As esports booms in 2020, Canada dominates the industry with advancements on all levels

By Jared Wynne


May 28, 2020

Reading time: 3 min

It’s no secret that esports is a thriving industry on the rise. The shifting social climate of today and continued developments in corporate interest mean that massive growth for the market has become almost inevitable, and it’s a race to see which countries will come out on top.

Though competition is high, Canada continues to surprise with constant contributions and achievements in the booming industry. The future looks bright, and it’s exciting to see what tomorrow will bring for esports in the Great White North.

Esports participation becomes mainstream as more hop on board

To be fair, it isn’t just Canada which is experiencing an immense uptick in esports interest. The entire world seems to have gotten on board, with esports market values projected to exceed $1 billion in U.S. dollars this year. By 2022, projections surpass $1.8 billion. The North American market currently makes up around $300 million of this total value, and this number is only expected to grow over time.

Why is it so popular? Esports provides Canadians with an inclusionary social activity benefitting players and fans alike. The star athletes are more relatable and reachable through a variety of digital avenues, and fans can connect in ways they simply can’t with the pros in more traditional sporting fields. The nature of viewing channels like Twitch make esports easy for everyone to watch, and the learnability of the skills required means that aspiring athletes can make their dreams of participation come true with simple practice and dedication.

It seems as if esports is pervading every aspect of the cultural landscape in the Great White North. Increased awareness has also led to many affiliated activities popping up, and it comes as no surprise that betting is one of the most popular. You can find esports competitions listed at many top Canadian betting sites, with opportunities for wagering much like those of live physical sports. This has led to even more interest, helping the industry as a whole to prosper in the competitive arena of 2020.

Canadian companies thriving in digital landscape

Though Esports is booming worldwide, Canada itself is poised at the forefront of the entire movement. The country is already known as a major hub for esports companies and developers, as lenient regulations for the Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE) and Toronto Stock Exchange (TSXV) mean that companies can open themselves up for trading more easily in Canada than in some other nations.

Toronto-based investment company New Wave Esports has already funded several key organizations, including competitive gaming company Talon Esports and event organizer Matchup Gaming. With further investments to come in the near future, NWE is paving the way for more industry growth in Canada.

But that’s not all. Canada is home to a myriad of professional and semi-professional esports leagues, as well as valuable top-earning players such as famous Dota 2 pro and fan favorite Arteezy.

Canadian teams are at an advantage because of the country’s emerging status as a forward-thinking esports nation, and Canadian players are in a unique position to reap the benefits of the nation’s emerging esports community.

Mergers, partnerships, and affiliations help the surge

The growth of the Canadian esports industry can also be partly attributed to a series of profitable mergers, partnerships, and affiliations set up by companies that call the country home. For example, Torque Esports recently announced a merger with esports companies WinView Inc. and Frankly Inc. in order to create a new goliath of gaming: Engine Media Holdings.

The new company will encompass a comprehensive esports service platform including content, events, and hardware.

Mergers like this one have the potential to increase sales and sponsorships through increased awareness and extended reach in the esports world. But partnerships are also happening outside the endemic world of esports, with celebrity affiliations and sponsorships becoming the next big frontier for Canadian esports.

Canadian singer The Weeknd is now the official co-owner of Esports company OverActive media, while rapper Drake owns part of the esports brand 100 Thieves. These types of celebrity affiliations raise awareness for esports, ensuring that it grows in popularity and remains a highly recognized pastime.

With the combination of cultural acceptance, media exposure, and corporate interest, esports in Canada will continue to grow exponentially through the coming years. Of course, one cannot know exactly what the future might hold. But given recent successes and rapid market expansion, things are looking up for the gaming landscape in the Great White North.


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