Behind the scenes: Who hosts esports events?

Behind the scenes: Who hosts esports events?

Dominic Sacco
8 min read | 6 Dec 2016

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 the industry.




Founded in 2000 by MTG, 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. 2020 marked the combination of ESL and esports portfolio company DreamHack (also owned by MTG) to expand its place in the industry under the brand ‘ESL Gaming’.

For more information, visit their website.


SOURCE: Dreamhack

DreamHack focuses on entertainment for the digital generation, and has hosted many events across the globe since 1994- especially in Europe and North America. They are most well known for hosting gaming festivals across places like Sweden, France, Spain and Germany.

As well as ESL, DreamHack was purchased by MTG in 2015, and they now own 100% of the company. On top of showcasing esports tournaments and competitions, DreamHack also hosts live music events, exhibitions, cosplay events and so much more.

To learn more about DreamHack, visit the MTG website.

GAME Belong/Insomnia:


Formerly known as the company ‘Multiplay’, GAME Belong is one of the biggest tournament hosts in the UK. The business was originally set up in 1997 under its former name and was purchased by retailer GAME in 2015 for £20m. Multiplay founder Craig Fletcher (a member of the British Esports Advisory Board) piloted the Insomnia Gaming Festival, which is still run by GAME annually.

Now, GAME Belong hosts the Belong Arena Clashes – pitting players from across the UK against each other in various titles including: Rocket League, Call of Duty, Rainbow Six Siege, and more!

Learn more about GAME Belong and Insomnia on their website.


SOURCE: Gfinity

UK-based Gfinity was the first to open a dedicated esports arena in London, and is now one of the biggest esports and gaming publishing companies. In 2020, it announced the Gfinity Digital Media Group, to boost revenue and combine several gamer-centric websites under one parent company.

Gfinity hosts several online tournaments as well as live events at the Gfinity Arena, including FIFA (ePremier League) and F1 (Virtual Grand Prix Series/Esports Series). As well as this, Gfinity organised the ‘Cadbury Heroes League’ – which put celebrities and creators against one another in Street Fighter V.

To learn more, check out the Gfinity website.


Blast Premier:


Whilst only being founded in 2020, Blast Premier have made a huge impact in the esports industry – running professional CS:GO tournaments across North America and Europe. Before becoming the organisation they are today, the Blast Pro Series was in its place, until it was dissolved in 2019.

Its main headquarters are in Copenhagen, Denmark, but Blast has an office based in London.

Visit their website for more information.




PGL is a Romanian company that is renowned for organising some of the biggest tournaments for Dota 2 and CS:GO across the world. Ever since its creation in 2002, the company has worked alongside Valve to create some of the Dota Majors – including the Pro Circuit.

As well as organising and streaming tournaments to thousands across the globe, PGL also do a lot of video production for their social media.

To read more about PGL, visit their online platforms.



Starting out focusing on CS:GO in 2016, ELeague has since gone on to focus on FIFA, with the FIFA 21 Global Series, and the FUT Champions Cup. Previously, titles like Magic: The Gathering, CS:GO and Call of Duty were featured by ELeague, but these have stopped to focus on FIFA.

As well as this, one of the most unique events that ELeague presented was ‘The Sims Spark’d’ back in 2020 – where players would be given an assignment to create the best things from scratch.

Learn more at the ELeague website.


Games publishers:
On top of the companies listed above, some game developers and publishers organise their own tournaments for the games they have produced. Some of these include the League of Legends World Championship (run by Riot), and the Dota 2 International (run by Valve).

As more tournaments are coming about, and esports continues to grow, companies will only get bigger in order to cover these events across the world.

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