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Canada’s Emerging eSports Scene

Dota 2 The InternationalSource: Wikimedia

If you look at the eSports scenes in Europe, South Korea, the United States and Japan, then you can see some tremendously exciting prospects for professional video gaming. Of course, the inter-connected nature of the modern world means that eSports competitors can often take on one another in contests that exist in only the same virtual space, without them ever needing to meet up in person. In that regard, the virtual world of eSports is much like playing games at an online casino in Canada where people can play each other at games like poker, for example, without ever being present.

That said, there is something about seeing eSports being played in person with all of the competitors in the same place that makes it so much more engaging for fans. In this regard, eSports is becoming much more like conventional sports, especially in Canada. In fact, Canadian eSports are leading the way in many regards despite the fact that countries like China, South Korea and Finland, among others, often produce the best players. How is Canada fast becoming a world leader in eSports?

Top Earning Players

Kuro Takhasomi, a German national, is the world’s highest ever eSports earner. Like others in the all-time video game earnings list, he is a specialist in Dota 2. Among the Danes, Jordanians and Finns in the top ten of all time earners, there are two North Americans, both US citizens. When it comes to Canadians, there are more and more players who are making their way up the world rankings. The highest placed Canadian is Kurtis Ling who is 23rd on the list. Born in 1992, he has earned just short of $2 million over the course of his playing career. Artour Babaev, another Canadian Dota 2 professional, is not far behind on the earnings rankings with $1.8 million to his name.

However, it is not all about Dota 2. Damon Barlow, another Canadian, lies third in the all-time earnings list for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Canada also has one of the best players of Halo 5: Guardians. In a top ten that is otherwise entirely made up of Americans, Mathew Fiorante is the sole Canadian who is third on the list. From games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to FIFA 18, Canada has some of the top players. In fact, there are over 100 Canadian professional eSports players who have career earnings that exceed $30,000.

eSports tournament Source: Wikimedia

The Role Of Canada’s Universities

There can be little doubt that Canada has some of the most widely respected places of higher education of any on the planet. Not only are the teaching standards high, but international students especially enjoy the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere to be found at Canadian universities. Places like the University of Toronto, Saint Clair College and Humber College have been at the epicentre of the eSports scene in recent years. Not only have such seats of learning been staging their own eSports tournaments but some of the top players have come to the fore playing in them. In other words, Canadian campuses have turned into something of a nursery for eSports players to gain the skills to become professionals. Just like a top sports club, the proximity of young players and established professionals plus the exposure to some of the best coaches around, eSports have got better and better simply because university campuses have acted as centres of excellence in the country.

Canada’s First Dedicated eSports Stadium

In the recent past, eSports tournaments have been staged in theatres, civic halls, conference centres and – in some cases – existing sports stadiums. However, no dedicated eSports stadium has ever been envisioned by the various promoters engaged in the industry. That is until 2019, the year when Vancouver will be the first city to provide such a facility. The centre will be known simply as The Gaming Stadium and it will offer fans as well as broadcasters the ability to follow the gaming action in close detail. Like Toronto and Montreal, Vancouver has a great, if emerging, eSports scene. In addition, the people behind the project think that Vancouver is a good bet for developing such a site because its time zone matches California, where many US professional gamers are based.

Many industry insiders will be watching closely to see how the Canadian experiment in a dedicated eSports gaming arena fares. Indeed, the move could be just one of many that are in the pipeline in the country. Soon, Canada could be the leading country for eSports anywhere in the world!