H20 unfolds plans for the largest permanent gaming centre and esports stadium in Europe (10,000 m2). That will be located in Purmerend (Amsterdam, Waterland). After years of preparation, the world finally gets to know the great ambitions of H20. In the presence of local, regional and national media, initiators Dirk Tuip and Matthijs Vink spoke on behalf of the H20 Foundation about the plans. Councilor 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 fall of 2019 H20 will open its doors in Purmerend. A sports hall and school building of 10,000 m2 in total will be converted into the largest gaming, esports and creative tech centre in Europe.
Dirk Tuip about H20
Five years ago, tech entrepreneur and creator Dirk Tuip wanted an IT / tech campus in the centre of Purmerend, where students, startups and companies interact in one building on a daily basis. “This has failed for various reasons, but we used the experiences of the past three years of preparation for this project. It is possible that we are too early for something so big in the Netherlands, but we rather be too early than too late. ”
Purmerend is no longer a sleeping city
Mario Hegger, Councilor for Economics in 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 large support from the City Council for this project. A large majority approved a budget of € 300,000 for the maintenance of this sports hall. H20 also receives a rent discount in the first two years so they have the time to start their concept.
With the arrival of the H20 Campus Purmerend becomes, as a centrally located city within the Amsterdam metropolitan area, the main attraction in gaming and the technology of the future. This will open doors for big economic opportunities and attract new businesses and talents. I also think it is important that H20 starts a dialogue with young people about responsible online behavior. It is also good to see that there is attention for the new trend in which gaming and physical exercise go together. We see great opportunities from both social and economic perspectives and that is why we are happy to support H20,” says Mario Hegger.
Esports is a professional sport
Co-founder Matthijs Vink talked about the comparisons between his experiences as a professional handball player in Spain – where he was a professional for more than ten years – and what he sees with esporters now. “It is about passion, ambition and inspiration. At first I was skeptical about gaming, but in the last two years I came to the conclusion that they have exactly the same passion and ambition as I once had when I went abroad. That is what H20 is about. Create opportunities for talents so they can discover how good they can become in esports. I see many similarities between professional sport and esports. I think both worlds can learn a lot from each other. Not everyone manage to become a professional athlete, but that’s 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 in the jobs of the future.
Opening H20 esports voor einde van het jaar
The renovation of Sporthal de Koogmolen at Spinnekop 1, Purmerend starts on June 3. The school building will follow in two months. This will be renovated into the campus. A campus for 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 stories about our plans. The opening of the esports gaming stadium will follow later this year. The campus will be ready early next year. But we cannot do this alone. We are actively looking for partners to help us expand this permanent location into something unique in Europe. At least we are happy that we can finally start now. “