HIAG is resolutely pursuing its goal of creating a distinctly entrepreneurial and innovative site in Biberist where different companies bring new concepts to life. The last paper machines of the former Papieri site paper plant have been sold, and by mid-2019, HIAG will be free to tackle the revitalisation of the entire site. Currently about 80% of the available surface area in Biberist is being used, and between 100 and 150 jobs have been created at the site. The new tenants include an innovative 3D printing company, for example, which produces custom parts for the downhill bike scene, among other things.
In the final phase, the Papieri site will be incorporated into Biberist as a new quarter with a lively mix of retail space, offices, unobtrusive businesses, many options for leisure activities and apartments. The Papieri site’s proximity to the railway station is also considered to be an advantage. In addition, the area of the Papieri site adjacent to Biberist is part of a residential zone, thus providing many opportunities for independent development towards the centre of the municipality.
The plan to establish an eSports hub at the Papieri site will provide new momentum and an attractive force that will spread beyond the municipality of Biberist to the entire region. STARK eSports, a leading European eSports agency, was secured as a partner that wants to put Biberist on the map in the eSports scene. Regular eSports events involving Swiss leagues will start in Biberist this year.
Five questions for Martin Wyss,
Managing Director of STARK eSports GmbH
What are eSports?
eSports is the term for various video games that are played on a competitive level. Teams and individual players compete against each other under tournament conditions. eSports is now considered the fastest growing market in the sports and entertainment industry in terms of audience figures.
With its subsidiary “skilled”, STARK eSports would like to build an eSports centre in Biberist. What are your plans?
Our goal is to bring different target groups to the Papieri site. That includes gamers, eSports athletes, tournament audiences and startups from the entertainment, eSports and technology sectors.
What opportunities does eSports offer partners such as Ringier or HIAG?
eSports makes it possible to access the young generation. The most recent studies show that people born between 1997 and 2012, what we refer to as “Generation Z”, consume more than six hours of various content daily, but only 20% of this content is read. eSports makes it possible to zero in on this target group.
How will you proceed?
First of all, we will establish our own tournament series. A tournament will take place every month in Biberist, in which up to 200 players will participate and compete in various video games. They will be able to win prize money of up to CHF 3’000 per tournament and title. That is the first step in placing Biberist in the eSports scene. We also want to build a junior academy dedicated to the themes of youth, gaming and addiction. In addition to the academy, we will offer a boot camp location for teams that want to prepare themselves for eSports competitions in Biberist. In our opinion, the Biberist site is ideally suited for a leisure centre based on the theme of eSports.
What will the future hold for Biberist?
I am convinced that our project can have a strong influence on the development of the Papieri site. As an eSports centre with an academy and gaming centre, it will have a positive impact that will radiate throughout the region and beyond. For the first time in Switzerland, a large eSports hub will be created at the Papieri site where tournaments and other exciting events will take place. Our tournament series will be sponsored by Ringier for the 2019 season. Ringier will report on the events regularly. And our main goal is to be able to run our own eSports team in Biberist that participates in the top tournaments internationally.