Irish News

Minister Coveney TD officially opens Ireland’s first esports academy

By David Monaghan
07 March 2023
Pictured: David Cronin co-founder of WYLDE, Summer Thompson, WYLDE player, Paul Higgins, VP of Commercial, Virgin Media, Minister Simon Coveney and Steve Daly co-founder of WYLDE, Minister Simon Coveney officially opening Ireland’s first professional esports training centre, the WYLDE Academy powered by Virgin Media, in Cork. Photography By Gerard McCarthy.

WYLDE Academy, powered by Virgin Media broadband, officially opens in Cork

Ireland’s first professional esports training centre, the WYLDE Academy, powered by Virgin Media broadband, was officially opened yesterday, Monday 6th, 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.

Speaking at the official opening of the WYLDE Academy in Republic of Work in Cork, Minister 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, the WYLDE Rainbow Six Siege team now competes in Ubisoft’s top tier European League (EUL).

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.

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