Toronto is a gaming hotspot.
The world’s top global game developers call Toronto home. (Think: Ubisoft, Gameloft, Certain Affinity — to name a few). The city has hosted major local esports tournaments — Game Land at NXNE Music & Gaming Festival, Get on My Level (GOML) and Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo. And in 2022, for the first time ever in Canada, Toronto played host to the renowned Call of Duty and Overwatch Leagues tournaments.
Approximately 12,000 fans descended on the Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly the historic Maple Leaf Gardens) for a best-on-best of some of the greatest professional esports players from around the world.
This year, OverActive Media made some serious headway in furthering the city’s position as a global esports hub. The power of in-person connection was apparent at two Canadian firsts this summer.
June and September marked the first time ever that the immensely popular Call of Duty and Overwatch Leagues held tournaments here. Over the course of four days during each tournament, approximately 12,000 fans descended on the Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly the historic Maple Leaf Gardens) for a best-on-best of some of the greatest professional esports players from around the world.
First things first: What is a professional esports tournament?
While not all pro esports events are the same, the two that OverActive Media hosted are comparable. Ranging from eight to 12 teams competing for prize pools upwards of $500,000 USD, the tournaments followed a double-elimination style bracket which made for an exciting run to Championship Sunday.
Competing teams sat alongside each other on the main stage in an arena-style setup giving fans ample opportunity to get caught up in the hype. In-arena hosts, esports casters and fan activations all added to the atmosphere, creating an engaging experience for attendees. To top it all off, the event was streamed live on YouTube, where global fans could tune in.
What’s on the horizon for esport live events and competitions in Toronto?
Since its inception in 2018, live events have been a part of OverActive Media’s vision for the company. As part of that vision, plans are underway for a new state-of-the-art performance venue that will further solidify Toronto as a world-leading entertainment market.
The community that has brought esports to the forefront in Toronto shows no signs of slowing.
The new multipurpose venue which is targeted for completion in 2025 will provide the city with a next-generation destination where live, immersive events elevate the spectator experience. The venue will offer premiere music and entertainment acts a new place to call home in Toronto, currently the fourth largest city in North America. The 7,000-seat venue will also serve as a home for OverActive Media’s two Toronto-based professional esports teams.
The success of this year’s major esports tournaments confirmed the enthusiasm from both new and existing fans for in-person events. The community that has brought esports to the forefront in Toronto shows no signs of slowing, and the more people that can experience esports first-hand, the greater the opportunity they’ll be converted into fans.
A little more about OverActive Media
OverActive Media is a 21st-century global sports, media and entertainment company for today’s generation of fans. As Canada’s largest esports ownership group, the company operates the most popular teams inside the country’s top franchised esports Leagues, all based right here in Toronto. Toronto Ultra of the Call of Duty League and Toronto Defiant of the Overwatch League represent the 6ix on the global, competitive stage.
For more information about OverActive Media, check out overactivemedia.com.
Connect with a member of Destination Toronto’s Global Sales & Services team to learn more about hosting an event in the city.