Region signs 10 year deal with Global Esports Federation

The West Midlands has agreed on a 10-year deal with the Global Esports Federation (GEF), accelerating the region’s commitment to driving international growth in the rapidly developing industry.

The partnership will see the West Midlands join a network of global hubs, including GEF’s headquarters Singapore and continued developments in Brazil, China, Türkiye, Japan, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas.

The agreement, led by the West Midlands Growth Company, aims to bolster the region’s position as a hotbed for the esports and gaming industry, with the West Midlands already responsible for one quarter of the UK’s output in the sector.

The partnership builds on the West Midlands’ position as a gaming and esports hub within the UK, with the region playing host to a total of 130 games companies – predominantly clustered around Leamington Spa – including the likes of Codemasters, Ubisoft, Playground and Sega Hardlight.

The sector employs a workforce of more than 3,000 games professionals in the region. The University of Warwick has also been recently named the UK Esports University of the Year for the fourth successive year, following significant investment in state-of-the-art facilities and talent.

Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers has also committed heavily to Esports, hosting its own esports organisation with teams in the UK, Europe and China, as well as announcing last year a partnership with North American Esports giant Evil Geniuses.

Paul J. Foster, chief executive, Global Esports Federation said: “The GEF President, Chris Chan and the entire Board of the Global Esports Federation have earmarked strategic global hubs as anchors for our development of esports, sports, immersive technologies, innovative entertainment, and adjacent sectors. The leadership in the West Midlands continues to demonstrate a strong collective ambition and the diverse capabilities of this dynamic region. Through our partnership with the Commonwealth Games Federation for the upcoming Commonwealth Esports Championships and this historic Strategic Framework Agreement, we are proud to bring our support, expertise, and strong, tangible commitment to this region, unlocking a decade of limitless opportunities and accelerating growth for the people and businesses who are lucky to call it home.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “I was thrilled when we confirmed that the first ever Commonwealth Esports Championships would be staged this summer right here in the West Midlands and this exciting partnership with the Global Esports Federation showcases the scale of our region’s ambition – to be a global leader in what is the world’s fastest growing entertainment sector. We’re fortunate to already have huge gaming names like Sega Hardlight and Codemasters on our doorstep all contributing to the West Midlands’ growing status as an esports hub. Now we’re taking the next step by partnering with the Global Esports Federation to drive investment and create high-quality, state-of-the-art jobs in this incredibly dynamic sector. These are momentous times for the West Midlands, and I cannot wait to see this sector continue to thrive.”
From left to right, Neil Rami, CEO of West Midlands Growth Company. Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands. Dato’ Ananth S. Nathan, President of Malaysian Esports Federation. Rachel Davis, Director of Warwick Enterprise. Alice Dearing, Olympian and avid gamer. Matt Hammond, PwC Midlands Regional Leader, and West Midlands Growth Company chair. Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council. Paul J. Foster, CEO of Global Esports Federation.