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Why Esports in Waterloo Region

The reason is simple: Esports is the fastest-growing segment of the entertainment industry.

According to NewZoo, competitive video gaming or esports continues to grow around the world. The esports industry was estimated to be worth $1.1 billion in 2021, a 15.7% growth year-over-year.

The audience for esports in Canada is growing and so are the players. People are choosing to specialize in the industry and pursue a professional career in esports. By all estimates, Canada’s esports community is bound to continue growing. And Waterloo Region is poised to be a major player in that growth.

The Spirit of Technology, Sports and Esports Intersect in Waterloo Region

Waterloo Region, Ontario . . . go ahead, Google it!  You’ll see that the region is renowned as Canada’s technology capital.  It’s a hub of intelligence, education and innovation. Global tech companies including Google, Shopify and Blackberry are based in Waterloo Region. Gaming companies like Odessy Interactive – who are creating games for the next generation of players – and Horrible Unicorns Game Studios have also chosen Waterloo to be their home base. 

Waterloo Region’s vibrant tech sector is just one of the reasons why the region is set to thrive in the esports market. The region’s three post-secondary institutions – University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College — all boast their own esports programs and are elevating the reputation of this region for esports globally.

Waterloo Region is also a sought-after market for local, regional and national sporting events. 

With a fully supportive ecosystem already in place, Waterloo Region is set to make its mark as an esports leader in Canada. 

orange and blue logo of the Waterloo Region Esports Commission

Waterloo Region Esports Commission

Given the strength and assets of Waterloo Region’s technology and educational sectors, Waterloo Region saw an incredible opportunity to bring key partners together to further support the development and growth of esports within the community.

The Waterloo Region Esports Commission (WREC) was launched in March 2021. Comprised of a diverse group of local civic, sports, and business leaders including video game developers, the vision of the WREC is clear: to position Waterloo Region as a key Esports Destination. 

The WREC will ensure this vision becomes reality through the following goals:

  • Secure partnership & funding
  • Investment in local programs, events and activities
  • Attract event and entertainment producers
  • Drive economic impact and job growth
  • Convert and recruit participants to stay/live/work/play/study
  • Support learning experiences and educational initiatives

The WREC works to help bring esports events, camps, leagues, tournaments, teams, and other related gaming activities to Waterloo Region. It also supports the local gaming community and scholastic programs. 

Bring Your Game to Waterloo Region

Esports tournament organizers and event producers can feel confident knowing that Waterloo Region is experienced in hosting domestic and international visitors and can offer esport players and fans a welcome alternative to expensive and congested larger cities.

Waterloo Region is only 90 minutes from downtown Toronto and 55 minutes from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ). The Region of Waterloo International Airport also provides a hassle-free alternative with daily flights to and from cities across Canada.

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