In part 2 of our mini-blog series on “esports in the UK: challenges and future opportunities,” we focus on what Dominic Sacco of Esports News UK, had to say about the forthcoming report published in conjunction with UKIE, on the current and future state of esports in the UK.
Elaborating on the process of building the report, Dominic said that UKIE and Esports News UK used data collated by YouGov and broke it down into time periods so they could create a timeline of the history of esports. The report covers profiles of key companies involved in esports in the UK, predictions for the future (including the role of the metaverse), and the views of other influential people in the esports industry to provide a detailed analysis.
Dominic was asked how esports should be promoted in the UK, and in his answer drew on other regions which have a strong esports presence like South Korea, China, France, and Spain, stating that the UK can take inspiration from these jurisdictions. He pointed out that the UK produces great talent (for example, Jake “Boaster” Howlett, who won his first Valorant competition at the beginning of March 2023) and said that it was the promotion of that talent that would increase the UK’s presence in esports globally. He stressed the importance of the UK’s individual esports identity, which has started to deteriorate, due to the UK and Nordic esports communities being increasingly grouped together.
In relation to the possibility of attracting major esports events to the UK, Dominic referenced the importance of the work of London & Partners (a business growth and destination agency) in bringing visibility to UK esports events, and their recent stated aim of making London the European capital of esports by 2024. Dominic listed out recent and upcoming esports events which had been hosted in the UK, evidencing how the UK’s industry presence and potential has already grown: the League of Legends tournament in May 2023; the Apex Global Series Live Events; and Rocket League in 2022 at the Copperbox arena. Dominic also highlighted the potential of big stadia to host esports competitions and conferences
Going back to the report, the main takeaway for Dominic was that it taps into education. The report asks the question of what we can do better for the future of esports, for example, providing better education to people on esports and the variety of potential and opportunities. Awareness of esports has increased, and is only going to continue to do so - meaning that the industry needs to keep up the pace and access government support, potentially by educating councillors and mayors on the potential of the industry, especially the economic benefits.