Once upon a time, the idea of thousands of people packing into Glasgow’s SEC to compete against each other in video game tournaments would have sounded fairly bizarre, to say the least. However, that has all changed in recent times due to the incredible growth seen in the world of eSports.
A major industry
For the uninitiated, eSports is the common term used to describe professional gaming and sees many highly skilled players from across the globe come together to do battle in a range of tournaments – both to prove themselves as the best and also to earn a share of major prize money.
The eSports scene has grown massively in the past couple of decades, with market intelligence organisation Newzoo predicting that the worldwide industry will be worth a staggering $905.6 million by the end of this year. Like with traditional sports, professional gaming is also now attracting major sponsorship and has even spawned a betting scene with sites like Mr Green casino offering odds on the latest competitions in games like League of Legends.
The riches on offer to competitors are also huge, with The International 2017 tournament for the game Dota 2 having a total prize pot of more than $24 million.
Resonate Total Gaming
With all of this in mind, it is unsurprising that cities like Glasgow are increasingly embracing the concept and holding events to celebrate the joys of eSports.
Described as ‘the ultimate gaming experience’, Resonate Total Gaming festival is taking place at the SEC across the weekend of October 19th. As well as featuring a main stage, meet and greet areas and the type of expo you would expect at such a convention, it is also set to feature eSports in the Lomond Auditorium. Detail is currently light on what games will be involved in competitions, but with the inaugural event back in 2016 featuring titles including Street Fighter V, Halo and FIFA, hopes are high it will be another stellar line-up.
A rising profile in Scotland
Resonate is one of several signs of how Scotland has realised the huge potential of eSports. In the past few years, eSports Scotland has become to the first registered professional gaming organisation based in the country, with the body aiming to develop the scene all the way from the grassroots level to the highest standard.
Part of the organisation’s work has involved the creation of the Scottish eSports League (SEL), which started in March and covers ten games. Following a range of tournaments, the action will culminate with a final competition taking place in Edinburgh in October where the top teams and players will do battle.
With all of this in mind, it is fair to say that the eSports scene in Scotland is well and truly on the up, with Glasgow and Resonate playing a key role in its growth. With the industry generating major revenues and being backed by a devoted fanbase, getting involved in professional gaming could prove to be a masterstroke that takes the city and the rest of the country to a whole new level.