Esports in the UK is already a huge industry, and it is only going to get bigger. As video games have become the go-to entertainment platform for many, their competitive nature has created many esports leagues and major events. The beauty of esports is that there are a variety of disciplines. You have first-person-shooters, sports games, sim racing, and real-time strategy competitions taking place constantly throughout the world for big money.
Within the UK it is no different. We now have a number of highly skilled and professional teams, new companies joining the industry all the time, and associations being set up to help promote and educate parents and adults on the upcoming industry.
From May 31st to June 2nd, a major competition will be taking place in the heart of the UK – Birmingham. ESL One is the basis for a 12-team competition of DOTA, a multiplayer online battle arena created by gaming industry veterans Valve.
The competition comes with prize money of $300,000, which shows just how far esports has come in such a short space of time. Along with the DOTA tournament, there will also be many other events for fans to get excited about should they attend.
Held in the Birmingham Arena, this event is sure to be huge and will only continue to get bigger as esports grows.
Fifa esports Premier League
Football clubs have realised that esports is a burgeoning industry. In 2019, the first esports Premier League was held with 40 of the UK’s best Fifa players taking part in the final.
The tournament ran for three months and each Premier League club hosted at least one of the playoff matches at their own stadium. The tournament was ran in partnership between the Premier League and EA Sports. With the success of the first year of the tournament, don’t be surprised to see it coming back next year bigger and better. Next stop, the Champions League?
The UK government
It isn’t just big business that is becoming involved in esports in the UK. The British government is actively taking an interest in the sector as well. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has set up a committee to investigate the potential of esports.
Whilst this could be viewed with excitement – government funding for esports infrastructure will only help the industry grow – there are other important issues that they will be considering. One key issue is the rise of microtransactions within video games, which has come in for plenty of criticism from not only governments and parents, but the gaming community itself.
Microtransactions in video games have proven to be an extremely lucrative business. The morality issue of targeting children with such transactions has been the source of plenty of debate though, and it is unsurprising that the government is looking at this issue.
The British Esports Association
The British Esports Association is a “not-for-profit national body set up to promote esports in the UK, increase its level of awareness, improve standards, and inspire future talent”.
Created in 2016, the association is the first for esports in the UK and aims to encourage both kids and parents to explore esports as a viable platform and a positive hobby that children can partake in. They host events, partner with companies, and visit schools to educate and promote the world of esports. They also provide career advice for children interested in the industry.
The British Esports Association provides a useful service in both education and promotion in an industry that is sometimes misunderstood but growing rapidly.
Growth of UK-based esports teams
The UK has several major esports teams, many with major sponsors. From Team Dignitas to Prophecy, UK-based esports teams are thriving both domestically and internationally. Playing a wide variety of games from Rocket League to Battlefield to League of Legends, the UK hasn’t been slow to jump on the esports hype train.
Of course, other nations such as Japan, South Korea, and the USA also have a plethora of highly competitive teams. As the industry continues to grow, we can expect more professionalisation of these teams as well as even bigger prize money coupled with even more sponsors.
Let’s hope that our UK teams do the nation proud.
Esports in the UK
Esports in the UK is a thriving industry and is set to continue to grow even further. With big business such as the Premier League becoming involved and the increase in sponsorship, esports is likely to end up with an even higher profile on our TV screens.
It is also possible game developers will build their video games more specifically for the esports market, further increasing the variety of popular competitive games.
If you are from the UK and interested in esports, there has never been a better time to get involved with the industry.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.