Esports Around The World: Malta – Esports Insider

Esports Around The World is a series of profiles outlining the esports ecosystem in various countries globally. The series ties into our ESI Washington DC event taking place 16-18th May 2022, which will focus on esports’ growth around the world. The event will include a first-of-its-kind embassies tour alongside ESI’s trademark combination of networking, education and debate. Find out more here.

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Introduction

Malta is a small, but quietly rising, force in the global esports industry. Despite few esports organisations hailing from the small Mediterranean archipelago, there are a handful of domestically-focused tournaments held there, including Eden Esports’ Malta Vibes Knockout Series, and the Red Bull Strijders series. The international ESL Pro League has also been held in Malta.

Esports continues to be key in developing Malta’s digital economy, and the country’s gambling body GamingMalta has made an especially notable effort to build out Malta as an appealing location for video game companies and esports tournaments. Malta has a very large gambling and iGaming industry thanks to lax regulations and its status as a European Union country.

A combination of Maltese stakeholders hosted an inaugural game development and esports expo, called Playcon, in 2019.

The country’s focus on the education sector is particularly of note, with Malta having its own esports educational platform, Level Academy, despite its size. Level Academy hosts the Student Advancement Framework for Esports (SAFE) educational programme, which is designed to increase the knowledge of esports for both students and their parents.

Government Recognition

The Maltese government has not officially recognised esports as a sport or in any other capacity.

However, the Government of Malta co-launched GamingMalta, an independent non-profit foundation to promote the country’s iGaming sector, but which also helps promote Malta as an esports destination.

In 2018, GamingMalta and Eden Leisure Group hosted the first Malta eSports Forum – a conference introducing and discussing the country’s esports scene – in which sitting politician Silvio Schembri, the then-Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, delivered an introductory speech.

GamingMalta has also signed deals with high-profile organisations such as ESL to host Pro League events. It has described a desire to establish Malta as a home for esports business and professionals, and to make the country a go-to destination for esports events. GamingMalta also partnered with CS:GO tournament series European Development Championship in 2020.

Notable Tournaments & Leagues

Malta has hosted modest tournaments in a variety of esports titles as it seeks to make a name for itself in the industry. GamingMalta partnered with ESL to bring the ESL Pro League to the country. Having led the European Union in its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, there is hope that in-person esports events on the island will become an attractive choice, while online events continue to thrive.

EPL: Season 13 MaltaMalta BOV ePremier League
EPL: Season 14 MaltaMalta Vibes Knockout Series
European Development ChampionshipRed Bull Strijders Online Series
GO Malta Esports FestivalVelocity Esports Racing (V1 Malta Series)

 

Notable Esports Organisations

Note that this is a non-exhaustive list and exclusion does not signify an org is not notable.

Project EVERSIO

 

National Associations / Federations

Note that inclusion in this list does not suggest any acknowledgement from ESI of its authority, works or official capacity.

GamingMaltaMalta Esports Association

 

Education Initiatives

Malta is home to Level Academy, Malta’s first esports educational platform.

The Student Advancement Framework for Esports (SAFE) is a collaboration between Level Academy and Swedish esports academy Area Academy, which brings senior students and parents a range of esports activities. It aims to ensure parents back the programme, and so organises events including educational talks on the positive and negative relationship between mental health and video games.

Level Academy, in collaboration with the Mater Boni Consilii St Joseph School Paola, hosted Malta’s first ever in-school introductory esports training programme, which involved a variety of teaching in a six-part educational programme on esports and game development.

RELATED: Esports Around The World: Philippines

This is a preliminary country profile and will be augmented with additional information over time. If you have any suggestions or feedback for this profile, please get in touch at [email protected]

ESI DC is 16-18th May! Find out more.

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