AN empty building in Swindon is about to become a major battle arena.

And it’s thanks to a former resident who is gradually building his own empire in the world of gaming.

Rob West is offering gamers to chance to indulge in strategy, board and card games from his new premises in Victoria Road, bucking the digital trend form computer and console gaming.

The store will host tournaments and other events, creating an interactive battle arena offering players the chance to get together and compete in a sociable environment

Rob, the director of Firestorm Games, already has two stores in Cardiff and Newport, but he has always wanted to open a branch in Swindon.

“I have always loved this town and it’s the people who live there that make it a brilliant place,” he said. “I never thought I would get the chance to come back here to do this. I’m over the moon to be bringing this here, it’s a dream come true for me.

“This has been a huge life-change to pursue doing something I love but I haven’t looked back.

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“What’s important to us is that the store is a destination for people to be active, the gaming community can be isolated but we are the complete opposite to this.”

Rob has hosted huge war gaming and card gaming events that can attract between 200 and 300 participants.

A lot of the live events will be hosted by the companies who produce the games, including Games Workshop, Pokémon, Magic the Gathering and Final Fantasy.

The firm also streams its events on the internet to people all over the world. They get thousands of views on the organisation’s Twitch channel.

The new base, which will be at the former Renew Men’s Shed, is currently undergoing renovation and is set to open at the beginning of next month.

It will start off with 20 gaming tables.

The shop will also sell games and collectables.

Rob, who started his business in 2009 and now employs 20 people, said: “The reason I have been able to develop and progress to where I am at now is because I had the product knowledge and experience in this area of expertise before starting up. We let our customers determine what we stock and the events we host.”