A Shoreham esports player has competed against some of the best gamers in the world at the inaugural NBA 2k League European qualifying event.
Jamie Bull, a professional gamer who competes in the basketball game NBA 2k, made the trip to London on December 13 in a bid to qualify for the prestigious NBA 2k League.
The Shoreham resident, who plays under the name VGooner, said the event coming to the UK was a sign that ‘big things are happening’.
“It feels great,” he said.
“It obviously took a lot of hard work to get here, but now I’ve got to try and stay focused and improve myself as the season goes on.
“It can get intense, especially in a 2K League studio where you’re sat across from the other gamers so it does get intense. The trash talk that you get in the league also adds to the intensity but it helps motivate you in the game as well.”
Competitors met at London’s Gfinity Arena, a purpose-built esports venue capable of hosting hundreds of gaming fans watching players perform on huge screens.
Esports have seen a surge in popularity over the last decade with the rise of streaming services and advances in computer games.
According to marketing analytics website newzoo.com, esports generated almost £700million in 2018 – an increase of 38 per cent from the previous 12 months.
Newzoo said that equates to a global audience of 380million viewers.
Jamie said the tournaments are a serious business that require dedication. After only picking up the game in 2014, he said he now practices ‘all day, every day’ to ensure he stays at the top of his game.
His main advice for new gamers it to keep working and put the hours in if you want to become professional.