AN ENTREPRENEURIAL computer gamer is hoping to turn his hobby into a business.
Ben Bagg from Leamington is launching a company called Pop Up Esports Limited to allow UK gamers to play each other in leagues for money.
Professional video gaming competitions, most notably known as eSports, are a massive hit in America and regularly sell out arenas with fans eager to watch the country’s best gamers go head-to-head.
The 24 year-old, who is a salesman, said: “Gaming is fast becoming the biggest industry on the planet. It’s taking over the movie industry and everybody is now growing up with a console or a PC.
“eSports isn’t as big in the UK, there are only two or three leagues at the moment, so we want to introduce another one to add more consistency to the industry over here because leagues typically only last for eight weeks due to funding.
“What we’re also looking to do differently is educate parents and children about responsible video gaming.
“They can’t just sit there playing video games all day. You do need to eat healthily, exercise and give your mind a break.
“I gained a lot of social skills playing online gaming and it helped to develop my confidence. Some games have built in puzzles so you have to problem solve which develops logical thinking – one of the most important skills anybody can have.”
Subject to funding, the leagues will launch in January. The league will see ten teams competing against each other for six weeks, and will involve a final at a public Midlands location with the winner taking away a £10,000 prize.
Ben’s business idea is currently at the funding stage, and has been shortlisted alongside two other businesses at Baldwins Accountants’ KickStart Awards taking place in Birmingham on November 10.
The winner will be presented with a £10,000 grant along with £10,000 worth of mentoring and accountancy advice, with the runners-up receiving £5,000 of mentoring and accountancy advice.