UK (University of Teesside) Partnership will support students interested in fast-growing esports industry

The Wired Lobby is set to open in Middlesbrough’s Captain Cook Square shopping centre in the New Year, offering a full spectrum gaming experience for all levels and styles of gamers. The esports and sim racing venue will include a tournament arena, purpose-built gaming PCs, latest generation consoles and pro-level racing sims, along with a full-size touring car in pole position.

The gaming industry is recognised as being among one of the fastest growing sectors in the IT world and a number of high-profile games studios have been created by Teesside University graduates.

The two-year memorandum of understanding signed by Teesside University and The Wired Lobby outlines how they will work together. Students will be able to showcase and test their work at the venue and get feedback from the public, alongside opportunities for esports student teams to play and practice in front of a live audience.

The partnership will also include live projects for students, support for recruitment events, guest speakers and industry visits, opportunities for placements, internships and work experience, along with research opportunities, collaboration in extra-curricular activities for students, and sharing insight into industry skills gaps and needs.

Edwin Ford, managing director of The Wired Lobby, said: “We have been in discussions with the University since the early days of the project at Captain Cook Square as we were aware that the University is very strong in the field of games programming, with an amazing and progressive student base.

 Our students will have unique opportunities to display their work and to experience the end destination environment

Siobhan Fenton, Associate Dean (Enterprise and Business Engagement)

“With our venue scheduled to open early in the New Year, we are pleased to be officially associated with the University and look forward to seeing the students’ work on display in various guises within the venue.”

He added: “The Wired Lobby offers a unique experience in gaming, giving the students a place to showcase their work, socialise and network with fellow gamers in an environment that understands, lives and breathes the games industry.”

Siobhan Fenton, Associate Dean (Enterprise and Business Engagement), in the University’s School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies, said: “The level of excitement since we first heard about the opening of this dedicated esports venue in the town has been immense. One of our students described the place as a ‘gamers paradise’ and there is such anticipation and excitement for it to open.

“Our students will have unique opportunities to display their work and to experience the end destination environment whilst completing their coursework.”