Grassroots esports are more than just a buzzword these days

Spotlight: Grassroots Esports in Europe

Gears of War - Grassroots esports tournaments

Gears of War, one of the games with grassroots esports tournaments. (Image credit: Epic Games)

Amateur gaming doesn’t have the same sort of impact and support that pro leagues do – understandably so. It’s harder for fans to support players they don’t know, and ones that don’t have a lot of history or experience, regardless of their talent.

However, without grassroots esports, there would be no professional leagues – every player has to have come from somewhere. While nowadays full-time pros take up most of the spotlight, Europe has a thriving amateur gaming scene, and a number of their grassroots esports organizations are really making a difference in their communities.

Grassroots Tournaments

In addition to national organizations, there are also pan-European competitions and events for the amateur gaming scene. One such event was the Gears of War "Know Your Roots EU" tournament. It had a prize pool of £4000 when it took place in 2017, and it wasn’t the only one. A number of LAN grassroots events like Hypefeststation have happened and still happen across Europe – and they are where most fresh pros find their start!

German Grassroots Esports

Germany also has a thriving amateur gaming scene – and the ESBD, the German Esports Federation, is actively supporting the growth of its grassroots esports scene.

They are even hosting some competitions across the country, while also being partnered with several small to medium organizations in Germany.

Swedish Grassroots Esports

Sweden is surprisingly big in the amateur gaming market – the country has even designed and produced a specific code of conduct for the esports communities, and details how to best create open and inclusive environments.

The code has been underwritten by 12 different Swedish esports groups and aims to tackle issues like racism, sexism, and outright toxicity that the esports industry regularly grapples with. In addition to that and the variety of small organizations, Swedish grassroots esports go even deeper – as one of a few, Sweden is offering esports curricula in some of its schools.

Clearly their approach isn’t without merit – Sweden has managed to produce some of the top CS:GO players in the world.

Ninjas in Pyjamas roster with jersey

Swedish org Ninjas in Pyjamas is one of the most successful in CS:GO and other games. (Image credit: NiP)

British Grassroots Esports

The United Kingdom is one of the bigger names in European esports, and also a vocal supporter of grassroots esports initiatives and the amateur esports scene. As a matter of fact, a non-profit organization by the name of the British Esports Association was founded.

It aims to increase esports awareness, improve the standards for all participants, and more. In other words – the BEA aims to make improvements to the situation for everyone that’s involved in the esports world. Often, both pro players and amateur gaming enthusiasts face hostile work conditions, not to mention discrimination from different angles.

BEA and Table Tennis England montage

BEA partners up with Table Tennis England to promote physical and mental health. (Image credit: BEA)

Have you ever participated in an amateur esports event? How did it go? Why don't you head over to our Facebook page and tell us all about it?

And as always, keep it here with EarlyGame for more esports, gaming news and fun videos!

Melanie Hawthorne