Hello festivalPass listeners, welcome back to another episode of festivalPass Stories! This week, our host Pat Tully interviews an insider of an industry that’s taken the live events arena by storm. It’s our honor to introduce President and Co-Founder of Grow uP eSports, Fernando Pereira. Video games are no longer the shiny new toy that they used to be.

After decades of creating the market, huge strides in graphics, and expanding into cross-platform online play, gaming has moved home entertainment into another realm that many thought was not possible. Yet, if you think there’s no way that video games could get any bigger, think again. Competitive gaming, also known as eSports, has burst onto the scene. No longer is playing a game like Super Smash Bros, a friendly clash between bros. Now, some video games are played in front of thousands of people, millions of viewers online, and for a hefty purse. Fernando Pereira had this vision of a packed arena for a gaming tournament, long before the mainstream did. Before Fernando was known internationally as one of the pioneers of eSports, he was just a kid who loved video games. Growing up in Portugal, Fernando saw that video games could transition into a profession, especially in his home country where he noticed the potential growth in the industry. So, 15 years ago, Fernando started the Grow uP eSports gaming association.

Today, Grow uP is the largest multi-gaming society in Portugal, and the company continues to expand rapidly. It didn’t take long for Grow uP to become a global operation. Now Fernando’s creation has thousands of members and teammates from all over the world. But still, what’s so great about Fernando and Grow uP eSport’s mission, is that it’s not just about dominating the competition and winning championships, it’s more about being ambassadors for the gaming community, and shedding a positive light on a stigmatized profession. They are doing groundbreaking work in this capacity; most recently advocating for diversity in professional gaming through the Girl Gamer Dubai Festival, which is an all-female gaming festival, formed to encourage talented young ladies to join the community. eSports isn’t just about competitiveness, it’s about meeting people and having fun. Honestly, there might not be a more entertaining and safe way to communicate in the age of Covid-19, than online gameplay.

If you want to get invited to the biggest pro gaming festivals, join the Grow uP community today! “Brands finally understood, if they want to communicate with a younger audience; it’s not watching tv, it’s not listening to the radio, it’s not reading the newspaper. They’re playing video games.” - Fernando Pereira

Catch the interview on Festival Pass Stories! https://festivalpass.com/stories

You can find Fernando on: Fernando Pereira’s Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/imissapixel/ Grow uP ESports’ Website- http://growupesports.com GIRLGAMER Festival’s Website- https://girlgamer.gg Fernando Pereira’s Twitter- https://twitter.com/imissapixel

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