Scotland’s national Esports League has announced that the grand finals will be held online for the first time ever as part of a weekend-long gaming festival.
Organisers of BIGFest opted to host the third Scottish Esports League finals online as Covid-19 restrictions mean gamers cannot this year congregate to watch the finalists play.
The finals – held between 10 and 12 July – will be streamed live on BBC Sport Scotland and Esport’s Scotland’s Twitch channel.
Tech giant Lenovo sponsors the festival for the second year, and proceeds from the event will be donated to NHS Charities Together.
Gamers will compete across three titles – Rainbow 6 Siege, CSGO and Rocket League – for grand prizes of up to £3,000 for the winning teams.
Last year, more than 100 players and 24 teams took part in the league with the final held at the Resonate gaming festival in Glasgow. This season numbers are expected to grow as the global phenomena of Esports continues to thrive.
As well as the league’s grand finale, Esports Scotland will also run fundraising activities for NHS Charities Together, including a FIFA20 Old Firm game with two of Scotland’s top FIFA pros going head-to-head.
The game will also be commentated live by GamesMaster’s Dominik Diamond.
In the week-long build-up to the grand finale of competitive gaming, Esports Scotland will be hosting community streams across its Twitch platform.
James Hood, founder of Esports Scotland, said: “We’ll be disappointed not to meet the wonderful people of the Scottish gaming community in person this year at the League finals, but we still have lots of excitement and elite gaming to look forward to.
“The first ever BIGFest was held at the Biscuit Factory in Edinburgh in 2018 and this year, although it’s online, it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. We have a really exciting series of projects to look out for in the run-up to the main event and there really is something for everyone.
“Esports is going from strength to strength in Scotland as well as globally. One of its strengths is that it can bring people together even when we can’t physically meet up.
“We recognise the extraordinary times we’re living through and to show our support for the utterly invaluable work that the good people of the NHS do, we will be donating proceeds from this year’s BIGFest to NHS Charities Together.
“The popularity of Esports has been recognised and we’re thrilled to be working again with BBC Sport Scotland to extend the reach of Esports and the League even further.”
A spokesperson from the BBC said: “BBC Sport Scotland is delighted to stream esports again this year and be involved in developing sports which are flourishing in lockdown especially for younger audiences.”