What UK grassroots and amateur tournaments are there?

What UK grassroots and amateur tournaments are there?

7 min read | 24 Mar 2022

Ever wondered how you can get started competing in esports tournaments?

Well, this guide will help you find the right grassroots and amateur tournaments for you to kickstart your career as a professional player.


One of the best places to get started competing is at the Insomnia Gaming Festival, which takes place twice a year at the NEC in Birmingham.

The dedicated esports section of the event is where all the action takes place, and attendees of the event go up against one another in a variety of titles across the weekend.

You can sign up to take part in one of the tournaments on the morning of the event, and a full list of what is going to be going on will be published in advance to ensure you have time to rally a team and prepare.

Whilst there are many organised tournaments you can turn up to and compete in, Insomnia also has a ‘Bring-Your-Own-Computer/Console’ (BYOC) section of the expo which allows you to compete on your own setup.

There are set tournaments and regulations in place for BYOC at Insomnia, so if that is something you are interested in taking part in, ensure you read the paperwork before you turn up.

For more information about the upcoming Insomnia event, check out the esports section of their website for the latest on tournaments. 


The UK’s LAN-based event is prominent for its amateur tournaments, and takes place three times a year with smaller events in between.

At epic, there’s a balance of casual gaming and tournaments, so the event caters to everyone regardless of interest or ability.

The three main titles that tournaments are run in are: Valorant, Starcraft 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive – with some other tournaments happening alongside these at every event.

Similar to Insomnia, epic.LAN runs a BYOC system, so you are then able to compete on your own setup, as well as just being able to play with like-minded people during the event.

Whether you are going to compete, or just network with people, EPIC.LAN is another great place to start out as it allows for you to take that initial step to become an esports player.

Make sure you keep updated on the latest about the next upcoming event over on the epic.LAN website

ESL Play:

ESL hosts several tournaments online every week for players across the world of varying skill levels.

One of the most prominent tournaments available at the moment through ESL is the FIFA 22 United Kingdom Open, which runs every Friday at 7pm. Winning one of these open tournaments will allow you to qualify for the monthly finals to then compete against the best players that month.

Even though the most prominent tournaments on the platform are for FIFA, Starcraft, and Call of Duty, you can also compete in titles such as: PUBG, Apex Legends, DOTA 2, and Rocket League. By following the ESL Play platform, you will be able to find tournaments to suit your skill level in the title you want to play.

Getting started in an ESL tournament can provide a lot of good progression up the competitive ladder, and open up many opportunities within the platform to get you involved at the higher level.

A full list of upcoming fixtures and open tournaments can be found on the ESL Play website, so make sure to check it out regularly and get signed up.

Belong Arenas:

Another really good starting point for competing is the Belong Arena Clash, which takes place regularly in selected arenas across the country.

With tournaments in Overwatch, League of Legends, Valorant and Tekken 7, the Arena Clash is the perfect place to put your skills to the test against people from other parts of the UK.

There are 26 Belong Arenas situated across the UK, so find your local centre and get yourself signed up! The arenas are fully kitted out with everything you will need to compete, but people regularly bring in their own peripherals as that is what they are used to.

By competing, you can meet people local to you and potentially find future teammates throughout the tournament.

The tournament generally takes place in Spring and Winter, but other events are held in between to keep players engaged during the off-season.

Keep up to date with your local Belong Arena’s schedule online, or visit their website for information on how you can get involved.


If you are a student at university, the NUEL (National University Esports League) and NSE (National Student Esports) are the platforms you can use to play in tournaments alongside other students.

Both organisations focus on getting students involved in competing in esports tournaments, and preparing them for a potential career in industry once they graduate.

The tournaments are held in a variety of titles including: Overwatch, League of Legends, Valorant, Rocket League and Rainbow-Six. These tournaments are held between university teams, and fixtures take place throughout the season to determine who will compete at the live grand finals.

By taking part in tournaments at the university and collegiate level through these organisations, you are able to practice your skills in a competitive environment, whilst also networking with people from across the country.

Similarly to the other tournaments, both the NUEL and NSE have divisions, meaning that you can play with people of a similar skill level, making it much more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Information around these university-level tournaments can be found on the NUEL and NSE’s websites.

Whilst this is only a small selection of tournaments you can get involved in, make sure you keep your eyes peeled on social media for any community events that may be going on.

Is there anything in esports you would like us to cover? Let us know on the British Esports Twitter. 

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