Valhallan, a fast-growing US-born esports franchise whose mission is to guide players to realise their potential in both esports and in life, has arrived in the UK. With youth esports programmes in high demand, Valhallan looks to open training arena franchises to serve children and families in markets throughout the UK. 
In expanding to British soil, this thriving franchise will help young people explore their passion for video gaming, whilst allowing them to be part of a team and escape the isolation that young gamers may experience at home. Valhallan keeps players engaged by balancing education and competition, with an 18-month programme that emphasises the fun of competitive gaming, whilst also teaching life skills and 
values such as sportsmanship and teamwork. 
David Graham, an experienced entrepreneur, franchisor and a long-time gamer, founded Valhallan to help children learn and engage using video games. The timing could not be better. A 2021 study found 
that 82% of kids aged between 12-15 play video games. For younger children, results showed that 72% of 8- to 11-year-olds and 41% of 5- to 7-year-olds play video games of some kind 1 . Valhallan originated out 
of a belief that video games can be a means for enriching the lives of young people whilst creating a community. With the lack of existing esports programmes both in the UK and the USA that combine education and competition, Valhallan was created to provide an inclusive and engaging space for young people to learn life skills whilst having fun competing in video games. In addition to esports training 
arenas, Valhallan aims to launch the United Kingdom Esports League (UKEL) in the coming months. The UKEL will provide the competitive side of Valhallan’s offering, hosting local, regional and national tournaments, where children can compete and prove their skills against teams both from inside and outside of Valhallan. The UKEL will join the North American Esports League (NAEL) and other global leagues to enter worldwide tournaments. 
Matt Phillips, Valhallan brand president, has experience of being an entrepreneur, franchisor and franchise owner. He wanted to find an interactive way to teach business and mathematics to his high-functioning autistic 15-year-old son. Seeing his son’s love for gaming and competition, Matt decided to become a franchise owner, launching his own training arena to help his son and other young people alike. “We know that today, kids aren’t joining traditional athletic teams as much as they used to, and so we want to give them an opportunity to be on a team, and be able to communicate as a team member,” says Matt. “At Valhallan, we combine team IQ, player IQ and game IQ, teaching young people from all different backgrounds the value of teamwork and how to communicate in a highly competitive environment.” 
Now expanding into the UK, Valhallan recognises the passion young people have for video games. With an increase in gaming popularity comes an increased desire for esports, and Valhallan’s desire to focus on education and competition is what makes the brand distinctive. 
“Operating a Valhallan esports training arena is a unique experience,” added Matt. “You don’t need gaming knowledge – the curriculum and your coaches will provide the expertise needed. You’ll be able to cheer your players on alongside their parents and become a top fan of your teams. From daily practice and regular competitions to birthday parties and camps, you are fully immersed in Valhallan, supporting players every step of their journey.” 
Valhallan is fast establishing itself as the leading esports franchise for young people worldwide. Having just held its first UK Discovery Day in London on 28 th July, the company plans to hold UK Discovery Days 
quarterly. With plans for further expansion in the UK, US and Canada, now is the time to embrace the esports revolution and become involved in improving young people’s lives. 
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