eSports report- UK Market – The First Steps…

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Following SBC’s introduction to the world of eSports here we take a closer look with an analysis of the anticipated boom in the UK market, its growing popularity and value worldwide (part 2 to follow).

The findings of the Superdata and Newzoo eSports market brief in May 2015 features extensively. Furthermore on the agenda there is a breakdown of the money involved, and a look at the top eSports teams and stars.

ChampionshipeSports has landed – the UK market

A collaboration between Vue Cinemas and eSports firm Gfinity saw the opening of the UK’s first dedicated eSports arena in Fulham, London. Three stages seat over 600 gaming fans. The Gfinity 2015 Championships are already in progress, and tickets are available to witness the likes of Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, Fifa 2015, and Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft amongst others, being played out by pro gamers in front of a live audience.

Interest in eSports on these shores has been growing for some time now. Earlier this year the Royal Opera House in London was host to a Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare tournament for the European Championship. The event even had commentators, known as casters in the eSports world. In 2014 Gfinity held an event, the G3, at the Copperbox Arena in London’s Olympic Park, which attracted almost 4000 spectators (and 8.7m online views).

Despite being a company which was only founded in 2012, their meteoric rise has ensured that in 2015 they’re going full throttle. Gfinity recently announced a deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News UK corporation which’ll see The Sun as the official partner and title sponsor of the initial UK Championship series which runs from March to September 2015. Readers of the paper will be offered priority tickets for events, and the two will combine to promote eSports, and sell merchandise.

Murdoch’s backing will also encourage and further supplement the ‘High Performance Programme’ which has the intention of developing and nurturing top class eSports players from the UK.

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(Table from the Superdata and Newzoo eSports May 2015 market brief detailing a breakdown of the industry at large)

Neville Upton, CEO of Gfinity said of the industry’s growth within the UK: “It is a on a large growth trajectory that will continue.”

Upton continued: “What this demographic isn’t doing is watching TV, they’re watching or playing games instead. In the future, the top players will become household names and there will be established pro and amateur competitions across every game.

Click this link to read SBC Interviews with Gfinity Head of Partner Relations, Martin Wyatt who discusses the operators ambitions and strategy for the UK market. 

SBC  News will follow its UK esports report with a look at international markets tomorrow…

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