I am proud to announce the Welsh Gaming Network is now officially a member of the Welsh Sports Association.
I am incredibly excited to see what avenues this opens up to us, as the Welsh Sports Association will be able to bring to new light to an already growing flame of which we champion, the gaming industry in Wales – from games development, gaming events and gaming communities, we are looking to become the hub of games for our nation. A place where people can come to get the latest news on Welsh gaming, events being held up and down the country such as grassroots eSports competitions and festivals celebrating the Welsh gaming culture and the Welsh Sports Association recognises our dreams and will be joining us moving forward.
What has the Welsh Gaming Network got to do with sports?
eSports are becoming more and more recognised throughout the international world, and times they are a changin’ as the industry is worth hundreds of millions of pounds worldwide. This would have been unheard of 15-20 years ago and yet research shows in the UK alone, we will see 8 million people as eSports fans by 2019, with research by UKIE showing there to be 3.1 million current regular viewers of eSports events each month which is proof of how important this new type of sport will be for our culture.
You can see many professional sports teams recognising the importance of eSports, as teams such as Manchester City Football Club have been snapping up professional eSports teams to represent them in major competitions, and top British teams going abroad as they get bought by professional sports teams across the world.
We need to be on top of this fledgling culture change, especially as there isn’t a stronger Welsh voice than ours on this subject, so the Welsh Gaming Network insist on wrestling our way to the front lines to be a place to bring you the latest in Welsh eSports involvement, from local community based events such as those at Talk & Surf Gaming Centre or Belong by GAME, to the more fleshed out eSports scenes of University eSports Societies where the most active competitions in the UK probably lie, and eventually we will hold our own national competitions, recognised across Wales and to be envious to the rest of the UK.
What has the Welsh Sports Association got to do with it?
Well they believe in our vision and are very keen to see the Welsh games scene grow, and like us they know now is the time to pounce. The WSA will act as our voice in order to communicate with Sport Wales and the Welsh Government, with possibly all the sporting bodies across Wales as members, they have a huge reach and can help us gain viewer-ship and recognition in what we are looking to achieve. As funding for each organisation gets less and less each year, we will act as a beacon of inspiration for them by showing how we can achieve our goals on a zero budget, using volunteers as staff in absolutely everything we do. We will appear in newsletters which over 6000 teams will receive, and as we inspire more, we may see a whole host of eSports teams appear throughout regular recognised sport across Wales. If you are in one of those teams, its actually really easy to get involved in as this is an activity you can do in your spare time/evenings/weekends if you aren’t gaming at a high end professional level, but just wish to play competitively with 2-5 other like-minded individuals and you can still apply to join eSports events as there is always something out there for people of all skill levels (Which is something we hope to highlight on our website).
So what happens next?
Well the next step in the plan is to partner the Welsh Gaming Network with local businesses who create grassroot gaming events, as well as reach out to universities and hopefully find some sponsors of our own in which we can rely on for prizes, which would make creating our own events far more tantalising for teams across Wales. We also hope to gain further awareness at events by gaining exhibition space at locations such as Level Up Wales in Wrexham at the end of May, and Rapture Gaming Festival in Cardiff in September and speaking to the general masses.
In terms of sports teams interested in creating their own eSports teams, now is a fantastic time to do so and start practicing, as it doesn’t matter who is backing you, from Manchester City Football Club to Pontypool Rugby Club, its the individual and team player skills that will get you through the competitions!
On top of all this, we are also supporting games development across Wales by communicating with Welsh developers, giving feedback on their games while promoting them through social media, videos and written reviews. I am personally very interested in the game development scene across Welsh universities, as there have been plenty of award winning developers come through, and still plenty more to come. I also hope we can inspire the next generation to become developers by being able to point them in the right direction in terms of educational courses they can attend to further their goals.
We also have our own Welsh Gaming Network internal community based on Discord for anyone interested after this post, where we hope we can create our own eSports teams in order to join in on the digital sports revolution! Follow us on Twitter for all the up to date gaming and eSports news across Wales, and don’t forget to tag us @welshgamingnet and use the hashtag #welshgaming if you’d like a retweet.
For any further details, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org