eSports players

British youth charity, the Rio Ferdinand Foundation has partnered with esports organisation LDN UTD to host the inaugural LDN UTD Inter-Borough Esports Championships.

Set up by the former professional footballer turned BT Sport Pundit, Rio Ferdinand, the two organisations aim to tackle youth unemployment through engagement with esports. 

Rio Ferdinand
Image credit: Jacques Feeney / Getty Images

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The competition will see young people from the Hackney, Kingston, Lambeth and Lewisham boroughs get together and compete in FIFA21 and NBA 2K21 competitions. Attendees also have the opportunity to participate in a host of digital workshops around employability and skills relevant to careers in esports, such as video editing, social media management, and graphic design.

The workshops will be run by multiple universities which have partnered with the event, including Staffordshire University and its growing esports programs, as well as University of Salford and University of East London

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The initiative will also see FaZe Clan’s Tassal ‘Tass’ Rushan — a renowned FIFA competitor with over 270,000 YouTube subscribers more than $57,000 (£43,256) in total FIFA prize earnings, speak and offer insights to attendees. 

Having been endorsed by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and backed by his Sport Unites programme, the event will likely also offer networking opportunities for young people keen to work in the esports industry. There will also be opportunities for some participants to intern for LDN UTD, according to the organisation.

Esports Insider says: While what the Rio Ferdinand Foundation is bringing to the table is yet unclear, it’s good to see another organisation get in on this initiative, which has a lot of potential for addressing the broader problem of youth unemployment the UK is experiencing right now. It would be good to see programs like this rolled out in other areas of the UK with high employment, such as the northeast of England. 

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