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.
Thanks to its relevance within multiple European scenes, and on world stages, Spain is one of the beacons of the esports industry. It is perhaps sometimes 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 G2 Esports, Giants and MAD Lions hailing from the country, esports fans far and wide feel 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, and attracts strong viewership for a country-specific league. Spanish players enjoy competitive success in Rocket League, and VALORANT has also been quickly growing and conquering space in Spain.
Spanish fans are often regarded as highly devoted and faithful, which perhaps prompted Riot Games to trial co-streaming of the League Legends LEC with spanish organisations KOI and Team Heretics. Spanish teams MAD Lions, KOI and Team Heretics all play in the LEC, making Spain the country with the most representatives in the league.
LVP, a property of media conglomerate Mediapro, is one of the main drivers of esports in Spain. The company has also 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 operates an organisation, named Barça eSports. David de Gea also has an esports organisation called Rebels Gaming which is a part of the LVP Another footballer, Juan Mata, is a shareholder in the company.
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.
2023 saw an interesting push by Spanish tourism bodies in esports. Riot Games partnered with Andalucía government to promote the region as a tourist destination. Spanish esports organisation Giants Gaming followed with its own partnership with Andalucía, having also previously partnered with the Malaga Provincial Council to promote the Costa del Sol region earlier in the year.
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
Spain has both a robust domestic scene, and plenty of experience hosting major international tournaments.
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.
|Federación Española de Jugadores de Videojuegos y Esports (FEJUVES)
|Spanish Video Game Association (AEVI)
Initiatives in Spain are mobilising to provide qualified workers for the large number of professional esports organisations in the country. Events organiser GGTech highlights ‘education’ as one of the three pillars of the company’s strategy; GGTech struck a major collegiate partnership with Riot Games in July 2023.
Additionally, David de Gea-owned Rebels Gaming has launched an esports business diploma in Spain in May 2023.
Recently, Italian organisation QLASH announced a partnership with ESIC Business & Marketing School Valencia to enhance the professional formation within the esports and gaming industry.
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 originally published: July 2022. Article last updated: September 8th, 2023.