Welsh Esports League launches: Esports Wales hopes new league will help develop players and talent, with Dragons RFC fielding a team

Welsh Esports League

A brand new Welsh Esports League and Welsh Community Overwatch Tournament will begin this month, as new initiatives to foster grassroots esports talent.

Esports body Esports Wales says the league will kick off on January 16th 2023 ‘featuring some of the best esports talent in Wales’, with teams competing in a round robin format to show who’s best.

The Welsh Esports League will feature tournaments in games including Dota 2, Rainbow 6 Siege, CSGO and Tekken. Then from February 13th it will feature League of Legends, F1 Esports, Rocket League, Valorant and FIFA.

The Welsh Community Overwatch Tournament will also begin on January 19th, with eight teams also competing in a round robin format.

The Welsh Esports League and Welsh Community Overwatch Tournament have a prize pool of over £4,500 altogether. They’ve been set up to let players showcase their skills and represent Wales on a national level.

Esports Wales CEO John Jackson added: “Prizes differ for each game but it’s roughly £100 per player with a sub in a team, for example Dota has a £600 prize pool, Rocket League has £400. The total prize pool is just £4500. 

“Rules also differ for each game but generally, it’s a round-robin tournament where each team plays the other once, on a best-of-one [basis]. The matches for each game will be on the same night of the week for four weeks.”

Games will be streamed on the Esports Wales Twitch channel, and there’s more info in this Welsh Esports League PDF.

Players who are interested in participating can sign up to the Welsh Esports League draft via this application form and then await to be contacted by a team. 

Esports Wales CEO on long-term goal of Welsh Esports League

John Jackson told Esports News UK: “The Welsh Esports League is brand new for 2023, and the long-term goal is to create that grassroots league for players and teams develop before moving on to the larger leagues in the UK and Europe scene. 

“It will also help us with developing and scouting national players for upcoming international games for Wales and Team GB.”

John Jackson also went into more detail on Esports Wales achievements in 2022 in this tweet.

esports wales gold rocket league
Esports Wales’ Rocket League open team secured gold at the Commonwealth Esports Championships in Birmingham last year(image by British Esports)

John also spoke about the teams in the Welsh Esports League and nationality requirements.

“We’ve helped create eight regional teams [for the Welsh Esports League], these teams are only regional by committee members,” he said. “No mixed teams are able to sign up for the tournament.

“Players aren’t regionally locked to a certain region. And players aren’t required to be Welsh, but each team is required to have a 50% Welsh roster including the sub, so a team of five would need two Welsh players (other than single-player games, which require 100% Welsh).”

The teams for the Welsh Esports League include the Cardiff Blue Birds (linked with the Cardiff Rugby team), Newport Dragons (of Rugby Union side Dragons RFC), Swans Esports, Valleys Pit Ponies, Pembroke Puffins Esports, Robins, Artists and The Goats.

Related article: Interview with Labour’s MP for Pontypridd in Wales, and Shadow Minister for DCMS about esports

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