A proposed facility would add esports to the list of competitions you can train for at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex if it survives a public hearing and gains council’s approval.
The proposal for an esports training facility, to be operated by Adamas Esports, at the Fortius Centre gained initial approval from city council Monday night, passing the required zoning amendment on for a public hearing next month.
The facility would allow professional and amateur gamers to train for competitive multiplayer video games such as Fortnite and Overwatch. But because the facility would include the use of more than five computer terminals – 12 terminals, to be exact – the property needs to be zoned to allow a cyber centre, and such a zoning amendment will need to go before the public in a hearing.
A staff report, which was received with little comment from councillors, notes the growing interest in professional video games, with viewership of events like the League of Legends World Championship counting in the millions.
There are several esports leagues around the world and teams local to Metro Vancouver, including the Vancouver Titans, a Canucks-owned Overwatch team.
The facility would be a gaming academy serving the Lower Mainland, and would allow students to come once a week to train for an esports career. It would include education and training like coding, social media management and video editing to work on one’s personal brand as a gamer.
But it would also include training for everything from maintaining positive mental health, nutrition, sleep and recovery, physical training and cognitive skills.
The proposal is supported by staff, as it fits with a handful of the city’s priorities, including encouraging a connected, dynamic and inclusive community.
“Although the use technically meets the description of a cyber centre as defined in the zoning bylaw, the original concerns around cyber centres such as violence and gang activity are not considered likely outcomes related to the proposed facility,” staff wrote in their report.
The proposal, which is set to go to a public hearing on Nov. 19, would take up just under 51 square metres of the second floor of the Fortius centre.