It looks like Israel is well on its way to becoming an esports capital with its first country-wide championship.
Hosted by GameIn Pro in Tel Aviv, the two-day event included ten different esports games, including League of Legends, CS:GO, Overwatch and FIFA. Each winning team took home up to $1,600 (£1293.14). GameIn Pro reported about 5,000 tickets sold with 2,000 of the total 10,000 people attending showing up in the event’s first few hours.
In the CS:GO branch of the tournament, the ESEA Open team AOT (Always On Top) defeated the ESEA Main team NetRunners 2-0 in the finals and took home the $1,600 grand prize.
The organisers didn’t skimp when it came to sponsors as the tournament also served as an exhibition for big name gaming companies like Lenovo, Xbox and HP Omen. When it came to media coverage, IGN Israel were on the spot and even broadcast the competitions on Israeli television, something never before seen in this growing region for esports.
Israel seems to be a bit of a hotspot for other companies lately. The Israel-based Zengaming, a platform meant for pro gamers to show off their achievements to people in the industry raised $2.8 million (£2,262,992) worth of funding. In addition to this, the UK launched GINX TV also began broadcasting content through Israeli Partner Communications’ 4GTV app.
The only other place where Israel was represented was during E-Frag’s CS:GO World Championships 2016. There, Team Israel placed 25-40th in the Qualifiers after losing to Team Estonia who went on to also beat Team Ukraine.
Esports Insider says: Support for countries in which esports is a developing field is always a welcome sight. After all, esports is meant to be a welcoming field where everyone can make it to the top with enough determination. If we don’t support the start-ups, we might never get the chance to find the next big esports superstar.