Ireland gets its largest ever esports tournament
This weekend will see the Dublin Games Festival kicking off to provide Ireland’s gamers with their largest esports tournament to date. The event will see thousands of fans flocking to the RDS in the Ballsbridge area of the city to watch some of the world’s best gamers competing in first-person shooters, battle arena titles, and the game of the moment, Fortnite.
Whilst the esports scene has been relatively slow to take off in Ireland, this epic event looks to put Ireland on the competitive gaming map. With plans to boost the Dublin Games Festival to become a week-long event in 2019, it shows that Irish gaming is set for a much greater profile. And with big money sponsors flocking to cover this competitive gaming phenomenon, it seems as though the Irish esports revolution is only just getting started.
Details of the Dublin Games Festival
The Dublin Games Festival kicks off at 9am on Saturday 24 November, and it promises to be a video gamer’s paradise. With a range of VR gaming experiences, a cosplay competition, a retro gaming arcade zone, and a 20-foot two-floor Mario Kart racecourse, it looks like the event organisers have gone all out to put gaming on the map in Ireland.
But it’s the Dublin Games Festival’s esports tournaments that might be of greatest interest. The festival will include competitions for classic esports like League of Legends and Counter Strike Global Offensive, as well as other top titles like Overwatch, Super Smash Bros and Rocket League. In addition to this there will be a Fortnite tournament that will see well over 100 gamers competing live for a chance to win up to €2,000 in prize pool winnings.
Hopes are high that the Dublin Games Festival could attract over 3,000 gaming fans, and the event has managed to attract sponsors that include brands such as the Monster energy drinks brand, the Cex video gaming shop, and of course, Four Star Pizza to ensure that all of the gamers stay fully fuelled. And with a host of special guests, shoutcasters and celebrity streamers, it looks like the Dublin Games Festival could be one of the gaming highlights of the year.
The growing esports scene in Ireland
There has been the suspicion that competitive gaming in Ireland might have been lagging behind other nations. Whilst countries like Korea, Sweden and the US have been quick to join the competitive gaming craze, until recently it was thought that there simply weren’t enough gamers in Ireland to support a vibrant esports scene.
However, the arrival of the Dublin Games Festival looks to change all of that, as it provides a focal point for the nation’s gamers to converge to celebrate all things esports. Much of Ireland’s moves towards becoming an esports power have been as a result of homegrown gaming organisations such as G Series.
This organisation have become renowned for putting on top-class LAN tournaments and viewing parties that cover classic esports like League of Legends, Hearthstone, Dota 2 and Call of Duty, to some of the more recent competitive gaming sensations like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. What began fairly modestly with 10 PCs in Dublin’s Alex hotel has grown dramatically to now feature well over 1,000 gamers meeting to compete on a range of titles.
The success of G Series has led to the creation of other successful Irish esports organisations such as Aeonspark Events that specialises in creating and hosting gaming contests, whilst RAID Gaming have quickly earned a strong reputation for their array of skirmish, pro league and battlefy tournaments.
Could Irish esports become a world beater?
There is little denying the fact that Irish gamers are showing plenty of enthusiasm for events like the Dublin Games Festival. But as always, it’s investment that can play the biggest part in the sustainability of such operations. Thankfully, Ireland is becoming increasingly known for being something of a tech hub with massive multinationals like Facebook and Google making their home in Dublin’s Silicon Docks area.
Some of the world’s top gaming developers have also started operating within the Emerald Isle, with Blizzard and Riot Games setting up offices in Dublin, and it’s hoped that this brands could give the competitive gaming scene in the nation a real boost.
There have already been some successful esports tournament in Ireland such as Estars’ League of Legends contest that took place last year in the 3Arena in Dublin. This saw some of the top gamers making important links with some of Ireland’s top football clubs. And plans are already in place to turn the Dublin Games Festival into a much larger event called Dublin Games Week in 2019, and so it seems that the Irish esports scene is definitely on the rise.