rise Nation and Team Kaliber wore KontrolFreek’s Performance Gaming Wear apparel while practicing and competing. The Rise Nation went on to win the event’s Call of Duty World League invitational. 

“Our extensive research indicated there was a need within the eSports community for performance garb tailored to the gaming lifestyle,” said Ashish Mistry, CEO of KontrolFreek. “When developing our Performance Gaming Wear apparel, we coordinated directly with top gaming professionals to ensure our apparel met the specific needs of the competitive gaming community. We strategically placed DRYV® Dry Hand Zones in our garments to provide multiple areas where gamers naturally reach to dry their palms and fingers. With DRYV®, we decrease thumb slippage and, therefore, increase accuracy and control. Grip and accuracy are hallmarks of the KontrolFreek brand.”

The leading developer of Performance Gaming Gear™, KontrolFreek’s mission is to create high-quality products that increase player comfort and performance to enhance the overall gaming experience. Its products range from Performance ThumbsticksTM and KontrolFreek GripsTM for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One controllers to apparel and accessories like the recently announced  KontrolFreek 12FT Gaming CableTM.   

“Just like traditional athletes, eSports players want to maximize their competitive advantage with the gear they use; this includes what they’re wearing in practice or during competition,” said Rodger Saffold III, Co-Founder of The Rise Nation and offensive guard for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League. “Success in eSports is driven by precision and speed. A fraction of a second can be the difference between winning a championship or going home empty handed. KontrolFreek knows that the details matter and it really shows with their new Performance Gaming Wear.”

KontrolFreek’s first line of Performance Gaming Wear is now available for sale online at KontrolFreek.com.

Train2Game News British eSports Association Board and Website

T​he British Esports Association (British Esports) – the UK’s esports national body – established to support, promote and instil good governance for amateur esports players and teams – confirms its Advisory Board and launches its full website.
Led by British Esports Chair, Andy Payne OBE, the board for 2017 includes:
    Paul “ReDeYe” Chaloner, Veteran Esports Host, Caster and Presenter
    Richard Lewis, Esports Journalist of the Year
    Michael “ODEE” O’Dell, President Team Dignitas
    Craig “Wizzo” Fletcher, Founder Multiplay
    Chris Mead, Twitch’s UK Director of Partnerships
    Ryan Hart, World Champion Esports Player
    Ceirnan “ Excoundrel ” Lowe, Colour Caster
   Josh Williams, Founder, National University Esports League  
    Carleigh Morgan, Academic
    Andrew Nixon, Partner at Sheridans

The board, which possess a wealth of experience across all aspects of esports and are some of the leading figures within the industry, will discuss developments and areas of focus for the British Esports Association, and offer their guidance and advice to constantly develop esports in the UK. The first board meeting will take place in January 2017 and each member will sit on the board for a minimum of 12 months.

“I am really proud and honoured to be taking this role on for British Esports at such an exciting time for the industry. We have assembled a really talented group of esports professionals to interact with the community and guide our activities. There is much to do, but given the talent assembled, we will be able to make a significant difference over the coming 12 months, bring it on.” commented Andy Payne.

The brand new website www.britishesports.org will be an information hub, providing expert advice and support from grassroots levels and up, across the esports spectrum. There will be articles educating about jobs in the industry, to wellbeing, guidance for parents, to finding out the latest esports events, who are the event organisers, key figures in the industry and how to get involved in competition both locally and nationally here in the UK plus much more. British Esports wants to help existing gamers and nurture future British talent in becoming global champions.

Train2Game News eSports VR Game 

Seattle-based Drifter Entertainment has announced that is has raised $2.25 million in seed funding to continue and bolster development of its virtual reality e-sports games. 
Drifter founders Ray Davis, Kenneth Scott, and Brian Murphy have spent their careers building platforms including HoloLens, Oculus Rift, Xbox One, and Unreal Engine 4, as well as games such as Gears of War, Doom 3, Halo 4, and Bullet Train.

The investment has been led by the highly regarded VC firm, Signia Venture Partners.  Signia has previously invested in Alibaba, Boxed, Playdom, Adify, and Flycast Communications. The firm’s other gaming investments include Super Evil Mega Corp and Phoenix Labs.  Signia partner, Sunny Dhillon, will be joining Drifter’s board as a result of the investment.  “You rarely come across a founder like Ray with the technical and creative chops found in very few gaming company founders. We’re excited to build market defining virtual reality games with Team Drifter,” says Sunny Dhillon.

Another major investment comes from Initialized Capital, which has been among the first checks invested in billion dollar companies like Instacart, Cruise, and Zenefits. “We’re looking for foundational companies and this is our first VR bet, because this is the first time we saw something in the space that really felt like it could be a major level up in gaming,” said General Partner and cofounder, Alexis Ohanian (also: cofounder, Reddit).

Additional investors in Drifter to date include Presence Capital, The VR Fund, Pathbreaker Ventures, and Anorak Ventures.

“We’re thrilled and humbled by the support we’ve received from our investors, both financial and otherwise,” says Drifter’s Ray Davis, who most recently served as general manager for Unreal Engine 4, following his time at Microsoft on the HoloLens project. “We feel incredibly lucky to have found the right partners that not only want us to succeed, but clearly understand our vision for the future of VR gaming.”

“The titles we’re working on are ambitious experiences designed for a new medium, and knowing that we’ll have the capital to see them through is certainly empowering,” says Murphy, who helped launch the Xbox One, Kinect, and HoloLens while working for Microsoft over the course of the last decade. His most recent project was helping to create the virtual travel experience Holo Tour for HoloLens. The studio’s third cofounder, Kenneth Scott, has worked as an art director for some 20 years in AAA game development, including id Software and Microsoft Game Studios on the Halo franchise. He’s spent the last two years building conversion on contact content at Oculus.

For more information on Drifter, please visit: http://driftervr.com

Train2Game News UKIE on eSports

The trade body for games and interactive entertainment consulted with members of the UK esports community and today released the results in a whitepaper outlining eight recommendations for how the UK can become a global leader in esports.
The esports sector is set to be worth $1bn globally by 2019, and the UK’s ecosystem is young but growing. Highlighting the sector’s prospects in job creation, local economic growth, tourism, and new skills development, the report also indicates how the sector can be used as an example of the UK’s best technology, innovation and creativity.

As a trade body for interactive entertainment, Ukie now represents major UK stakeholders, including publishers, developers, platform holders, and key players in the esports ecosystem such as Hi-Rez, makers of Smite, ESL, Gfinity, FaceIT, Team Dignitas, Fnatic and Game/Multiplay amongst others.  They worked in consultation with Ukie via its largest member Sub Group to outline the measures.

The recommendations centre around:

    -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;

    -The delivery of superfast broadband and 5G to provide the best infrastructure across the country;

    -The sector should coordinate itself as an industry group to share information and encourage and facilitate the sharing of best practice;

    -Industry and government to develop a methodology for more accurately measuring the UK esports sector;

    -Government to consider the needs of esports businesses and players in policy debates around skills and immigration and

    -The UK’s already world-leading games industry education courses to include esports modules;

    -Esports companies to actively support sustainable initiatives that promote and inspire diverse participation of esports;

    -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.

Ukie also announced it would be supporting the Digital Schoolhouse powered by PlayStation to hold its first schools esports tournament in 2017.

Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said, “For some time, we have been proposing that esports in the UK could be a high value opportunity for the economy, provided the right infrastructure and support is in place so we can compete at a global level. Ukie stands for interactive entertainment, and esports is born out of the meeting of games, competition, fandom, live events, and digital innovation, and so in many ways is the epitome of interactive entertainment. Combining industry commitment with political and practical support both nationally and locally, collectively promoting the sector, and supporting the grassroots esports movement across the country, we can make the UK the leading global destination for esports.”

The whitepaper was launched at an event at Gfinity Arena, London’s home of esports, on Monday 28 November.

You can read the full report digitally here.

Train2Game News The Bridge eSports live

On Monday the 28th of November, GINX eSports TV will launch its brand new show The BRIDGE which will broadcast LIVE worldwide for 3 hours every weeknight at 8pm GMT from its London Headquarters.
The BRIDGE is described by Producer David Kangas as a ‘crossing place’ for eSports, aiming to bring together fans, teams and personalities from across the world, spanning all games, tournaments and platforms. 

Hosts Alex ‘Machine’ Richardson and OJ Borg will be in the driving seat for this, alongside streamers, casters and content creators Duncan ‘Thorin’ Shields, Marcella ‘Nysira’ de Bie, Shanna Nina, Sheever, Owen ‘ODPixel’ Damascus.

Your favourite players, streamers and opinion-setters will be live from the studio or calling in from across the world to dive deep into the world of eSports- telling the stories the matter as they unfold!

Producer David Kangas said “We threw the reins over to the fans, the players and the content creators and asked them if they could build it how would it be. So we’ve ended up with ‘ The BRIDGE, ’ a crossing place for eSports – where we can talk to whoever we want, about whatever game we want, whenever and however we want. That feels like a great starting point.”

ALEX ‘Machine’ Richardson commented: “LIVE and interactive every night with OJ and Nysira in the studio … you sort of feel like anything can happen … It ’ ‘s going to be an absolute blast!” Marcella de Bie ‘ Nysira ’ ” “ Oh my, this is gonna be SO much fun. Live from London to the world. It’s gonna blow my socks off!” 

Marcella de Bie ‘Nysira’ observed: “Oh my, this is gonna be SO much fun. Live from London to the world. It ’ s gonna blow my socks off!””

OJ BORG –added “”I can’t wait! Radio & TV hosting runs through my veins and to now throw esports into that mix with The BRIDGE gets me really excited.”

Join us and tune in. THE BRIDGE premieres Monday 28th November from 8pm GMT on GINX eSports TV and live on our Twitch Channel: twitch.tv/GINXTV 

GINX eSports TV is available on cable and satellite platforms throughout the world. In the UK the channel is available on Sky Ch.470 and Virgin Media Ch.290.

Train2Game News British eSports Association needs feedback

The British eSports Association is calling for any final feedback to be submitted before its consultation periods ends on September 30th.
Over the past three months the British eSports Association has been gathering feedback from the UK eSports sector to ensure it fully represents the interests of individuals, players, teams, game publishers and broadcasters alike. With one week to go, the association are inviting any additional feedback to be submitted by Friday September 30th.

Set up to promote grassroots eSports in Britain, they want to know what you’d like to see from them, what challenges you face within eSports and what can be done to grow competitive gaming in the UK. Everyone is welcome to send in ideas.

Whether you’re a player, fan, someone from the eSports or games industry or anyone else, they’d like to hear from you.

Please email your thoughts and ideas to info@britishesports.org or complete our online survey by September 30th 2016.

The next announcement covering their plans is expected to be made in early October. You can also visit the website at www.britishesports.org . 

Train2Game News ESL UK Premiership pushing rising stars

The ESL UK Premiership, the largest eSports tournament for the UK and Ireland, is the one to watch for League of Legends talent rising to the professional eSports circuit.

The ESL UK Premiership Summer 2016 Season is set to be the biggest and best yet. With a prize pool of £34,000 and a three-game offline finals event planned for this October’s MCM Comic Con in London, there’s plenty to be excited about. Riot has continued to recognize this milestone by investing a spot in their EU Challenger Series Qualifier in the winner of this season’s premiership. 

The last team to win a spot in the Challenger Series Qualifier through the ESL UK Premiership, were the former Renegades: Banditos who then went on to win the qualifiers and secure their place in the EU Challenger Series. Out of this success story came even greater achievement. Renegades: Banditos, now Misfits, recently triumphed in the EU LCS promotion tournament and are now the newest team to qualify for the EU LCS, showcasing the path to pro from Premiership to EU LCS. Individual success was also found in Maxlore, who was scouted by the Spanish team Giants, and now plays in the LCS. 

Since the start of 2015, the UK Premiership, ESL UK’s flagship national product, has seen significant growth in both viewership and participation. Designed purely for UK teams, talent and viewers, the tournament has attracted over two million online spectators and has seen over two thousand gamers take part from all over Great Britain and Ireland.

To sign up to the ESL UK Premiership for League Of Legends, players can head to the ESL UK website.