There’s a host of tournament providers that broadcast matches and provide jobs in the esports industry, but who are they?
So you’ve got the players, the fans, the prize pools, the sponsors and the streaming platforms where viewers can spectate, but what about the events themselves?
There are a number of event providers that work tirelessly to host and regulate matches, bring the players and teams together, and offer prize pools. Here’s a selection of those who are well-established in Esports.
Founded in 2000, the Electronic Sports League (ESL) is responsible for organising a host of major tournaments across the globe. It is the largest video game event company in the world and is well-backed financially.
In 2015 MTG agreed to purchase 74% of ESL’s parent company Turtle Entertainment for €78m.
ESL puts on major events including Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One, ESL Pro League and national tournaments such as the ESL UK Premiership.
Multiplay has gone from a homegrown project to a major provider of UK-based Insomnia gaming events, which consist of esports tournaments, bring-your-own-computer LAN halls, expo areas featuring the latest products and games, and now even live music stages.
Multiplay also runs several tournaments in various games including the CSGO and League of Legends UK Masters.
The business was set up in 1997 and purchased by retailer GAME in 2015 for £20m. It now employs over 120 people and caters to both the hardened gamers and more casual crowd.
UK-based Gfinity was the first to open a dedicated esports arena in London – a converted cinema in Fulham Broadway, to be precise.
Gfinity hosts several online tournaments as well as live events, including FIFA tournaments, the Vainglory championships and even a one-off Rainbow Six competition in conjunction with UK grime artist JME.
Major League Gaming
MLG hosts several esports competitions and also has its own streaming service: MLG.tv.
Headquartered in New York City and founded in 2002, MLG is mainly focused on United States and Canada. In January 2016, video game publisher Activision Blizzard announced its acquisition of Major League Gaming.
ELeague is a professional CSGO league that began broadcasting in summer 2016 and is run by Turner Broadcasting.
The league consists of 24 teams who compete in two 10-week league seasons each year, including a regular season, playoffs and a championship.
DreamHack hosts a variety of gaming festivals and esports tournaments throughout Europe, including Sweden,France, Spain and Germany.
The first UK Dreamhack event was held in late 2015 in London’s Copperbox Arena.
Many esports games have their own tournaments, organised by the title’s own developer. For example, there’s the League of Legends World Championship, Dota 2 International and the Hearthstone World Championship to name a few.
Click here to find out some of the most well-known esports events and tournaments.