Esports Around The World: Canada

Esports Around The World is a series of profiles outlining the esports ecosystem in various countries globally. The series ties into ESI’s international esports business events, which take place around the world.

Esports around the world canada
The Esports Around The World series will profile major & minor esports nations across the globe.

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Canada has a strong presence in the global esports industry, in part due to its geographical and cultural proximity to its neighbor the United States, which is the second-largest esports market in the world. Canada is home to a number of internationally-important brands, teams, tournaments, companies and organisations.

Esports industry players including OverActive Media, Rivalry, React Gaming Group, Battlefy and Enthusiast Gaming hail from across Canada. Additionally, a host of top-tier professional talent across multiple titles come from Canada, again thanks to its location enabling easy online play with North American playerbases. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Fortnite and Rocket League all enjoy popularity in the country.

Home to three esports arenas, and with 1.5 million Canadians watching esports at least once per month in 2019 according to esports analytics firm Newzoo, Canada constitutes an important Western esports market.

Government Recognition

The Canadian government has not officially recognised esports as a sport in any capacity.

However, the Vancouver Economic Commission, an external agency of the City of Vancouver, has formulated a Vancouver Esports Strategy for the West-coast Canadian city. The report equips decision-makers with insights into esports and builds on those insights to propose a set of strategy recommendations for establishing the city as an esports hub.

Other Canadian cities and regions are working on similar esports strategies, according to Invest in Canada.

Notable Tournaments & Leagues

Canada has a number of major leagues and tournaments that take place in the country. Canadian cities are represented in North American esports franchised leagues, including the Call of Duty Pro League (CDL) and the Overwatch League (OWL).

Call of Duty League (CDL) NACE Starleague
Canadian Collegiate Esports League NBA 2k League
CSL Esports Overwatch League (OWL)
Halo Championship Series (HCS) PlayVS
High School Esports League PUBG Continental Series
League of Legends Championship Series (LCS)
Rainbow 6 North American League (R6LNA)
Teamfight Tactics North American Esports
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ESI’s Washington DC conference will focus on the growth of esports around the world.

Notable Esports Organisations

Note that this is a non-exhaustive list and exclusion does not signify an org is not notable.

Able Esports Overactive Media (Toronto Defiant, Toronto Ultra, Montreal Rebellion)
Chaos Esports Club Parabellum Esports
Lazarus Esports SoaR Gaming
Luminosity Gaming (Vancouver Titans) Raptors Uprising
Mirage Esports

National Associations / Federations

Note that inclusion in this list does not suggest any acknowledgement from ESI of its authority, works or official capacity.

Alberta Esports Association (AESA) Esport Canada
Canada Academie Esports (CAE) Manitoba Esports Association (MESA)
Canada Sports Association (CSA) NA LCS Players Association
Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) North American Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF)
Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) University of British Columbia Esports Association (UBCEA)

Education Initiatives

In December 2021, 12 Canadian universities teamed up to launch the Canadian Collegiate Esports League (CCEL), a unified body for Canadian collegiate esports. 

BC School Sports partnered up with GameSeta Esports Inc in October 2020 to improve the British Columbian collegiate esports scene. St. Clair College announced plans in June 2015 for a 15,000-square-foot esports facility. Additionally, collegiate esports league NACE Starleague, and high school esports operator PlayVS, cater to Canadian schools.  

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This is a preliminary country profile and will be augmented with additional information over time. If you have any suggestions or feedback for this profile, please get in touch at [email protected]

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