Konami held its PES League 2017 world finals at the Emirates Stadium in London last week, and have bigger plans for the future.
The PES League finals – won by 17-year-old Brazilian player GuiFera – took place at the Woolwich Suite at the Emirates. There were probably 100 or so seats for media, teams and players.
While online viewership was strong (1.8 million Facebook users tuned in to watch the qualifier at Anfield, in which UK PES players were knocked out), Konami is already thinking about having a bigger physical esports stage for next year’s finals.
Lennart Bobzien, European PES League and Digital Manager at Konami, told Esports News UK Konami could hold another event in the UK again.
“This Arsenal stadium was great for us, it’s a great opportunity to run an event like this,” he said. “Obviously it’s shown that events in a stadium are amazing – and we’re looking into options in the future to do something similar.
“It could be in the UK, it could be in Germany, that’s something we’re looking around. It could be possible to come back to the UK.
“It could be something where we’re filling a venue, maybe not with 90,000 people but potentially with a few thousand people, which will be the next huge step for us.”
“Compared to last year where we hosted the finals in Milan in a bar area, now we’re coming to stadiums. Potentially in the future it could be something where we’re filling a venue, maybe not with 90,000 people but potentially with a few thousand people, which will be the next huge step for us.”
He added: “Even structure-wise, it’s not set right now that the structure will be exactly the same next year. We might make a few changes.
“We’ll definitely have exciting stuff coming up for the PES League season next year. We’ll announce more soon.”
Lennart also commented on the state of the UK PES scene.
“Unfortunately the UK players didn’t make it to the world finals,” he added. “I think it was a bit unfortunate as we had two UK players at Anfield and they both got drawn into the same group. They didn’t make it.
“Those two players are quite good players, we know them from the past. Dex was in the world finals last year in Milan. But the level of skill is so high so unfortunately they didn’t make it [to the finals].”
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.