Esports

Mayor of London backs esports campaign to tackle youth unemployment


The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has joined forces with esports organisation LDN UTD for an initiative aimed at tackling youth unemployment in the capital.

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The LDN UTD Inter-Borough Esports Championships, according to a press release, will facilitate competition between young Londoners. Moreover, the initiative will use esports and education to combat rising rates of youth unemployment.

Young people in Hackney, Kingston, Lambeth and Lewisham will be able to register for various digital workshops, hosted in partnership with Staffordshire University London— a school known for offering specialised esports degree courses—as well as the University of Salford and the University of East London. The digital workshops will focus on a range of topics, including video editing, social media management, and graphic design.

The initiative will also offer insights from special guests, like FaZe Clan’s Tassal ‘Tass’ Rushan —a renowned FIFA competitor with over 270,000 YouTube subscribers and more than $57,000 (£43,256) in total FIFA prize earnings. There will also be opportunities for some participants to intern for LDN UTD, according to the organisation.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
Credit: Gov.uk

“The growth of esports over the past 12 months has been considerable,” commented Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London. “The industry is generating millions of pounds for our economy, as well as creating much-needed jobs for our community, particularly here in London. With that growth comes a level of responsibility, and I am proud that my Sport Unites programme is able to help fund LDN UTD, an organisation who are using their platform and the power of esports.”

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As part of the initiative, young people from the four aforementioned boroughs of London will face off in the inaugural LDN UTD Inter-Borough Esports Championships. Participants will compete in either FIFA 21 or NBA 2K21 from December 5th to 19th. The tournament will be broadcast live on Twitch.

On the partnership, Oliver Weingarten, Founder and CEO of LDN UTD, said: “The broader perception of esports is often focused around the very best individuals or teams competing in global tournaments—but in reality, there are lots of other roles that play a vital part in creating this hyper-modern entertainment form and we’re hoping to shine a light on that over the coming months.

“As the epicenter of the UK’s esports industry, we want to encourage young people from across London that this isn’t just something you do at home with your friends, it really is a viable career option.”

Esports Insider says: This is a fantastic idea and will no doubt bring plenty of good for young, at-risk Londoners. The initiative teaches esports-related skills that could absolutely be applied by all, even if they decide not to work in the industry. Young people will certainly look forward to hearing from the likes of FaZe Tass and to see the Mayor of London getting involved is also excellent. 

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