'People have been trying to grow UK eSports for years, but this time it's different'


Multiplay CEO and founder Craig “Wizzo” Fletcher says that now is the time for eSports to prosper – both globally and in the UK.
When asked by eSports News UK at i57 whether he sees the likes of ESL, DreamHack and Gfinity as rivals, Craig said: “Everyone is trying to do their own thing and grow uk eSports, but we need to do more. The UK has lagged behind so much. There’s 60 million people in this country. If 10% of them do eSports that’s a lot of people.
“I’d be worried if I said the market is only big enough for one provider. There’s always going to be room for other people and I think all of us are striving in different ways, and attacking different parts of the pyramid. That’s great. I think the Gfinity Arena is brilliant, they’ve learned a lot and we’ve learned a lot. The Premiership is great. I think eSports is a bit like the Wild West, everyone is out there mining for gold in their different areas, and there’s a lot of learning going on.
“People are seeing what works and what doesn’t. Just because something works in the US or Korea doesn’t necessarily mean it will work here. You need to give it some time to work. It’s good that everyone is experimenting and trying out new things; it’s great to see investment in eSports.
“I’ve been doing this 22 years. I’ve seen a few false starts over those years where VCs (venture capital firms) have thrown a lot of money, disrupted the space and disappeared. And we’re left the pick up the pieces. That’s happened a few times.
“This time it’s different. And I think the big difference is streaming and the accessibility of eSports. It’s no surprise that the curve of viewership starts to tick up after 2011 when services like Twitch arrived. We were doing streaming before Twitch and it was horrendously expensive. Even having 4,000 concurrent viewers on your stream would cost you tens of thousands of pounds.
“With Twitch and social media growing, you see the tick up, and suddenly it’s accessible – everyone wants a piece of it.”

Check out more from our interview with Craig here

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