Minister Coveney officially opens Ireland's first esports academy
WYLDE Academy Powered by Virgin Media Officially Opens in Cork
Cork, 6 March 2023: Ireland’s first professional esports training centre, the WYLDE Academy powered by Virgin Media, was officially opened today (Monday) by Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment Simon Coveney T.D.
Based in Ireland, WYLDE esports, co-owned by Usain Bolt, competes in major esports titles and tournaments around the world. The WYLDE Academy is a high performance centre for national and international professionals to train in a world class facility powered by Virgin Media superfast broadband.
Speaking at the official opening of the WYLDE Academy in Republic of Work, Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment Simon Coveney T.D. said: “There is such a high level of expertise, commitment and professionalism required to compete and win globally in the world of esports. These WYLDE players are a new generation of talented and ambitious professionals mentored by the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt. It is wonderful to see such global ambition in the world’s fastest growing sport from an indigenous Irish company.”
“The opening of the WYLDE Academy is another step in our journey towards ensuring that Ireland is at the forefront of professional esports internationally. Sponsors like Virgin Media and PUMA have made it possible for us to create a training base in Cork for some of the world’s best talent. This country has an opportunity to create significant employment in the area of gaming and esports for future generations”, said David Cronin, co-founder of WYLDE.
Vice President of Commercial at Virgin Media, Paul Higgins said: “Virgin Media recognise the audiences, engagement rates and growth of gaming and esports across the globe. Our strategic partnership with WYLDE ensures that we are supporting the development of Irish esports as we align with Ireland’s first professional esports academy.”
On the international stage, as one of the top teams in Europe, the WYLDE Rainbow Six Siege team now competes in Ubisoft’s top tier European League (EUL) following a rapid rise to the top. In 2022, WYLDE won the EU Gamers Without Borders Championship securing a $250,000 donation to UNICEF, and went on to the global semi-final of the $2 million Gamers 8 tournament in Saudi Arabia, beating Team Liquid and former World Champions Space Station Gaming along the way. WYLDE then went on to win Ubisoft GSA Grand Final Trophy in Germany. WYLDE fields international teams in Riot Games ‘Valorant’, EA’s ‘FIFA’ and Psyonix’s ‘Rocket League’. The company recently unveiled PUMA as their official kit sponsor globally in what was described as a ‘significant’ multi-year sponsorship deal.
This new partnership positions Virgin Media at the forefront of gaming in Ireland, working with Usain Bolt’s WYLDE esports organisation, to grow Ireland’s roster of world-class esports athletes.