Spectating esports: where to begin

Spectating esports: where to begin

Dominic Sacco
8 min read | 12 Jan 2017

How can you start watching esports? The British Esports Association lists some simple ways to get started…

If you are just getting into esports as someone who already plays games, the obvious choice is to look to see if the games you like or play often have a competitive scene.

The top esports titles have tournaments and leagues running throughout most of the year on a very regular basis. Check the game’s website or social media pages to find out.

Check out our list of esports games.

Some games with a smaller player base may still have an esports scene, but it will just have fewer viewers and the scene might not be as developed. Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s any less enjoyable to watch than the top esports titles.

Even then, some of the biggest esports titles have smaller tournaments that can be overshadowed by the bigger matches – but are just as exciting to watch and become involved in.

Likewise, if you’re a parent or other person wanting to find out how to check out an esports match or two, then our information below should be able to help.

UK esports:
In the UK there are a variety of competitions for you to watch. The top teams in the UK play against each other across multiple titles, as well as playing in international tournaments. ESL, Gfinity, FaceIt and Blast TV  are some of the biggest tournament providers in the UK.

Tournaments in the UK have included the League of Legends UKEL and UKLC, ESL Premiership CS:GO, Rainbow Six Siege UK and Ireland Nationals and more, including majors like ESL One Birmingham.

There are plenty of other tournaments and grassroots initiatives to sink your teeth into too, such as epic.LAN.

Esports teams from the UK are on the rise, with more teams emerging from grassroots into the professional scene.

How to watch:

Left to Right: Twitch, Facebook Gaming, YouTube Gaming

Esports events are typically streamed to online broadcasting websites,  and there has been increased TV coverage, with the likes of BBC, Sky, ESPN and others experimenting in the space.

Online streaming is where the event will be broadcast live to a platform such as Twitch. Going onto the Twitch website and searching by what games you play or are interested in is a great way to start spectating esports. For more information on streaming, check out this article.

Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming also broadcast tournaments – including the likes of the Overwatch League, ESL’s Counter Strike Pro Championships, and Call of Duty League.

Premier tournaments:
When starting out your esports viewing adventure, the most prominent tournaments normally take the spotlight across streaming platforms. These major tournaments showcase the best players across the biggest titles, and are a good place to start when getting into watching esports.

League of Legends European Championship:


The LEC is one of the premier tournaments in League of Legends. The world Championship is the biggest single event in League of Legends, and the tournament runs throughout the year. There are two splits, spring and summer, and it operates in two regions: North America and Europe. During the season, there are four or more series taking place four days a week. That gives you lots of games to be watching and entertaining yourself with.

Follow the LEC on their website.

CDL – Call of Duty League:


Organised by Activison, the CDL pits teams from across the globe against each other for the title. Generally, 12 teams from various different countries compete in the Call of Duty League – where teams are given points based on how many games they win. The more they win, the more points they gain – meaning they’re more likely to get into the playoffs.

Keep up with the CDL action on their website


Overwatch League:


Overwatch League takes place annually with teams from across the world battling it out for the title and is the biggest tournament for the game. When watching gameplay, you go from first to third person views, making it very interesting to watch. Even when the regular season is not running, playoffs and streams are done constantly to ensure viewers always have new OWL content to watch and keep up with.

Check out the Overwatch League website.  

The International – Dota 2 Championships:


The International is the biggest event for Dota 2 and the tournament with the highest ever prize pool: more than $30m in 2019. It offers a unique spectating experience with a VR hub which allows you to see a live match as if you were in the world itself. People can watch from their game clients too, giving them the pro player’s perspective to watch from. It’s a very exciting game to be a spectator of.

For more information, visit Dota2.com.


ESL One:


ESL ONE holds events for  CSGO and Dota 2. The events they host are huge, and pull in thousands of viewers. The CSGO tournament they run annually in Cologne has some of the most impressive viewing figures in the history of esports. It’s definitely worth checking out any of the tournaments they run. There’s certainly a lot of excitement when watching from home or in the crowds at the events that take place all over the world.

Keep up with ESL One on their website.

Keeping up to date:
Making sure you are following teams and players on social media is key to keeping up to date with esports. By becoming engaged on social media, you can become more immersed and involved in watching esports. By following accounts of teams, players and organisers, you will get to know what events are running, and where you can watch them.

Keep up to date with British Esports

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