Esports forms an integral part of the gaming ecosphere, with many players nowadays hoping to one day play on the main stage.
However, it is the many and varied smaller stages which don't often see the recognition they deserve in the world of competitive gaming.
We caught up with Jack Fenton, the mastermind behind the Warwick Esports Centre, as he gave his thoughts on the centre itself, and the wider UK esports scene.
Esports Centre at Warwick
The Centre itself will be used as a hub for members of the university as well as local partners and schools for various initiatives. This will be an excellent opportunity to further bridge the gap between esports and non-endemic entities.
With £275,000 funding Jack has been able to secure space on the Warwick campus, kit it out with carpet, furniture, state of the art PCs and peripherals, and a variety of elements that help to make it accessible for everyone.
Billed as a 'a place for aspiring professional players, coaches, content creators, and all esports careers to connect, engage, and progress', the space is now open for all to enjoy.
Should esports as a whole take an interest?
"Definitely," said Jack, "I'm here to be part of a team that can be a demonstration of how universities can come together to support esports careers."
Predominantly, Jack spoke about the use of this space to spread the potential of esports in general. Be that to gamers who don't currently understand esports or those who have no initial interest even in gaming.
He also went on to stress the importance of including those around you in esports endeavours. "Include your neighbours [...] local clubs and schools."
Eports as an industry has the power to influence real social change with its reach, and the Warwick Esports Centre will do its part to help with just that.
What does the future look like for the Esports Centre at Warwick?
Jack made a point to emphasise that this is only phase one of the project and that the future of the project is bright.
An even larger space that can facilitate the growth of even more esports careers is the end goal.
Want to be a physio that specialises in esports? Take a trip to Warwick!
Looking to improve your team communication, or even learn about marketing in the nearly $2 billion industry? The esports centre is the place for you.
Inclusivity in esports
Everything inside the centre is designed with inclusivity in mind. From the desks (some of which are height-adjustable) to a variety of accessible gear provided by Special Effect, there is something to ensure that this is a space for everyone.
Jack aims to one day ensure scholarships for women, non-binary, and minority ethnic esports enthusiasts.
Finally, education. Having partnered with Special Effect and Women in Games, the Esports Centre at Warwick will soon become a hub for anyone and everyone with an interest in esports (or not), and a force for good.
It goes without saying that there is a bright future for a diverse esports world in the UK, and this facility goes to show just that. I look forward to seeing what Jack and his team can achieve in the coming years!