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Here East joined 1,200 speakers and more than 160 countries at Web Summit in Lisbon for the annual summit that will shape tomorrow’s tech industry.

This year Web Summit welcomed over 70,000 people, from CEOs of the world’s biggest companies to so-called unicorn startups and journalists from around the world.

Web Summit brings together people from every industry influenced by technology today. We were delighted to be on the ContentMakers stage this year discussing what is required to fuel the growth of the esports industry. The panel featured Gavin Poole, CEO of Here East, Rachel Gowers, Director at Staffordshire University’s Digital Institute London and Bono Huis, esports F1 Driver at McLaren.

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Esports is arguably one of the fastest growing forms of media in the world and one that encompasses, not just people that play video games professionally and their audiences, but also coaches, publicists and venues as well as the infrastructure behind it all.

We are enablers for the growth of the sector. Here East is a phenomenally wired, super-connected space and this provides us with a unique opportunity to grow an esports cluster in a place with an Olympic sporting history. We added in technology, innovation and bringing the two together we now have an esports hub and a space for the industry to flourish in the UK.

Gavin Poole, CEO of Here East

Here East’s growing esports hub is home to SEGA’s Sports Interactive, Bidstack and Staffordshire University’s Digital Institute London – who are delivering the UK’s first esports undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and boast an in-house gaming arena.

It's the business side of esports that we focus on. If you look at the whole ecosystem, from games developers, all the way through to the end product such as the live event or the streaming of the event, we are training the next generation of talent involved in that journey.

Rachel Gowers, Director of Staffordshire University's Digital Institute London

Collaboration sits at the heart of Here East. This sharing of ideas between leading esports companies, academics, and tech startups based here enables the sector to thrive. To see a sector work so collaboratively together is both unique and vital, and something we are proud to be a part of.

The future of esports lies in collaboration. Everyone in the sector is working together to drive growth and bring this phenomenon into the mainstream. That’s an exciting place to be – and we look forward to what the future holds.

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