Esports in the UK continues to progress, and last year saw the return of some big physical events, as well as some impressive wins for homegrown talent here.
Tundra Esports win The International 2022:
A UK-based esports organisation caused a surprise result in one of esports’ biggest ever tournaments last year: The Dota 2 International (TI).
Tundra Esports’ Dota 2 team features a mix of nationalities – Skiter (Slovakia), Nine (Germany), 33 (Israel), Saksa (North Macedonia) and Sneyking (USA), but the organisation are headquartered in London, and they made history by winning TI 11.
It was Tundra’s first TI win, the first for an esports organisation based in the UK and arguably one of UK esports’ biggest victories in recent years.
Moist Esports win London Rocket League Major as events return:
Speaking of big UK esports victories, this story featured two in one. Firstly, London hosting its first major esports event since the pandemic, and secondly, a team featuring UK talent becoming champions on home soil.
The Copperbox Arena hosted the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) Spring Major 2022, attracting a passionate, noisy and spirited crowd, who watched Moist Esports trio Rise (UK), Joyo (UK) and Vatira (France), along with coach Noah (UK), beat Falcons 4-3 and 4-0 in a thrilling Spring Major final.
Other physical esports events also returned to the UK in 2022, including two Insomnia Gaming Festivals in Birmingham, a Valorant LAN in Manchester towards the end of the year and more.
Sim racing successes:
The UK has a host of exhilarating sim racing talent and once again showed in 2022 why they deserve to stand among the world’s best.
Here are just some of the UK’s sim racing successes in 2022:
- British driver Oliver Rowland wins 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual with Team Redline
- Two British teens – Deagen Fairclough and Monica Boulton Ramos – win Rokit Racing Star esports competition, gaining access to £500,000 Formula 4 training programme
- British sim racer James Baldwin wins Alpine Esports Series Championship
- Williams Esports claim 6 big sim racing wins in a single weekend
- Jonathan Riley wins 2022 Ferrari Velas Esports Series (pictured above)
- €100,000 Formula E esports finals take place in London
- McLaren Shadow win 2022 F1 Esports Series title double with Lucas Blakeley
- London-based Gfinity continues to host record-breaking F1 Esports Series
Elsewhere, outside of traditional sim racing, in Trackmania, Pac was named Trackmania player of the year in early 2022, as his UK organisation MNM Gaming picked up team of the year, plus he won the Arctic Gaming Experience tournament later in the year. Another UK org in Trackmania, Into the Breach, made it into the Trackmania Grand League.
UK Home Nations secure 11 medals at Commonwealth Esports Championships:
The UK’s home nation esports teams picked up 11 medals in the inaugural Commonwealth Esports Championships in Birmingham last summer.
Esports England won five medals, Esports Wales picked up three, Esports Scotland earned two silver medals and Esports Northern Ireland claimed a gold medal in women’s eFootball.
British Esports worked with the home nations to help select their teams, with the event the result of a partnership between the Global Esports Federation and the Commonwealth Games Federation. Read more about the Commonwealth Esports Championships winners on the Global Esports website.
Endpoint extend reign as UK CSGO kings:
UK esports team organisation Endpoint cemented their position at the top of UK & Ireland Counter-Strike at the end of 2022, with another ESL Premiership grand final win.
It was Endpoint’s eighth Prem win in a row, and their tenth overall. The side have also qualified for the ESL Pro League Season 17 Conference following this latest victory.
UK continues to show its strength on the fighting game stage:
As well as sim racing, and other games like Call of Duty and Rocket League, the UK is also proficient in the fighting game community (FGC).
In 2022, some achievements in this genre included:
- The4Philzz (pictured) picks up silver at Global Esports Games 2022 – get to know The4Philzz in this interview here.
- Bloom4Eva wins VCA 2022 Super Smash Brothers Ultimate in Austria at the age of 16
- Another new shining UK talent, Ending Walker, wins Ultimate Fighting Arena 2022 in Street Fighter V also aged 16.
- AyoRichie wins Red Bull Golden Letters.
This UK Apex Legends player joined a team as an emergency sub, got a last-minute flight and ended up winning a major tournament:
Winning a major esports tournament is hard enough, let alone doing it with players you barely know. But that was the case for British Apex Legends player Jmw, who was called up as an emergency last-minute substitute for Reignite in the Global Series (ALGS) Split 2 Playoffs.
He had never spoken to his team prior to the tournament, and was called up after one of their players – Genburten – contracted Covid days before the LAN event was due to start in Stockholm. After catching a last-minute flight to Sweden to reach the tournament on time, he ended up winning the whole thing. You can read more about Jmw’s Apex Legends victory here.
Big teams secure sponsorships:
Some of the top UK-based esports organisations continued to secure big-name sponsorships in 2022, including Guild Esports’ landmark three-year partnership with Sky that saw the Guild London HQ renamed to the Sky Guild Gaming Centre.
Guild also signed a £4.5m deal with Bitstamp at the start of 2022, while other UK-based organisations like Excel Esports struck deals with the likes of JD and EE last year.
Team UK win PUBG Nations Cup:
In June 2022, Team United Kingdom defeated 15 other rosters to be crowned the PUBG Nations Cup 2022 champions at the Iconsiam in Bangkok, Thailand.
The roster – consisting of vard, Fexx, TeaBone and mykLe, finished first place with a total of 203 points to claim $100,000 after four days of PUBG esports action.
£5m esports complex opens, hosts British Esports Student Champs finals:
Education provider Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, part of Nottingham Trent University, opened Confetti X in 2022 – a £5m, 14,000 sq ft dedicated esports production complex.
Confetti struck a partnership with NUEL, which runs the Amazon University Esports tournaments in the UK and Ireland along with GGTech, which has relocated its head office to the Confetti campus in Nottingham.
Confetti X also played host to the 2022 British Esports Student Champs Finals for schools and colleges in 2022, as well as the qualifying rounds of the Commonwealth Esports Championships. You can read about how things went down at the British Esports Student Champs 2022 finals on the Confetti website here.
What were your esports highlights of 2022? Let us know over on the British Esports Twitter.