On February 11, Board Members of the Estonian Esports Federation met with the mayor of Narva to discuss the future of the town and, in particular, the development of the esports sector in the region. For Narva and the Ida-Virumaa region, esports can become a useful solution for solving most demographic and economic problems.
At the meeting, several important topics were touched upon, such as unemployment, the outflow of youth from the town and the region as a whole, and the current topic of a Just Transition. We see esports as one of the possible ways to solve these problems; a good example is Katowice, a Polish industrial town. This city is also considered small by Poland’s standards, but thanks to esports, it could become a tourist centre and profit more than 20 million euros per year. Narva has what it takes to replicate a small Polish town’s success, and we, as the official Estonian Esports Federation, will try to contribute to this.
More than 400,000 people play games in Estonia; 70% of the inhabitants are young people representing the country’s future. It is critically essential for Narva to retain and attract young people since, without the young generation, the region’s development is limited. Thus, esports can become a catalyst for developing social and business processes, attracting young people back to the area. This is facilitated by regular tournaments and large annual finals, esports events, and the first esports hub in Estonia.
Based on the meeting results, we can say that the Narva Municipality has a positive attitude towards the development of esports and is ready to support our initiative in the future. Narva is the start point of the European Union. We have an excellent opportunity to create an exemplary city by showing other EU countries and Russia what the people of Estonia can do. On behalf of the Estonian Esports Federation, we would like to thank the Mayor of Narva, Katri Raik, for the warm welcome and openness to innovation.