Bacon, Maple Syrup and… esports? Canada’s place in the esports world
Next to its southern neighbour, Canada seems like paradise for many, at least those that don’t mind lots and lots of snow. Indeed, Canada is well-known for several things, including their maple syrup, the friendly attitude of the Canadian people… but not really esports! Yes, there are some internationally acclaimed teams, but all in all, Canada probably isn’t what you think of when you hear ‘esports’.
This is despite the fact that a cool 21.2 million people there play esports games, and that their $2.3 billion makes them the 8th biggest esports nation on the planet! What about that, eh?
There are plenty of esports teams and organizations that hail from Canada – in the Overwatch League alone, there are two teams; the Vancouver Titans and the Toronto Defiant. Organizations like Toronto Esports, and even Team Canada – active in League of Legends – all add to the overall result: Canada is more of an esports power than many people realize.
In fact, the first-ever esports specific law office opened in Canada – the firm represents players that are looking to sign on with teams and organizations, as well as other esports disputes. While similar organizations exist in a select few places around the world, the MKM group is the first of its kind in Canada.
Of course, tournaments are another aspect by which to measure esports success – just this May, the Get on My Level tournament took place. The sixth installment of the fighting-game-focused event saw competitions in games like Melee, Ultimate, Brawl, Tekken 7 and Street Fighter V. Not far off is the SKL Esports tournament – taking place this June, the SKL will feature games like CS:GO, LoL, Rainbow Six Siege and Smash Bros.
The Ontario esports leagues are another example – the organization regularly hosts smaller events in the Ontario area, such as the Thunder Bay Quest event. Canada may be a big place, but there are enough tournaments to go around.
Financially speaking, Canada’s esports stocks may not be quite up there with ones from countries like the US, however companies like Axion Ventures, Enthusiast Gaming, Fandom Sports or Versus Systems are emerging powers in the world of esports investments. With more and more international companies hopping onto the sponsorship and investment train, it’s no surprise that Canadian companies are following suit as well.
With internationally popular teams like the Vancouver Titans doing well in their respective leagues, international attention falls to Canada more and more frequently, and with the OWL adding the Toronto Defiant to their team line-up, Canada is represented by two teams. This season, the Vancouver Titans have yet to even lose a match – while it’s too soon to say for sure, they are in top form and could even go on to win the League entirely, which would put them on top of the near-dozen teams fielded by the US and the dozens of teams from other countries as well – Canada is one to keep an eye on!