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.
ESI London 2024


Canada has a strong presence in the global esports industry, in part due to its geographical and cultural proximity to its neighbour the United States, a major player in the global esports market. However, despite the country being regularly associated with its North American compatriot, Canada is home to a number of internationally-important brands, teams, tournaments, companies and organisations.

Esports industry stakeholders including OverActive Media, Rivalry and Enthusiast Gaming hail from the country. 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 player bases. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Fortnite and Rocket League all enjoy popularity in the country.

Some notable Canadian players within the esports ecosystem include Tyson ‘TenZ’ Ngo (VALORANT), Russel ‘Twistzz’ Van Dulken (FaZe Clan) and Joseph Joon ‘jojopyun’ Pyun (League of Legends).

In 2025, OverActive Media is set to open a multi-use 7000-seater arena, dubbed to be for the ‘next generation of fans’.

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)NBA 2k League
Canadian Collegiate Esports LeagueNACE Starleague
CSL EsportsOverwatch League Grand Finals 2023
Halo Championship Series (HCS)PUBG Continental Series
High School Esports LeagueRainbow 6 North American League
League of Legends Championship Series (LCS)
VCT: The Americas
North American RLCS

Notable Esports Organisations

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

Able EsportsOveractive Media (Toronto Defiant, Toronto Ultra, Montreal Rebellion)
Disguised Raptors Uprising
Lazarus EsportsSoaR Gaming
Luminosity Gaming (Vancouver Titans)

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) Manitoba Esports Association (MESA)
Canada Academie Esports (CAE) 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)
Esport Canada

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 caters to Canadian schools.  

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]. Article updated: August 17th 2023. The original article was published on April 21st 2022.