The Rise of Esports in the UK and Where it’s Headed

Esports has come a long way in the last few years. Although die-hard gamers have played competitively for decades, it’s only during the 21st century that esports has come into its own. Many consider South Korea the cradle of the esports sector, while others attribute the rise of first-person shooters and MOBA games to boosting pro-level competition. Today, there are thousands of esports professionals across the world. Games like League of Legends, Counter-Strike, and Dota continue to dominate the sector, although new titles and tournaments are arriving all the time.

There’s a global appetite for esports. However, outside of East Asia and North America, grassroots support for aspiring players has been lacking. This looks set to change in the next few years, with the United Kingdom set to emerge as a frontrunner in the European esports sector.

The State of the UK Esports Scene

Video games are big business in the United Kingdom, with more than 36 million people playing games regularly. The UK video game sector is worth more than £2.9 billion, while more than 27,000 people are employed within the industry.

Despite this passion for gaming, the esports sector is more modest. In 2016, the British Esports Association was formed. This regulatory body was founded to promote development in esports. In just a few years, this national body has helped more than a dozen homegrown teams climb the ranks to compete in pro-level competitions.

However, the number of professional UK esports teams pales in comparison to other countries. What’s more, there are relatively few national tournaments. Events like the Insomnia Gaming Festival have gone a long way in promoting UK talent, but they’re not on the same level as The International or Fortnite World Cup.

How Many Professional Esports Players are from the UK?

Currently, the number of UK gamers playing professionally is small. As of 2022, little more than 100 players are competing alongside professionals from Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Despite this, the UK has produced some of the most legendary esports lineups of all time, including Endpoint, Fnatic, and Excel.

What’s Next for UK Esports?

Expect big things from the UK esports industry in the next few years. With the British Esports Association continuing to foster homegrown talent, it’s a given that new team rosters will emerge in C-Tier tournaments. Likewise, don’t be surprised to see more wide-reaching initiatives introduced to encourage gamers

into the industry. Many esports organizations are tackling the issue of representation in the industry, with the likes of G2 going out of their way to promote female talent. The British Esports Federation has its own Women in Esports initiative, so it’s likely several all-female teams will get their chance to fight it out on the world stage before the decade is out.

In the meantime, there’s no shortage of UK talent to throw your support behind. Looking to see how Fnatic are doing? Itching to find out how Endpoint has performed? Get the latest updates on CSGO matches at 1337PRO.