The future of UK Pro Gaming: Multiplay is at the forefront

Thursday, 6 December 2012 14:46 GMT By Sam Clay

The world of pro-gaming is growing. With both viewership and prize pots now pushing into the millions, UK-based Multiplay tells Sam Clay it’s time to invest, big time.

Pro gaming is an odd subject, as many find it daunting to cover or understand what is actually going on.

“I visited Multiplay’s i47 event over the weekend, spent time with the gamers, and spoke to many people with names like ‘phazer’ ‘tazer’ and ‘lazer’”

We’ve all watched thousands of people play games for huge cash prizes and yet, some still don’t quite understand what’s going on. I myself admit to having little knowledge about the genre.

Over the weekend, I visited Multiplay’s i47 event and spent time with and spoke to many people with pseudonyms like ‘phazer’ ‘tazer’ and ‘lazer’ – greeting them in slightly the same way a stray dog would. There were moments when I’d speak to someone ‘big’ in the industry and simply just say, “What the hell do you do? What is your job? Who are you?”, like a really uncool kid.

After soaking in the atmosphere and getting sweaty from all the heat 2,000 PCs kick out, it occurred to me that most of the people in the room wouldn’t attend such events like EG Expo or Gamescom – they’d never show up to see the latest games. These are gamers who are hardcore for community, a family of players who want to be competitive and be rewarded for their skills, while at the same time being only 100ft from a beer bar.

Most attendees don’t even bother enter the pro-tournaments: I spoke with one group which simply attends just to play DayZ together. For those who care, they’re currently at the North-West airfield, all 15 of them. In other words, stay the hell away from the Airfield. Even Dean Hall doesn’t go there.

So, what’s going on with e-sports then?

The following morning I collared Craig Fletcher, MD at Multiplay, for an interview: only moments after he attempted to announce something over the venue’s Tannoy system and sounding similar to a race-caller at the track.

However, I didn’t find him in an office hidden away somewhere like some Bond Villain, instead, he was actually at the tuck shop serving. I found it heartening to see the boss man at work, getting stuck in. Respect points sir. I’ll fist bump you sometime.

With plenty to discuss, I pulled Fletcher in front of my camera, turned a bright light on, and spoke nonsense to him. Our conversation in full is featured in the video at the start of the post.

Is pro gaming something you’d be interested to hear more about? If so, how would you like it to be covered? Let me know in the comments section.

Photo credit: Multiplay

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