The largest permanent gaming centre and esports stadium in Europe (10,000 m2) is coming to Purmerend (Amsterdam Waterland). After years of preparation the world can finally know about H20's big ambitions. Under the watchful eye of local, regional and national media, initiators Dirk Tuip and Matthijs Vink talked about the plans on behalf of Stichting H20. Alderman Mario Hegger on behalf of the Municipality of Purmerend and Koen Schobbers, the first professional esporter in the Netherlands, played a match against each other in the virtual world. In the autumn of 2019, H20 will open its doors in Purmerend: a sports hall and school building totalling 10,000 m2 will be converted into Europe's largest centre for gaming, esports and creative tech.
Dirk Tuip about H20
Tech-entrepreneur and inventor Dirk Tuip already wanted an IT/tech campus in the centre of Purmerend five years ago, where students, startups and companies would interact daily in one building. "This failed for all sorts of reasons, but we have taken the experiences of the past three years of preparation for this project on board. It may well be that we are too early for something this big in the Netherlands, but we would rather be too early than too late."
Municipality of Purmerend no longer a sleeping town
Mario Hegger, Alderman for Economic Affairs of the Municipality of Purmerend, was a very happy man. Not only because he was allowed to compete via Virtual Reality Gaming with former professional esporter Koen Schobbers. "Last week, there was very broad support for this project from the Town Council. A large majority approved a budget of €300,000 for the maintenance of this sports hall. H20 will also receive a rent reduction for the first two years to give them time to get their concept off the ground.
With the advent of the H20 Campus, Purmerend, as a centrally located town within the Amsterdam metropolitan region, will become the magnet for gaming and the technology of the future. This will open doors to major economic opportunities and tap into new markets and talents. I also think it is important that H20 starts a dialogue with young people about responsible online behaviour. It is also good to see that attention is being paid to the new trend of combining gaming and physical exercise. From all these social and economic angles, we see great opportunities and that is why we are happy to support H20," said Mario Hegger.
Esports is top-class sport
Co-founder Matthijs Vink talked about the comparisons between his experiences as a top handball player in Spain - where he was a professional for more than ten years - and what he sees now among esports players. "In the end, it's about passion, ambition and inspiration. Where I used to be sceptical about gaming, in the last two years I have seen more and more that they have exactly the same passion and ambition as I once had when I went abroad. That is what H20 is all about. Offering opportunities to talent so they can discover how good they can become in esports. I see a lot of similarities between top-level sports and esports. I think both worlds can learn a lot from each other. Not everyone will make it to become a top athlete, but that's exactly why we want to guide young people in their social career," says Matthijs Vink.
H20 wants to offer future talents the chance of a career in esports or the jobs of the future.
Opening H20 esports before the end of the year
The rebuilding of Sporthal de Koogmolen on Spinnekop will start on Monday 3 June. The school building will follow in two months. This will be renovated to become the campus. With offices and workplaces for students, startups and companies in the field of gaming, esports and creative tech. Dirk Tuip: "Our website www.h20.gg is now live with visuals and backgrounds about our plans. The completion of the hall and thus the opening of the esports gaming stadium will follow later this year. The completion of the campus will take place early next year. But we cannot do this alone. We are actively looking for partners to help us build this permanent venue into something unique in Europe. We are happy that we can now at least really get started."
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About H20 esports:
H20 will be a platform for Developing the Next Generation through gaming, esports and creative tech. Esports is a strong growth market with which youth and young adults feel strongly connected. The H20 Campus brings worlds together and explicitly connects with personal development, competition and education. Gamers, esporters and influencers are the developers of the future. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitch and Discord via H20 esports.