A competitive video gaming facility has been opened at a Royal Navy base in Gosport.

The Commanding Officer of HMS Sultan was joined by representatives from the Royal Navy Video Games and Esports Association (RNVGEA) for the official opening of the HMS Sultan eSports Facility.

Commanding Officer at HMS Sultan Captain Jo Deakin OBE has just opened the eSports Facility inside the Gearbox bar, within the Junior Rates Amenities Centre.

HMS Sultan is one of the first eSports facilities within the Royal Navy.

The facility was formed with the assistance of the RNVGEA, and charitable donations from the Royal Navy and the Sports Lottery.

Competitive video gaming - called eSports - is becoming increasingly popular, diverse, and recognised for its mental fitness and other benefits.

The HMS Sultan Esports Club, will help operate the new eSports facility and encourage others to join the community, for online PC and console gaming on site.

Esports Club coordinator, Petty Officer Air Engineering Technician, Andrew Elliott said: “eSports is a growing community of competitive gamers, and it’s great that HMS Sultan has embraced it.

“The club is open to all personnel interested in gaming and Esports regardless of level and platform format.

“We will be open alternate weeknights and each Saturday with both competitive and casual gamers welcome.

“Having plenty of machines mean that many people can play together in a specially set up environment, adding to the immersive experience.

“Our thanks go to the RN Video Games and Esports Association, the RNRMC and RN Sports Lottery for all their support which made this possible.”

Video gaming can play an important role in honing reflexes, sharpening tactical thinking, developing problem solving skills, and boost focus.

Competitive tournaments usually consist of gamers competing against one another for prizes and rewards.

The Royal Navy currently have over 150 members playing, from casual players to regular gamers, and those competing nationally in events and competitions.

Honorary President of the RNVGEA, Captain Suzi Nielsen OBE said: “eSports provide our people with an ability to communicate with each other and to build new friendships, giving them something different to do outside the working day which offers a bit of escapism, but with a massive collaborative element to it all."