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ESI London 2024 Panel showcase: “It’s coming home”

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Ahead of ESI London 2024, scheduled for June 13th, we delve into one of the mainstage panel topics: why major esports events are increasingly flocking to the United Kingdom. The UK, known for its passionate sports fans, has a rich history in esports, and this year promises to be a pivotal moment for the country’s esports scene.

The Familiar Chant: “It’s Coming Home”

Whenever the English national football team flirts with the idea of performing well in a tournament, the country echoes a familiar chant: “It’s coming home.” While the UK may not have brought home significant trophies in esports, there’s no doubt that major esports tournament finals are indeed returning to their roots.

The UK’s Esports Legacy

The UK’s prominence in the games industry has contributed to its strong esports presence. In 2020, the UK esports sector represented 8% of the global market and supported over 1,200 jobs, according to a report commissioned by Ukie. Additionally, the UK boasts recognizable desk talent and casters who have made their mark across the esports industry.

ESI London 2024 Panel showcase: “It’s coming home”

Troubling Times and Event Resurgence

Despite challenges faced by UK esports businesses in 2024, including the closure of organizations like Vexed, Platform (a gaming bar chain), and the LAN festival Insomnia, the events side tells a different story. Esports events have graced UK shores for years, but recently, the number of major tournament finals hosted in the UK has surged. 2024 stands out as a crowning jewel in this trend.

A Packed Calendar

This year alone, the UK is set to host S-tier tournaments across seven major esports titles:

  1. League of Legends
  2. Counter-Strike
  3. Dota 2
  4. PUBG Mobile
  5. Rocket League
  6. Rainbow Six
  7. Halo

By the end of 2024, the UK will have welcomed prestigious events such as:

  • The League of Legends World Championship finals (arguably the biggest event in esports)
  • ESL One Birmingham (Dota 2)
  • BLAST Premier Spring Final 2024 (Counter-Strike)
  • PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2024
  • Rainbow Six Major Manchester
  • Rocket League Championship Series 2024: Major 2
  • Halo Championship Series 2024: London Major
  • EPIC.LAN, alongside many more smaller events.

London Takes Center Stage

London, in particular, has emerged as the primary beneficiary. Thanks to London & Partners, a destination agency promoting tourism in the capital, the UK’s esports scene has flourished. The Copperbox Arena in London has already hosted prestigious events like the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational, as well as tournaments for Apex LegendsRocket League, and Call of Duty. Other iconic venues like Twickenham and Wembley are also reaping the benefits, hosting major events in Counter-StrikeLeague of LegendsHalo, and more.

ESI London 2024: Leading Voices Gather

And of course, ESI London 2024 is on the horizon. Executives from Ubisoft, Quadrant (Veloce), Twickenham Stadium, and London & Partners will convene to discuss why the UK has become such a vital destination for esports. As the esports community eagerly awaits the event, one thing is certain: esports is indeed coming home to the UK.

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