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.
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Malta is a small, but quietly rising, force in the global esports industry. Despite few esports organisations hailing from the small Mediterranean archipelago, there are a handful of domestically-focused tournaments held there, such as the Eden Esports’ Malta Vibes Knockout Series. The international ESL Pro League was also scheduled to be held in Malta, though was forced online admist the COVID-19 pandemic.
Esports continues to be key in developing Malta’s digital economy, and the country’s gambling body GamingMalta has made an especially notable effort to build out Malta as an appealing location for video game companies and esports tournaments. Malta has a very large gambling and iGaming industry thanks to lax regulations and its status as a European Union country.
A combination of Maltese stakeholders hosted an inaugural game development and esports expo, called Playcon, in 2019.
The country’s focus on the education sector is particularly of note, with a variety of schemes in place. Malta has its own esports educational platform, Level Academy, despite its size. It notably runs the SAFE (Student Advancement Frame Programme) educational programme, designed to increase the knowledge of esports for both students and parents.
The Maltese government has not officially recognised esports as a sport or in any other capacity.
However, the Government of Malta co-launched GamingMalta, an independent non-profit foundation to promote the country’s iGaming sector, but which also helps promote Malta as an esports destination.
In 2018, GamingMalta and Eden Leisure Group hosted the first Malta eSports Forum – a conference introducing and discussing the country’s esports scene – in which sitting politician Silvio Schembri, the then-Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, delivered an introductory speech.
GamingMalta has also signed deals with high-profile organisations such as ESL to host Pro League events. It has described a desire to establish Malta as a home for esports business and professionals, and to make the country a go-to destination for esports events. GamingMalta also partnered with CS:GO tournament series European Development Championship in 2020.
Notable Tournaments & Leagues
Malta has hosted modest tournaments in a variety of esports titles as it seeks to make a name for itself in the industry. GamingMalta partnered with ESL to bring the ESL Pro League to the country, though due to COVID-19 it took place online. Having led the European Union in its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, there is hope that in-person esports events on the island will become an attractive choice, while online events continue to thrive.
|EPL: Season 13 Malta||Malta BOV ePremier League|
|EPL: Season 14 Malta||Malta Vibes Knockout Series|
|European Development Championship||Velocity Esports Racing (V1 Malta Series)|
|GO Malta Esports Festival||World Pro Racing|
Notable Esports Organisations
Note that this is a non-exhaustive list and exclusion does not signify an org is not notable.
National Associations / Federations
Note that inclusion in this list does not suggest any acknowledgement from ESI of its authority, works or official capacity.
|GamingMalta||Malta Esports Association|
Malta is home to Level Academy, the country’s first esports educational platform. It designs and implements training programmes for aspiring esports professionals, from amateur to professional level, according to its website. It also operates introductory courses about esports and live streaming.
Level Academy’s SAFE programme brings senior students and parents a number of different esports activities. It aims to ensure parents back the programme, and so organises educational events including talks on the positive and negative relationship between mental health and video games.
Level Academy, in collaboration with the Mater Boni Consilii St Joseph School Paola, hosted Malta’s first ever in-school introductory esports training programme, which involved a variety of teaching in a six-part educational programme on esports and game development.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article removed reference to Level Academy’s SAFE programme, details of which have now been reinstated.
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]