Esports Around The World: United Kingdom – Esports Insider

Esports Around The World is a series of profiles outlining the esports ecosystem in various countries globally. The series ties into ESI’s international esports business events, which take place around the world.

Esports around the world United Kingdom
The Esports Around The World series will profile major & minor esports nations across the globe.


The UK esports ecosystem is possibly one of the most intriguing scenes in Europe. Up until recently, the scene was overshadowed by other English-speaking countries such as the US. However, with global esports tournaments starting to come to the UK, such as League of Legends’ MSI and Apex Legends’ ALGS, there is an air of optimism for esports in the country. 

It’s not all about London though, with the rest of the UK starting to bear the fruits of esports’ labour. Whether it’s Team Endpoint’s facility in Sheffield, ConfettiX’s multi-event esports venue or Liverpool’s new social esports facility leveltap, infrastructure is being developed throughout the nation. 

Alongside the UK’s development as a hub for esports business, the scene also has a storied history within competitive esports. This is largely thanks to UK-based organisation Fnatic and the UK’s relative prominence across Call of Duty, Rocket League, Fortnite, VALORANT and FIFA.

Fnatic spearheaded the UK scene’s competitive success, becoming the inaugural League of Legends World Champions in 2011 and claiming three CS:GO Majors from 2013 – 2015 — though with non-UK rosters.

From a player perspective, the UK produces competitive talent across a range of titles. Minnesota RØKKR’s  Ben ‘Bance’ Bance and Cameron ‘Cammy’ McKilligan, alongside Toronto Ultra’s Jamie ‘insight’ Craven continue to represent the UK in Call of Duty. Sticking with the FPS genre, the UK has started to make a name for itself within VALORANT, with UK players representing being part of notable teams such as Sentinels, Fnatic and NRG, among others.

Moreover, the UK scene has a crop of notable competitive FIFA players such as Spencer ‘Gorilla’ Ealing (EXCEL Esports), Donovan ‘Tekkz’ Hunt (Fnatic) and Tom ‘Stokes’ Stokes (Hashtag United).

Despite its historical struggles for continental prominence, the UK scene is seemingly on the rise with organisations such as EXCEL ESPORTS, Endpoint and Tundra gaining more and more stature within Western esports scenes. The latter organisation made a splash through Dota 2, winning The International, the game’s world championship, in 2022.

EATW UK divider

Government Recognition

Despite not being officially recognised as a sport, the government has talked positively about esports in the UK. In response to a Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) report in 2020, the government stated: “Esports has the potential to develop as an area of real national strength in the UK.”

Esports has also received glowing statements from notable government officials. This includes the Major of London, Sadiq Khan, who described the city’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as “a global leader in esports.” 

Though not directly esports related, the UK government has provided funding to the video game industry. This is largely in the form of the Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) scheme, which allows a 20% tax break on all UK-approved games through HM Treasury. 

EATW UK divider

Notable Tournaments & Leagues

Despite having a comparatively low number of elite professional teams and players, the UK is home to a sizeable number of grassroots and amateur esports tournaments and leagues, and has also hosted some notable high-profile events such as ESL One Birmingham and the 2015 League of Legends World Championship.

Commonwealth Esports Championships Gfinity
EPIC.LAN Insomnia
ePremier League League of Legends World Championship 2015
ESL One Birmingham Northern League of Legends Championship (UK and Nordics)
Red Bull Home Ground NUEL
RLCS Season 5 World Championship MSI 2023
ESL Premiership  VALORANT Champions Tour EMEA

EATW UK divider

Notable Esports Organisations

Note that this is a non-exhaustive list and exclusion does not signify an org is not notable.

Endpoint London Spitfire
Fnatic MNM Gaming
Guild Esports Resolve
Into The Breach Vexed Gaming
London Royal Ravens Wolves Esports
EATW UK divider

National Associations / Federations

Note that inclusion in this list does not suggest any acknowledgement from ESI of its authority, works or official capacity.

EATW UK divider

Education Initiatives

The UK also has a steadily growing collegiate esports ecosystem, with competitions such as NSE’s British University Esports Championship and NUEL’s Amazon University Esports tournament. In 2021, esports was added to the domestically-popular Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) as an official programme.

Finally, multiple esports entities — and traditional sports teams — have invested in facilities and partnerships aimed to cultivate the next crop of esports talent. Over the last few years, this has included the British Esports Association, Guild Esports, Tranmere Rovers, Burnley FC and Wolves, among others.

This is a preliminary country profile and will be augmented with additional information over time. If you have any suggestions or feedback for this profile, please get in touch at [email protected]

First published: April 7th 2022. Last updated: May 26th 2023.

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