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North Carolina establishes fund to attract esports events

State will pay up to 25% of qualifying expenses for gaming competitions, committing up to $5m a year

When North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed the state's annual budget into law last week, he also established the Esports Industry Grant Fund to encourage gaming companies to hold their competitions within the state.

The fund is targeted at larger events (costing at least $250,000 to run), and offers to reimburse up to 25% of the money such events spend on in-state goods and services, compensation, and benefits.

The state's Department of Commerce will issue grant awards to qualifying companies over the next three years, with a maximum of $5 million in grant money committed in each year.

The measure was proposed by North Carolina House Senior Appropriations Chair Rep. Jason Saine, who this week welcomed its passage.

"This is not just about the esports competition and the game play, it's really about the opportunity to get all generations and groups involved in education and technology, and really fostering that as a way that we build a world-class workforce for the future and higher paying jobs for everybody," Saine said.

"When you think about recruitment of esports productions and events, what this program allows us to do is showcase not only our state, but also win a lot of business that we wouldn't have secured otherwise."

The fund was also supported by the Greater Raleigh Esports Local Organizing Committee and gaming and esports holding company Subnation Media.

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Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.