The Rise of Esports in Ireland: A Sleeping Giant

The Rise of Esports in Ireland: A Sleeping Giant

In recent years, esports have grown exponentially, with the industry projected to reach $1.79 billion in revenue by 2023. Ireland, albeit a little late to the party, has begun to emerge as a promising player in the world of esports. In this article, we delve into the history of esports in Ireland, explore its current state, and discuss the factors contributing to its increasing popularity. We also investigate the potential economic impact of esports on the Irish economy.

From Humble Beginnings to a Thriving Industry

Esports in Ireland initially took off as a grassroots scene; with small-scale competitions organized among friends and university students. Today, it has evolved into a well-structured, competitive space, thanks to the efforts of organizations like Irish Collegiate Esports (ICE). ICE represents and supports esports competition for third-level students in Ireland, helping establish leagues and championships across multiple game titles.

Currently, ICE has a presence in 17 colleges and universities across Ireland, providing numerous opportunities for Irish gamers to display their skills on a national and international stage. Moreover, brands like Red Bull and have taken notice, partnering with ICE to sponsor events, further cementing esports as an integral part of Ireland’s sports ecosystem.

Popular Titles and Major Players

Ireland’s esports scene is dominated by titles like Fortnite, League of Legends, Dota 2, and Call of Duty. Irish gamers have made their mark internationally, with the likes of Jordan Crowley, who is widely regarded as one of the most talented players in Europe. Crowley’s success with New York-based team Splyce has not only put Ireland on the esports map but also contributed to the nation’s economy.

Factors Driving the Popularity of Esports in Ireland

The growth of esports in Ireland is fueled by several factors, including the availability of high-speed internet, the popularity of digital gaming platforms like Twitch, and the influence of gaming personalities or “streamers.” For instance, Twitch is hugely popular among Irish 16-24 year-olds, with a 28% reach.

Also, local esports events, such as those organized by Estars and Aeonsports, have piqued the interest of gaming enthusiasts in the country. Events like the League of Legends tournament held by Estars not only introduce Irish gamers to the thrilling world of esports, but they also showcase the players’ talent to potential sponsors and investors, leading to further growth of the industry.

The Economic Potential of Esports in Ireland

While it is still in its nascent stage, esports is undoubtedly poised to become a significant contributor to the Irish economy. With international gaming tournaments, such as the Dota 2 International and the League of Legends World Championship, raking in millions of viewers and massive prize pools, Ireland’s involvement in such events could bring in substantial revenue and create employment opportunities.

In conclusion, esports has grown from a niche interest in Ireland to a thriving industry, with local talent on the rise and the potential for lucrative economic gains. As Irish gamers continue to make their mark on the international stage, it is imperative that stakeholders extend their support, fostering a conducive environment that allows esports to flourish and contribute to the nation’s economy.

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