Esports goes to college as Northampton opens esports arena

By William Davis


Dec 19, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

Esports is becoming one of the most popular types of entertainment. What was once a niche interest enjoyed by a few hardcore gaming fans has become a mainstream phenomenon that everyone wants to be a part of 

Northampton College just opened a brand new esports gaming arena. The space was opened as a part of the College’s digital academy, worth an astonishing £6.3 million. 

According a local media outlet, Northampton Chronicle & Echo, the academy is a result of funding provided by SEMLEP, or the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership. This organization puts effort into delivering sustainable economic growth in the region, and provides support to all sorts of businesses operating in this area of the UK. 

College focused on esports

Stephen Ratcliffe-Jones of Northampton College was thrilled with the funding, as the College provides extensive opportunities in the domain of digital businesses and entrepreneurship. According to Ratcliffe-Jones, the Northampton College also allows individuals to “explore digital careers and progress through a pathway of qualifications leading to higher education, apprenticeships, and employment.”

But why did the SEMLEP choose this particular college? Well, it is one of the very few educational facilities in the United Kingdom that features an Esports Business and Technology Education Council program. The program has been made possible thanks to the collaboration with Pearson and the British Esports Association. On top of that, the institution has special programs dedicated to digital design, gaming design, and of course, good old computing and programming. 

So, whether you want to found a digital startup in Scotland, start the best online casino in Ireland, or maybe become an esports analyst, this college is a place to be. 

As we all know, going to college is more than just studying, and having a rich social life is much more important than getting good grades for many students. Northampton College is also home to several teams which partake in the British Esports Student Championships. Students compete in all the popular categories such as League of Legends, Valorant, and Overwatch. 

About the Northampton College Arena

The rsports arena is part of the bigger on-campus complex. The new Booth Lane campus complex also features a TV studio, design studio, and dedicated space for digital workshops. The complex also has a separate control room, as well as special production areas. Pat Brennan-Barrett, the principal at Northampton College, described it as a place where “the future will be created in front our own eyes.”

The first match in the arena was played by the College’s Valorant team, however, the main function of this new addition to the campus is not entertainment, but learning new profitable skills related to esports. As BBC reports, the number of lucrative job opportunities in the esports domain is constantly growing and is not limited to professional athleticism (albeit athletes remain the most paid professionals in the sector).

So college students will get a chance to learn from industry professionals first-hand, by attending specialty courses that include game design (both basic and advanced), data security, and all sorts of other useful lessons. 


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