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E-Sport Centre: Now time is of the essence

Published by

June 28, 2019 4:36 pm

E-Sport Centre: Now time is of the essence

In Kiel, a regional centre for e-sports and digital competence is to be established this year. But there are no suitable rooms for one of the most ambitious showcase projects in Kiel. This threatens to forfeit the state’s lavish subsidies.

For months it has been quiet around the establishment of the first nationwide publicly funded and non-commercial state centre for e-sports and digital competence (LESZ). At the beginning of the year, the city and the state promised large sums of funding for such a centre (we reported). Nevertheless, it still hangs in the balance.

“The problem is that we can’t find any suitable and affordable rooms in the city centre,” explains Martin Müller, Vice President of the German E-Sport Federation, which is responsible for the centre. Nevertheless, it should and must work out somehow this year – otherwise, the subsidies will be lost.

At least 300,000 euros in funding have been pledged

The sums in the room show a great interest in the development of the “Landeszentrum”. The Ministry for the Environment and Digitisation of the state alone would provide 1,500,000 euros in “digitisation funds”, and a larger share of the 500,000 euros from the Ministry of the Interior would be spent on e-sport houses in Schleswig-Holstein. In February of this year, the city approved another 1,500,000 euros – spread over three years.

For at least the state funds to flow, Martin Müller has to hurry to find a domicile for the e-sports centre: “Because the funding still has to be called up this year,” says Eckhard Jacobs, sports officer at the Ministry of the Interior, giving some thought to the matter. There is no guarantee that the funds will be available beyond 2019.

A location is to be found before the end of this year

Despite the time pressure, the e-sports functionary is optimistic: “We will be able to find suitable rooms before the end of this year and thus fulfil the funding requirements. Talks with potential landlords are currently in full swing. However, Müller did not want to provide more detailed information on possible locations for the centre.

One thing is certain: the 400 to 600 square meter rooms we are looking for must match the concept of the LESZ. This includes technical (data lines) as well as spatial (suitable size) requirements. The future centre will serve several functions as a kind of link between gamers, interested laymen (parents), child and youth protectors or media educators.

It’s not just about daddling on the PC

In plain language, this means: According to Martin Müller, the LESZ is not only about doddling on the PC with the hottest games. “It is also crucial to provide information about which games are suitable for which age group, which are not and what they can cost. In addition to being a place of education for parents and young people, the centre also sees itself as a training facility for trainers and a meeting place for the gaming scene.

The concept is also of interest to the Kiel Economic Development Corporation (Kiwi). “Finally enterprises look hand struggling for digitally formed coworkers, explain Kathrin Reinicke, chief enterprise service with the Kiwi. And when such a centre moves digital specialists to the state capital, for example as part of events, “they might get stuck in Kiel with an innovative start-up company. Also, companies in the centre could attract talented people to the centre to recruit them for training in the digital sector.

E-athletes should get out of isolation

For Martin Müller, however, the project also has an important social function: “It enables us to recognise that e-athletes are part of the digital society. We bring the young people together with like-minded people and experts and thus bring them out of their isolation.

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