The CEO of Scotland’s leading Esports event company is in Nottingham as Team Scotland takes its seat at the Commonwealth Games for the first time in history.
James Hood, who launched Dundee-based Esports Scotland five years ago, was unveiled as Team Manager for Scotland for the Commonwealth Esports Championships (CEC) earlier this year. Appointed by the British Esports Association to select the players and coaches in Scotland, Mr Hood describes the role as his ‘dream job’.
Esports Scotland has secured sponsorship from both Currys and GT Omega and, and, for the first time, can unveil the names of the team members joining Esports athletes from across the Commonwealth.
Two games will be played at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham – eFootball and Rocket League.
The team members playing eFootball are Coach Adam Ryan, who competes for the Scotland National team at Fifa; player Gary Mcinnes, who also competes for the Scotland National team at Fifa; and substitute player Mikolaj Zietek who plays for Manchester UTD eFootball team.
Meanwhile, competing in Rocket League are Coach Mark Exton, who coaches Rocket League for David Beckham’s Esports Organisation, Guild Esports); player and professional Streamer Jordan Drummond; player and Streamer Kelly Wyse; and player Sophie Stevenson, who competes in high-ranking Rocket League tournaments.
Esports Scotland, based at Dundee and Angus College, exists to facilitate and grow Esports in Scotland. With his team of 10 staff, Mr Hood has created a programme of activities and events for players regardless of the stage they have reached. From children playing Community Cups for fun in their bedroom to Battlegrounds, where players can compete for money, the organisation also brings the highest level of Esports players in Scotland together during the Scottish Esports League (SEL). SEL5 will take place at the Gardyne Campus of Dundee and Angus College later this year.
The newly acquired sponsorship will help fund videography, photography and content creation at the Commonwealth Esports Championships on 6 and 7 August 2022, allowing Esports Scotland to capture the performance and buzz of their seven days in Birmingham.
Mr Hood explained, “Esports is growing dramatically in terms of popularity and participation and the sponsorship will help position Esports Scotland as the leading Esports organisation in Scotland. We can now show the progression and the journey we take players on, from kids in their bedrooms to potentially winning a Gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. We have essentially carved a path of activities and tournaments to develop players as they progress through their Esports journey.
He added, “I’ve been pushing Esports constantly for five years so, to be heading to the Commonwealth Games is just amazing and brilliant validation for what we’ve been predicting and planning for since we launched back in 2017. It’s a wonderful honour to be involved and taking our place in history.
“We want to unite Scotland’s gamers, coaches and fans to represent what is a truly vibrant Esports community in Scotland and help them all bask in the glory of this global platform. Hopefully, we’ll also bring some Gold medals home! Four years from now, it would be wonderful to be representing Scotland at the Olympics in Los Angeles but, for now, we’re exceptionally proud to be taking part in this monumental event and seeing where it takes us.”
Nicholas Hayden, Head of Gaming at Currys, added: “We are delighted to be supporting the Scottish national team at the inaugural Commonwealth Esports Championship and to see esports being recognised with a pilot at such a prestigious event. At Currys, we have seen the explosion of esports first-hand and how the sport has matured into one which connects millions of young people, providing both entertainment and a sense of community. It will be exciting to see the impact of such a brilliant showcase as the Commonwealth Games, on the future of the sport. It will no doubt make for a thrilling event and we wish the Esports Scotland team and the rest of the competitors the best of luck.”
Meanwhile, Brian Copeland, Marketing Coordinator at GT Omega added, “It is a real honour for all of us here at GT Omega to be able to help support our National team in what has become one of the most exciting opportunities in Esports and Gaming in the UK. We're looking forward to seeing how the Scotland team perform on the big stage, and we can't wait for the next steps of Esports Scotland and British Esports as a whole!”