Gaming is not just a serious sport; it is serious business as well. So just like any sport, it now has a campus to discover and develop talents and a stadium for massive events. The H20 Esports Campus Amsterdam and Rabo Esports Stadium Amsterdam officially opened their doors, paving the way for esports athletes in the greater area of Amsterdam and The Netherlands.
H20 Esports Campus Amsterdam now open
The H20 Esports Campus and Rabo Esports Stadium are located just outside the city of Amsterdam. The official grand opening was earlier this month, making the area available for gamers from all over the country. Besides gaming, it offers the opportunity for broadcasting during events, a dedicated place for shoutcasters, a stage with players desks, warm-up rooms and a gaming club where teams or individuals can hone their skills.
The H20 Esports Campus and attached stadium is a hub not only to train gamers or hold events. It is also the place to foster innovation around anything that relates to gaming, says H20 founder Dirk Tuip: “We combine education and personal development from gaming to a professional career in esports. If talents do not succeed, we prepare them for a job in creative tech.”
Team Gullit HQ
The grand opening was done by Anneke van Zanen, chair of the Olympic committee and former e-sports athlete Koen Schobbers. To mark the occasion, Prince Constantijn van Oranje-Nassau, the Special Envoy of TechLeap.nl, also dropped by in the live broadcast. Due to COVID-19 regulations, no more than 30 people at a time could enter, prompting H20 to hold multiple events in one day.
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During the main event, H20 announced the popular Team Gullit sets up their physical headquarters in the campus. Team Gullit is the largest independent FIFA-academy led by former world football star Ruud Gullit. On top of that, the Dutch Foundation for victims of fire announced its VR-experience is available on the campus. The aim is to teach people to extinguish fires at home and to offer therapy sessions for people with burns, all in VR.
‘Gaming as accelerator for tech innovation’
Tuip says he wants the 10,000 square meter venue to become the ‘Papendal of esports’, referring to the current location where Dutch top-athletes in physical sports train. “The goal is the development of the next generation through gaming, esports and creative tech. At the same time, we want to create an ecosystem where innovation within gaming, esports and creative tech take place.”
“Gaming is an accelerator for a lot of tech innovation. We also see that gaming has a lot of positive side effects on next-generation skills. For example, it is a small step from playing Minecraft to programming. And for example, the developments in VR/AR or the concept of gamification can be used for a lot of applications. So we try to use the passion that people have for gaming to get them into tech.”
Images: Edward van Hees/H20