League of Ireland teams establish major national e-sports tournament

12 Dec 2017

Image: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

E-sports is already drawing massive crowds to packed arenas, and now League of Ireland teams are looking to join in.

Ireland’s highest national football league, the League of Ireland, is following in the footsteps of the Premier League in England by becoming involved in the rapidly growing area of e-sports.

But, somewhat strangely, absolutely no football will be played during the competition as each of the teams will be competing in the video game League of Legends.

The multiplayer online battle game is a permanent and dominant fixture in many e-sports tournaments, and will now see teams compete on behalf of League of Ireland football teams.

The Three Ireland EStars League is due to start in March 2018 in the 3Arena, and is open to anyone over the age of 13.

Entrants into the tournament choose which League of Ireland team they want to support and then successful entrants form a team where they will compete to share a prize of €20,000.

The event’s organisers also promise to make it a big deal for a generation that obsesses more and more about YouTube personalities than Hollywood stars, with a series of guest performances from the video-streaming service’s own celebrities.

“The Three Ireland’s EStars League provides a platform where competitors can test their mettle, and the final at the 3Arena will provide Ireland’s newest breed of e-sport champions the platform and opportunity to shine,” said the tournament’s managing director, Mags Byrne.

This is not the first major e-sports tournament to open to applications from Ireland, as Siliconrepublic.com discussed the Celtic eSports League with its founder, Trevor Keane, in January.

The Celtic eSports League, which has received the blessing of EA Sports, links top gamers of the football video game FIFA with professional clubs from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales for a 14-round league.

E-sports has evolved into a multimillion-dollar business, where gamers – or those just interested in gaming – are tuning in to their devices to watch their favourite gamers battle it out in lucrative tournaments around the world.

According to a PwC report entitled The Burgeoning Evolution of E-sports: From the Fringes to Front and Centre, e-sports generated revenues of $463m in 2016.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic