Esports Around The World: Portugal

Esports Around The World is a series of profiles outlining the esports ecosystem in various countries globally. For details about ESI Lisbon, Esports Insider’s esports, gaming and creator industry event in Portugal, click here.

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The Esports Around The World series profiles major & minor esports nations across the globe.


With a population of roughly 10 million, Portugal sits at the very Westernmost point of continental Europe. Despite sharing the Iberian peninsula with its much larger neighbour Spain, Portugal manages to pull its own weight in esports.

Esports in Portugal has a surprisingly long history. Portuguese esports organisation K1ck Esports was established in 1998, making it one of the oldest esports organisations in the world. Several other organisations also claim long decades-long histories such as non-profit Grow uP, founded in 2002, and For The Win which dates to 2012. Portugal also plays host to LIsboa Games Week, a major gaming trade fair running since 2014, as well as XL Games.

Today, Portugal has seen a few big Counter-Strike events hosted in the country. BLAST Premier’s 2022 Spring Finals and the BLAST Pro Series Lisbon 2018 were both held at the MEO Arena in the capital, Lisbon. There are several Portuguese Counter-Strike players relevant on the global stage, particularly Ricardo ‘fox’ Pacheco, alongside his four Portuguese teammates at SAW, which participated at the PGL Major Stockholm 2024.

The country’s biggest domestic Counter-Strike league is the Master League, run by event operator E2Tech. The company also organises a range of regional esports and gaming events including Rocket Master League Portugal and efootball esports competitions, the latter of which is in collaboration with the Portuguese Football Federation.

While generally smaller than the Counter-Strike scene in the country, Portugal has a domestic League of Legends league, the Liga Portuguesa de League of Legends (LPLOL). It counts KitKat, telecoms company MEO, pop culture brand Moche and more as sponsors, per its website. LPLOL is organised by Inygon, a Portuguese esports startup that offers tournament operation and other esports services. There are a handful of notable LoL players from Portugal, such as ex-Giants player Amadeu ‘Attila’ Carvalho.

Meanwhile, Gaspar ‘Hypno’ Machado is a Quake and Unreal Tournament star hailing from Portugal who has several major trophies under his belt.

Additionally, multi-title women’s esports event GIRLGAMER Esports Festival — which is run by Grow uP — was held in Lisbon in 2018. Telmo Silva, the Founder and CEO at Grow uP eSports, was inducted into the ESI Hall of Fame in 2022 as a Youth Champion. Meanwhile, in May 2022, global customer experience company Teleperformance unveiled a €1.2m (~£1.0m) esports arena in Lisbon, to be used primarily by its staff and for private events.

With its rich footballing history, Portugal has also been active in the football sports simulation space. In March 2023 the Portuguese Football Federation, the governing body for football in Portugal, launched a campaign to popularise esports in the country — in particular EA Sports FC and eFootball. The campaign aims to communicate the benefits of esports with a broader audience in Portugal, focusing on Portuguese universities.

Moreover, the country’s top-flight football division clubs participate in eLiga Portugal, the official esports competition for the country’s football league (Liga Portugal). The tournament sees the likes of Benfica, Boavista, Braga and Sporting (who recently upgraded their own esports facility) compete in esports. Portugal also has a specialised esports division inside its FA, called FPF eFootball, which is tasked with organising the eLiga and choosing Portugal’s national esports team. Portuguese international football star Diogo Jota additionally launched and owns his own esports team, Luna Galaxy (formerly Diogo Jota Esports).

In September 2024, Esports Insider will hold its flagship esports, video games and gaming creator industry conference, ESI Lisbon, in the country’s capital. The conference gathers leading stakeholders from the esports, gaming and creator sectors worldwide at the MEO Arena from September 23rd-25th, and includes special events such as the ESI Film Festival, the ESI Hall of Fame and Esports Leaders.

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Government recognition

The Portuguese government does not appear to have taken any public steps to recognise or fund the esports sector in the country.

While the government has not gotten involved directly, state-owned broadcaster Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) has a dedicated esports news portal, RTP Arena, which has covered national and international esports news since 2016.

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Notable Tournaments & Leagues

Portugal has several notable domestic leagues with interest from both fans and sponsors, but has seen relatively few major international LAN events.

BLAST Premier: Spring Finals 2022Liga Portuguesa de League of Legends (LPLOL)
BLAST Pro Series: Lisbon 2018Master League Portugal
eLiga PortugalVPG Liga Portugal
GIRLGAMER Esports Festival 2018
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Notable Esports Organisations

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

Betclic ApogeeK1CK Esports
For The Win EsportsLuna Galaxy
Grow uP eSportsSAW
GTZ EsportsSharks Esports
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National Association(s) / Federation(s)

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

Portuguese Esports Federation (FPDE)
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Education initiatives

Portuguese non-profit Grow uP partnered with football club Casa Pia A.C. in December 2023 in a deal that saw them work together on ‘social projects’ at the Education and Development Centers of the Casa Pia de Lisboa institute. The club and the organisation also said they’d  work together to use video games as a tool for integration, inclusion and diversity.

In March 2024, the Portuguese Football Federation created a campaign focused on popularising esports, in particular football simulation games, which it said would focus on universities across Portugal.

Additionally, according to the Portuguese Electronic Sports Federation (FPDE)’s website, the FPDE signed a ‘collaboration protocol’ with the Faculty of Human Motricity of the University of Lisbon. That partnership aimed to promote “technical and scientific cooperation efforts in the field of electronic sports.” Details about when it was signed were not available.

Lisbon Digital School, which specialises in Digital Marketing training, offers a specialised course in Gaming and Esports.

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]. First published: March 28th 2024.

Esports Insider