The Nation’s Next E-Sports Destination?

October 13, 2020

The city is currently exploring options to attract gaming events

Waterloo Region has recently struck a partnership with marketing company Subnation that appears set to turn the city into a new hub for e-sports.

In recent years, the area’s educational institutions such as the University of Waterloo, Wilfred Laurier University, and Conestoga College have all founded their own e-sports programs, running competitive and casual gaming events as part of their athletics departments.

Those who compete competitively, representing their school, can even win thousands of dollars in scholarships, awarded by Ontario Post-Secondary E-Sports, a student-run organization that oversees intercollegial competition.

This new initiative could draw new players and investment into the region, attracting event organizers, leagues and production companies.

“We saw an opportunity just by nature of what e-sports offers, but we also saw Waterloo region as a potential comfortable ecosystem to develop e-sports,” said Allister Scorgie, the director of sport hosting for Explore Waterloo Region, in an interview with CBC News.

Waterloo may host international events, launch intramural leagues, and build new e-sport lounges.

The first phase includes market research conducted by Subnation and Explore Waterloo Region, looking, among other things, at existing venues and facilities that could host tournaments.

“We’re interviewing stakeholders from the economic development commissions, to sport alliances, to arena managers to athletic departments,” Ed Tomasi, co-founder of Subnation, told CBC News. “We’re really getting a sense of what the (city’s) DNA is.”

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