If you are looking to play in an esports tournament in the UK but don’t know where to start, then some of these events could be for you.

UK players have access to countless events, online and off, where they can find a multitude of different games being played at any level. Ryan McVean lists a range of UK esports competitions to help you get started.


Insomnia holds many tournaments over the course of its weekend LAN event, which runs twice a year at the Birmingham NEC (in April and August).

There are daily community matches in games like Smash Bros and FIFA, which usually offer a few hundred pounds to the winner. There’s also casual cups – events where players of all skill levels can compete in a large variety of games.

Insomnia 60’s casual cup line up included Redout, Destiny Sparrow Racing, Halo 5 Guardians, Age of Empire 2 HD, For Honor, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Siege and more.

These events are free to enter for any attendee. Insomnia has announced that if a game receives a large amount of support they may include them as larger scale events with prize pools.

Then there’s the bigger esports tournaments at Insomnia, usually for the likes of CSGO, Overwatch, League of Legends and Hearthstone and more. Prize pools vary from around £1,500 to £5,000 and above.

These tournaments are a good test for established amateur UK orgs and teams, and a good chance for players who may have been practicing remotely to meet and socialise over the weekend too.

Insomnia occasionally hosts parts of bigger tournaments, for example in Team Fortress 2 and Hearthstone. It held the Call of Duty World League in the past, before the launch of the Call of Duty League.

ESL UK & Ireland

ESL hosts several weekly and community cup events in a variety of games, for players of varying skill levels.

ESL Play is an online tournament site that holds weekly events in many games.

Then for more established UK teams there’s the ESL Premiership, a league that culminates in a playoff finals, usually taking place at ESL UK’s state-of-the-art Leicester studio.

Games include the likes of Rainbow Six Siege and CSGO, with prize pools reaching around £10,500 per split, per game. ESL also helps teams reach the next level, for example the CSGO winners get the opportunity to advance through to the Mountain Dew League (MDL) qualifiers, having the chance to prove they are good enough to fight for a spot in the ESL Pro League.


Gfinity hosts a variety of tournaments, live events, community cups and more, for a wide range of games including FIFA, F1 and more.

The company did provide Challenger Series and Elite Series events but hasn’t done so for a while now.

Instead, they produce events like the F1 Esports Series and the ePremier League.


As the name suggests, this is a UK LAN gaming event that includes a range of social games and esports tournaments.

Organisers run LAN parties from 32 players up to 472 around the UK as well as working offering white label events for others, such as the Road to EGX Overwatch tournament.

There’s tournaments in the likes of CSGO, Dota 2, StarCraft II, Hearthstone, Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch.

epic.LAN has become a staple of UK esports, and a variety of top talent started out working at or playing at the events.

GAME Belong Arena Clash

This is a grassroots tournament series running from several GAME stores across the UK.

Each Belong by GAME store has its own ‘tribe’ represented by gamers in the local area, for example the London Lionhearts, Bristol Smugglers and Manchester Swarm. They play against one another in tournaments.

The first competition was the Call of Duty Arena Clash, with £1,000 up for grabs. Manchester Swarm won this first tournament, but while some of their players were already attending i60, it was second-place Bristol Smugglers who secured an all-expenses paid trip to Insomnia to take part in the Call of Duty World League tournament.

More Arena Clashes in other games have emerged, such as Tekken, Rainbow Six Siege and more.


Formerly known as Eurogamer Expo, this event has grown massively over the past decade, and has branched out from a traditional games exhibition to include developer sessions, esports and more.

In previous years there have been several tournaments held at EGX including a Street Fighter V, CSGO, Overwatch and more.

Expect a variety of community cups and bigger esports tournaments at future events.



The National University Esports League (NUEL) holds events in the likes of LoL, CSGO, Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege and more, exclusively for university students, with a year-long season culminating in a live final.

The NUEL also has a tournament format that promotes fun and fair games, taking players skill levels into account so that anyone can find their feet.



National Student Esports is a body which aims to support the development of the university esports landscape.

NSE was created by Benchmark, a global group of organisations that specialise in the development of sport and entertainment related networks, and is supported by British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS), the national governing body for university sport in the UK.

The NSE runs several university esports championships in different games for students to take part in.



There are loads of other grassroots tournaments and esports community cups that are taking place all over the UK.

For other games and for more local events we recommend searching Facebook, Twitter and other social media for local meet-ups, communities and events in your area or within the game you’re interested in.

For more guides and info visit our advice page here: https://www.britishesports.org/advice-and-informat…