Esports Around The World: Spain

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

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

Introduction

Thanks to its relevance within multiple European scenes, and on world stages, Spain is one of the beacons of the esports industry. It is often overlooked due to being part of the wider ‘European market’, which can sometimes blur the intricacies to those in the Americas or Asia. However, with esports mainstays like MAD Lions and G2 Esports hailing from the country, every esports fan feels the industry impact of the Spanish esports scene.

Riot Games’ titles are the most prominent in the country. The domestic League of Legends league organised by LVP (Liga Videojuegos Profesional), LVP Superliga, is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the local scene. However, VALORANT has been quickly growing and conquering space in Spain that previously belonged to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

LVP, property of media conglomerate Mediapro, is one of the main drivers of esports in Spain, though the company has built up enough momentum to enter Spanish-speaking Latin American markets such as Argentina and Peru. GGTech is another prominent force in Spanish esports, which has also followed expansion routes to other Spanish-speaking countries. ESL additionally maintains a strong position in Spain.

As the country home to one of the main football leagues in the world (La Liga), EA Sports FIFA competitions are also highly valued in Spain — with a FIFA league supported by LaLiga itself, the eLaLiga. Football also made itself present in Spanish esports when FC Barcelona’s Gerard Piqué partnered with the streamer Ibai Llanos to launch an organisation named KOI in 2021. Barcelona football club itself owns an organisation, named Barça eSports.

Some of the main sponsors of the local scene are Spanish bank Santander and telecom company Movistar. Foreign esports organisations are also looking into expanding into the Spanish market, such as Italian organisation QLASH, which has been investing in a fast-paced expansion in the territory.

In May 2021, the Spanish sports business outlet Palco23 reported data from consulting company Interbrand pointing at a Spanish market valuation of €27m (~£23.2m). The Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) describes Spain’s ecosystem as an example of an ideal esports market.

Government recognition

Although there is not an official, specific regulation for esports in the country, the Spanish government included esports in an audiovisual industry development project, the ‘Spain Audiovisual Hub Program’. Launched in 2021, it aims to grow the general Spanish multimedia production industry by 30% by 2025.

According to the Spanish Video Game Association (AEVI), the local esports market runs smoothly under regular Spanish laws, and legislation specifically catering to esports is not yet needed. However, the body says that depending on how the sector develops, “it may be necessary to discuss whether additional regulation is needed, always in accordance with European developments to avoid a restrictive regulation which could jeopardise Spain’s competitiveness in relation to other countries.”

Notable Tournaments & Leagues

As noted above, Spain has both a robust domestic scene, and plenty of experience hosting major international tournaments.

BLAST Pro Series: Madrid 2019League of Legends World Championship 2019 (Quarter- and Semi-Finals)
Dreamhack ValenciaRLCS World Championship 2018
eLaLigaSuperliga
ESL Masters EspañaVALORANT Regional League Spain: Rising MediaMarkt e Intel
EU LCS Summer Finals 2018

Notable Esports Organisations

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

G2 EsportsMovistar Riders
MAD LionsKOI
Team HereticsTeam Queso
Giants Gaming (Good Game Group)

National Association(s) / Federation(s)

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

Federación Española de Jugadores de Videojuegos y Esports (FEJUVES)
Spanish Video Game Association (AEVI)

Education intiatives

Initiatives in Spain are mobilising to provide qualified workers for the large number of professional esports organisations in the country. Events organiser GGTech even highlights ‘education’ as one of the three pillars of the company’s strategy.

Recently, Italian organisation QLASH announced a partnership with ESIC Business & Marketing School Valencia to enhance the professional formation within the esports and gaming industry.

Esports Insider