Twickenham Stadium has furthered its connection to esports by establishing a strategic partnership with UK-based organisation Excel Esports.

Through the deal, Excel will become the London venue’s resident esports team and has developed a dedicated training facility, XLHQ, within the stadium, which is the headquarters of English rugby union.

“We’ve been discussing strategic initiatives around esports with the team at Twickenham Stadium for more than a year now,” Kieran Holmes-Darby, managing director of Excel Esports told the Esports Observer website.

“With the team here already putting on some fantastic esports events within the stadium, it felt like the logical next step for them was to have an official resident esports team setup with their own space. There are a whole host of projects and activations that we can create from this alliance and we look forward to bringing these to life for our communities.”

Holmes-Darby continued: “The separation of training and living space is a vital component of our approach that differentiates us from a lot of other teams in Europe. Basing this facility in Twickenham Stadium enables us to speak with Performance Experts from outside of esports and gives us considerable legitimacy when engaging with them.”

Twickenham has prior history when it comes to esports. Last year, the FACEIT organisation announced that it would centralise its FACEIT Minors series of events for the first time, with Twickenham playing host. Holmes-Darby believes Excel’s association with Twickenham will have commercial benefits for the organisation.

“It is really important for us to gain this credibility with a wider audience of people,” he said. “Also, working with the team at Twickenham Stadium opens us up to a great breadth of commercial expertise. This collaboration will thus expand our commercial offering.”

Holmes-Darby added: “We feel this gives us a unique space within the esports industry, allowing fans of esports within the UK to have a team that they can root for. Aligning with a household name when it comes to traditional sports stadiums here in the UK certainly strengthens this branding play.”

Image: Maxwell Hamilton