Valhallan to open esports arena in Ealing after signing its first UK franchisees

Valhallan franchise Vivek Amit

US-born youth esports initiative Valhallan has signed its first UK franchisees and will open an arena in Earling next year.

Childhood friends turned entrepreneurs, Dr Amit Sra and Vivek Behl (pictured), will launch the first ever Valhallan arena on this side of the Atlantic in early 2023.

When the first UK arena opens its doors in Ealing, London, it aims to provide local young gamers with ‘an engaging programme that balances education and competition, whilst also teaching notable life skills such as sportsmanship and teamwork’.

The arena aims to be a social hub for young players, no matter their background.

Former teacher and father of two, Vivek, will use his background in education to make Valhallan’s first UK arena a place for young people to learn new skills whilst meeting like-minded people.

“What first attracted me to Valhallan was the brand’s belief that gaming can be a means for creating a community for young people,” said Vivek.

“Valhallan provides a place where parents can feel assured that their child is in a safe environment that enables them to succeed, meet new people and establish skills for any future career.

“There is such a huge demographic of young people who love video games, and there is a growing demand from parents and players for healthy outlets, made clear by the brand’s success in the US. Valhallan’s fantastic business model and the lack of such spaces in the UK meant we were confident that the success seen in the US could be attained here.

valhallan esports logo

“Ealing is just the beginning for us. After our first location is up and running, we hope to open another six arenas across the region. 2023 is looking to be an exciting year!”

Vivek Behl, Valhallan

There’s also the Valhallan Esports League (VHEL), with the Rise to Ragnarok competition taking place January 14th and 15th 2023.

The free Rise to Ragnarok competition will be the inaugural event held by the VHEL, bringing coached youth teams from all over the globe to compete against teams in their peer groups in games such as Fortnite, Rocket League, Valorant, Overwatch 2 and Apex Legends. Teams will be split into skill-based divisions.

From now until January 13th 2023, coach-led teams can register for Rise to Ragnarok here for free or with a donation to Autism Speaks.

Medical doctor and fellow father of two, Amit, added: “After witnessing how the world reacted to the pandemic and how playing video games in our homes was one of the ways that young people could stay in touch, I noticed there was a need for an inclusive and engaging space where young gamers can connect.

“Our overarching aim is to bring a community spirit into play and make our arena a pivotal place where young people can network and socialise while learning valuable gaming and life skills.”

Valhallan launched in the US earlier this year and looked to expand globally. It acquired Nxt Up Esports, the United Federation of Esports Athletes and the North American Esports League.

David Graham, CEO of Valhallan, commented: “Bringing Valhallan to the UK is an exciting step for our brand, and Amit and Vivek launching the first arena here is another big milestone for us.

“The need for a destination-based esports hub for young people who love gaming that combines education and competition has been evident in the US. Nothing like Valhallan exists currently in the UK, and I’m thrilled to see our first franchisees respond to this demand, guiding players to realise their potential across the pond.”

The esports education space has ramped up in the UK in recent years, with many companies and educational institutions getting involved.

There’s more info over at

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