Calling all gamers! New eSports centre coming to Stevenage
- Credit: Newvu
A passionate team has been working hard to bring the first-ever eSports venue in the UK to Stevenage - and it's set to open next week.
Dubbed "the home of social gaming", Newvu will welcome gamers of all abilities to its facility at the former Burger King unit in the town centre's Queensway for a launch event on Wednesday, with booking available from Thursday.
So - what is eSports? We asked co-founder Andrew Bishop.
"eSports is competitive gaming. You can play games world wide - but like football, there's different leagues. In eSports, you can become a professional player, earning millions," he explained.
"The final of League of Legends last year filled a stadium in America of 75,000 people - there's a real interest in watching gaming."
The UK is following suit in recognising eSports alongside traditional sports, as competitive gamers took to this year's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on a trial run.
After carrying out research and hosting pop-up events across the UK to find their perfect location, Andrew and his fellow Newvu co-founders agreed on make Stevenage the home of their flagship venue.
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Andrew said: "We did a lot of research across the country. One of the things that attracted us was the regeneration of the area. We very much want to be a part of that.
"We're completely backing the regeneration and we're excited to be a part of the town - we've taken a 10-year lease, so we're not in it for the short term.
"There's a lot going on for a younger audience, the travel links are very good, and the schools are really in reach. We've been reaching out to schools and colleges, offering coding and design courses."
The facility will comprise of three floors, with the ground floor catering to the "casual gamer", which will be available for birthday parties and other occasions, complete with virtual reality systems, interactive games consoles and more.
The second and third floors will be a space for more focussed gaming - with the top floor reserved for eSports. The team plan to live stream the first tournament across Twitch and social media platforms.
To find out more about Newvu, go to newvu.gg, or follow @newvugaming on Twitter and @newvu_gaming on Instagram.