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.
Located in the middle of Europe, despite its relatively small population, Hungary has always been famous for its innovators, let it be Ernő Rubik”s Rubik’s Cube or János Neumann’s very first computer. Esports is no exception, as its history goes back to the early 2000s.
Probably the most known name from the early days of Hungarian esports is Balázs ‘KODIAK’ Török, who made it to the World Cyber Games three times and finished top eight in 2005. Counter-Strike was the most popular title in Hungary for many years, with events like the Budapest Esport Cup (BECUP) or venues such as the PGCC helping the local scene quickly grow.
Despite the success of Counter-Strike, Hungary’s real breakthrough in esports came in League of Legends in 2014, where Tamás ‘Vizicsacsi’ Kiss made it to the European League of Legends pro circuit as the first-ever Hungarian LoL player. No other Hungarians have made it to the circuit — now called the LEC — since. Bence ‘Deadfox’ Böröcz put Counter-Strike back on the map when he became the first professional CS:GO player in Hellraisers and the first Hungarian player to make it to a CS:GO Major. Moreover, these days Mousesports’ Ádám ‘Torzsi’ Torzsás represents Hungary in international CS:GO.
A major change for the local scene was the V4 Future Sports Festival. Supported by the government of Hungary and organised by the Esportmilla Association, it was a €1m (~£886,000) prize pool international event across CS:GO, League of Legends, FIFA 18 and Clash Royale. V4, which was organised in 2019 and 2021, not only put Hungary on the global esports map, but provided memorable moments for the country.
Interestingly, Budapest — the capital of Hungary — almost honested the LEC Spring finals in 2020, too. However, due to the spreading of the coronavirus pandemic, Riot Games decided to organise the finals in a studio environment.
V4 opened up many opportunities in the country. New tournaments arose and universities and high schools started experimenting with esports classes. Commercial TV channels included esports in their programming and new esports venues were built. The Hungarian Sportspeople of the Year Gala now includes the Esport Player category as well, and the National Lottery Company introduced esports betting.
Despite not being officially recognised, various governmental institutions have highlighted in previous years that they see potential in the industry.
Notable Tournaments & Leagues
Hungary is home to some national-level competitions, with connection points to regional-level tournaments. Even though the prize pools are modest and the structure is well developed, the number of these competitions is still relatively small.
|V4 Future Sports Festival||Hungarian National Esports Championship (MNEB)|
|Stay & Play Gamer Cup||Digital Warriors|
Notable Esports Organisations
Note that this is a non-exhaustive list and exclusion does not signify an org is not notable.
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.
Meanwhile, SAS Budapest is a high school that offers esports courses for those who wanna become professionals or want to work in the industry after their school years.
This is a preliminary country profile and will be updated over time. If you have any suggestions or feedback for this profile, please get in touch at: [email protected].
This edition of Esports Around The World is part of the CEE Esports Report, a fortnightly series covering the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region, written by Esports Insider’s esports business media partner Esport1 CEE.