What is The British Esports Association?
The British Esports Association is a not-for-profit national body established in 2016, with aims to promote esports, increase its levels of awareness, improve standards, and inspire future talent in the United Kingdom.
Its key role is to support esports and provide advice to the growing industry within the UK and its focuses lie at the grassroots level.
What Does The British Esports Association do?
The British Esports Association takes on a multitude of roles, all with an overarching goal of supporting the growth and popularity of esports in the UK.
This includes running and funding grassroots esports events, educating the public about esports, integrating esports with traditional spots, visiting schools, colleges, and universities to raise awareness of esports, providing esports career advice and support, working with the media and creating esports media, supporting esports players with key issues (such as securing visas for international events), and much more.
There is also a focus on safety within esports, with the British Esports Association aiming to utilize biometric age verification tools to ensure users are playing appropriate games and to reduce toxicity and cyber threats.
To achieve this, the British Esports Association has an experienced staff, an advisory board, and strategic partnerships with UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie), the Sport and Recreation Alliance, the Creative Industries Federation, and the Welsh Sports Association.
How Is Esports Organized and Structured in the UK?
In the UK esports is currently classified as a game rather than a sport, however, this doesn’t stop it from having proper organization and structure like in traditional sports.
Currently, esports in the UK is split into leagues and regular tournaments. The two biggest structured leagues include ESL’s National Championship and the United Kingdom Esports League.
Meanwhile, there are also a series of tournaments that take place every year, including Epic.LAN, Insomnia, and the London Games Festival.
There is no one major league for esports in the UK and teams usually participate in multiple leagues and tournaments every year. Esports’ focus is more on a global scale and national leagues and events are generally seen as stepping stones to entering high-level international competition.
The UK Esports Market
Esports is thriving in the UK, having seen an annual average growth of around 8.5% between 2016 to 2019. Overall, it is estimated that the market currently represents 8% of the global esports market, which also continues to rapidly expand.
The UK is home to some of the biggest organizations within esports. This includes tournament hosts and organizers Faceit, who held a CSGO World Championship in 2018, alongside dozens of major events across multiple esports titles.
Leading esports team Fnatic are also based in the UK, representing top squads in most major esports titles and having at times held multiple World Championship trophies. The country is also represented in Call of Duty’s and Overwatch’s international franchised leagues, and hosts multiple major industry events and showcases.