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The meteoric rise of commercial esports football tournaments

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As football maintains its position as one of the most popular sports around the globe, with an estimated 3.5 billion fans worldwide, and continues to draw in mind-blowing viewing figures – 328 million people watched the tragic end to England’s Euro 2020 campaign back in July – fans are hungry for more and have increasingly been eyeing up a new and exciting form of sporting entertainment: esports football.

Esports events and competitions are rapidly gaining traction with sports and betting fans, and esports football is no exception. As esports-mania sweeps the globe, efootball tournament organizers including are leading the charge, helping to bring this exciting new sport to an ever-growing audience of action-hungry internet users.

It’s small wonder that this form of entertainment has attained such staggering levels of popularity. Efootball clashes offer all the exciting action you’d find in any real-life football showdown, but the virtual version also boasts the major advantage of having more matches to sink your teeth into, broadcast more often. And, what’s even better for punters looking for a quick fix of sporting thrills is that matches are short, lasting just 12 minutes, but are still jam-packed with all the drama and action fans demand.

Commercial esports football tournaments are one of the new ways this popular esport is manifesting itself, and these competitions have experienced a major boost to their popularity as fans branch out into this exciting new field. ESportsBattle has seen its viewer numbers skyrocket by 42% from September’s figure to almost 40 million in December. Football has also been giving its virtual counterpart a leg-up, as major tournaments such as Euro 2020 have seen a marked increase in interest in cyber football competitions.

Live streaming is held on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube hosting a wealth of different efootball tournaments and leagues. Available 24/7 on EsportsBattle, these allow punters to watch virtual versions of all the biggest tournaments and leagues, with digital versions of their favorite teams going head-to-head in intense, edge-of-your-seat showdowns.

eSports

KitKat’s Sweet Partnership with Esports World Cup Kicks Off This Summer

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Nestlé’s iconic chocolate brand, KITKAT, has partnered with the Esports World Cup Foundation (“EWCF”) to support the inaugural Esports World Cup (“EWC”) this summer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Their collaboration with the world’s largest gaming festival further integrates KITKAT into global gaming culture, combining the brand’s catchy “Have a Break” philosophy with the necessary pauses that come with gaming at all levels; Get ready to Climb. “Break”. Dominate!

By supporting the Esports World Cup, KITKAT aims to connect with competitive and casual gamers through its legendary ethos. Whether it’s a tactical pause on stage to discuss strategy, or simply a moment to reset and come back refreshed to take on what’s next, having a break is an essential aspect of the gaming experience. KITKAT and EWC view breaks as an integral part of life inside and outside the game, together aspiring to make each moment of enjoyment and rejuvenation for players and maintain a healthy approach to gaming.

“We are excited to partner with an amazing brand like KITKAT to bring a fresh energy and connection to the esports community”, said Mohammed Al Nimer, Sales Director, Esports World Cup Foundation.”This collaboration will not only enhance the experience of all visitors, but also highlight the importance of having strategic breaks for better performance. I highly encourage all fans attending the Esports World Cup to visit the KITKAT booth, have a break and enjoy some delicious KITKAT goodies!”

“This partnership enables us to connect with the next generation of gaming enthusiasts, offering them the breaks they need both in-game and in life” said Robert Helou, CEO of Nestlé KSA. “We believe we will deeply resonate with gamers by integrating our ‘Have a Break’ philosophy into the esports world. This collaboration highlights the importance of taking breaks and prioritizing mental well-being, especially in the high-stress environment of competitive gaming.”

Beginning July 3, the Esports World Cup will transform Riyadh into the epicenter of esports fandom and gaming culture. Located in Boulevard City, fans can watch their favorite athletes and clubs compete across 22 game championships for a share of more than $60 million in life-changing prize money — the largest prize pool in esports history. Across eight weeks, the Esports World Cup will also feature festival activities that include numerous gaming activations, community tournaments, pop culture celebrations, international experiences, and more. 

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Staffordshire University’s esports team will compete for the title of champion at the UE Masters European Grand Final

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■ British students will be looking to beat their rivals from the National University of Physical Education and Sport of Ukraine in the VALORANT video game on July 14.
■ This university offers unique and specific training in esports, a sector that is expected to turn £234 million in the United Kingdom by 2028.
■ UNIVERSITY Esports Masters is the season finale of UNIVERSITY Esports, a global project involving more than 100,000 students from all over the world.

The United Kingdom wants to make its mark at the pinnacle of esports in the university environment. A team of students from Staffordshire University will compete to become the European champion of UNIVERSITY Esports Masters (UE Masters), the largest video game competition between universities globally.

The British players, part of the Korean Pop Superstars (KPS) team, have qualified for the European Grand Final of the tournament, where they will fight for victory against their rivals from NUPESU (NPS), from the National University of Physical Education and Sport of Ukraine in VALORANT. The clash, which will be played in online format on July 14, can be watched live on the UE Masters Twitch channel (twitch.tv/uemasters).

Esports adventure begins in Staffordshire

Staffordshire University is one of the universities that has shown the most support for the growth of the esports and gaming industry in the UK. Young people interested in pursuing a career in competitive gaming have the opportunity to study at an award-winning school and learn how to organize small and large-scale esports tournaments, events and productions and how to adapt to clients outside of gaming.

Within its curriculum, Staffordshire University offers the BA (Hons) Esports degree, a unique training in the country that combines the production side (digital media and broadcasting) with practical experience in business, marketing event management and the theory-based community and cultural studies aspects of the esports industry.

Gaming and video game competitions are positioned as one of the fastest growing sectors of the entertainment industry year on year globally. According to the statistics portal Statista, “the United Kingdom is experiencing a surge in Esports popularity, with a growing number of tournaments, teams, and dedicated arenas.”

The same source forecasts that the esports market in the UK will reach revenues of £183.3 million in 2024, with a penetration rate of 27.9%. By 2028, it estimates revenues of £234 million and a market share of 33.1%.
Beyond of a video game competition

UE Masters, supported by Riot Games, is the conclusion of the UNIVERSITY Esports season, a global program with a presence in 26 countries on four continents and involving more than 100,000 students from 2,000 universities.

The main objectives of UNIVERSITY Esports are to create a sense of community among players from all over Europe, to give them the opportunity to compete in high quality international tournaments and to provide avenues for young people to develop a career within the esports world, as well as to find a place to learn and enhance their skills.

In the UK and Ireland, UNIVERSITY Esports, a project organized by NUEL (a GGTech Entertainment’s company), has celebrated its 13th Season. The winners of its Winter Split, such as Staffordshire University, have been the national representatives in the current edition of UE Masters.

 

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BLAST and British Esports Team Up to Bolster UK’s Esports Industry During Landmark Year For the Industry

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BLAST, the global esports entertainment company, and British Esports, the national body for esports in the UK, have announced a strategic partnership during a landmark year for the UK industry.

This collaboration will focus BLAST and British Esports efforts on political lobbying, grassroots development, education, careers, and professional development. The partnership comes during a historic year for the UK esports industry, with a record number of tier one esports events taking place, helping to position the region as a global hub for esports and gaming.

With the UK holding an 6% share of the global esports market and the global sector expected to reach $1.6 billion by the end of this year, this partnership aims to capitalise on this momentum and foster further growth.
Robbie Douek, CEO of BLAST, said: “This partnership with British Esports is a pivotal step in our mission to support the esports ecosystem in the UK. By focusing on key pillars together, we aim to create a sustainable and inclusive environment that encourages growth and professional development at every level. This year alone, the world’s biggest game publishers are choosing the UK as a destination for their esports ecosystems and arena events, helping position the region as a global hub for esports and big-scale events.

This partnership with British Esports will allow us bridge the gap between tier one arena events and grassroots esports.”
Chester King, CEO of British Esports, said: “2024 is a landmark year for esports in the UK as we host some of the most iconic global esports events.

This is an incredible opportunity to leave a legacy from grassroots to professional that promotes the UK as a leading global destination for esports. That is why we were thrilled when Robbie and the team at BLAST visited our National Esports Performance Campus in Sunderland earlier this month to finalise our partnership. This collaboration between two leading British esports organisations will not only help to solidify the UK as a leading hub for esports but also ensure that we are nurturing the next generation of talent and providing them with the tools and opportunities they need to succeed.”

The partnership comes in a month where London is set to host two tier one esports arena events in consecutive weeks, with the BLAST Premier Spring Final taking place in Wembley Arena this week and the RLCS London Major in Copper Box Arena next week. These combined events will see more than 25,000 fans watch live esports events in-person in the United Kingdom in June alone.
To mark the launch of the partnership, Robbie Douek, CEO for BLAST, recently met Dave Martin, SVP for British Esports, for a tour of the National Esports Performance Campus in Sunderland.

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