Gfinity’s third and largest event G3 wrapped up yesterday, with between 2,000 – 4,000 visitors attending at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and a peak of around 80,000 viewers online it was a great success all round, and a step forward for the UK eSports scene as a whole.
Around £45,000 was given away during the finals on Sunday, with Virtus.pro taking home the largest chunk at £20,000 for winning the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament.
Team EnVy took a fair chunk too, grabbing $30,000 for winning at Call of Duty against Epsilon eSports.
Vincent Hoffmann of that very same Epsilon eSports won $7,500 in the FIFA finals, against his Epsilon eSports team-mate, Brian. Not a bad weekend for Epsilon, then.
Patrick Brix Bjerg of Team Liquid Pro won $15,000 in the StarCraft tournament.
The Copper Box at the Olympic Park was a brilliant venue for the event, although it would have benefited from a higher turnout of supporters. It seems the challenge for Gfinity is to convince those 80,000 online spectators to head on down to the actual event. Maybe a slash of the quite steep £22 spectators fee would help. Saying that, there was plenty of entertainment to keep spectators busy, with food and merch stalls set up around the concourse, and a fantastic live gameplay stand from our friends at Xtreme_Gaming.
Professional YouTubers made the scene all that more relevant to the younger audience, too, with the likes of KSI and Ali-A hosting tournaments and signing autographs. Not to forget a great job of hosting by the one and only Julia Hardy.
There’s definitely still room for improvement, but the Gfinity events are growing from strength to strength, and we see a lot of potential there. Who knows, with the video games market growing as it is, and eSports becoming more and more popular, it’s quite feasible that Gfinity events could be considered mainstream entertainment in just a few years.
[Update] Gfinity have informed us that the peak viewers across all of their streams comes closer to 4 million. This is a much higher figure than the 80k which we monitored ourselves on the CS:GO stream, but Twitch shows a total of 8,952,983 non-consecutive views across the COD, CS, SC2 and FIFA streams throughout the entire weekend, so it is highly probable.