Esports Around The World: Isle of Man

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

The Esports Around The World series will profile major & minor esports nations & territories across the globe.
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While not a sovereign country, the Isle of Man is a self-governing British crown dependency with its own parliament, laws, traditions and culture. Known for its rich competitive heritage, the 33-mile long island in the Irish Sea has raised Olympic-level athletes across various sports disciplines. 

Leveraging knowledge and experience in nurturing sports talent, the island has made a considerbale push in esports comparative to its size. It is aiming to raise its profile as an authentic esports destination, underpinned by strong levels of government support for esports. The Digital Isle of Man, an executive agency within the Isle of Man Government, has made a push to turn the island into a hub for esports businesses.

At a grassroots level, the Isle of Man has a number of community programmes and events that are run on a regular basis, with the fighting game community (FGC) one of its strongest scenes.

Government Recognition

Although the island’s esports infrastructure is still in its infancy, the Isle of Man’s government was one of the first to issue an eGaming licence for esports, building on the country’s reputation as a gambling- and tax-friendly jurisdiction. In 2017, the eGaming ESP company was granted a licence to develop its esports operations on the island, covering specifically the wagering of virtual goods.

In 2019, Digital Isle of Man, which sits under the Isle of Man Government’s Department for Enterprise, formed an esports-dedicated working group to provide expertise and create a strategy for the island to support its esports sector. Since then, the esports division of the Digital Isle of Man has engaged the esports industry on multiple levels in order to create legislation and regulation.

In 2021, The Isle of Man’s government signed a sponsorship deal with former domestic esports organisation X7 Esports, becoming one of only a few governments in the world to sponsor an esports organisation.

As part of its esports push, the Dependency has also educated service providers such as law firms, banks and agencies on everything from how to spell esports to case studies on how to support the industry’s growth.

Notable Tournaments & Leagues

Manx esportsNorthern League of Legends Championship (NLC)

Notable Esports Organisations

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

X7 Esports (since shut down)

National Associations / Federations

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

Manx eGaming Association (MEGA)Manx Esports

Education Initiatives

Apart from the government-led initiative to educate Isle of Man’s businesses on the specificities of the esports sector, the island doesn’t currently accommodate a collegiate esports ecosystem. Isle of Man schools are not currently elegible for the UK’s inter-school British Esports Championships because the Isle of Man is not technically part of the United Kingdom, the British Esports Association confirmed to Esports Insider.

This is a preliminary territory 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]. First published: April 5th 2022. Last updated: August 1st 2023.