Gaming is a multibillion-euro industry that transcends genre, age and nationality. And as we've learned, many figures in Ireland are stakeholders.

Esports in particular is something many countries around the world are heavily investing in given its meteoritic rise over the last number of years. So what lies in store for the industry here in Ireland?

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"Ireland is in a perfect place really from a gaming and esports perspective," says Trev Keane, head of esports with Epic Global Agency.

"While the esports space here is nascent, there are pockets of growth. We need to build on that. There is a perfect opportunity to have a national framework, develop international talent and create a new industry."

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"We have a population that plays games. Per statistics there are 2 million people on the Island that play video games, while a further 700k have an interest in esports" he says.

With players such as LolBoom, Jurd and Rannerz, Keane feels we’ve demonstrated that Irish talent can and will compete on an international level, and it’s time to build on that foundation.

As a member of Esports Ireland, a not-for-profit facilitator which aims to raise awareness of esports and gaming across the nation, Keane feels that there are foundations in place to capitalize on this industry but it takes time.

 "Our work to date has been about putting a governance structure in place, via alignment with the Global esports federation and the IeSF (International esports federation), and helping youth & community groups engage with their members, via our own branded tournament hub. We want to inspire people interested in the esports space."

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Jonny Madill is a lawyer at Sheridan Sports and has experience negotiating deals on behalf of players and teams within esports. He finds that the Irish esports scene has a huge community that "is waiting and wanting to be engaged", but that the industry needs more structures for brands, events, stakeholders and more to invest in."In order for brands to continue to invest and the industry to grow commercially, there needs to be a better understanding of how brands can enter the space; there needs to be credibility around the audience and the data; and there needs to be a better education of way esports is tackling key issues like diversity, player welfare, integrity issues and regulation generally," he says.

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"The growth of esports in Ireland from a commercial perspective to date has been quite stop-start (particular when it comes to local or non-endemic Irish brands investing in the space) but there is no doubt that the potential is there if the industry can mature in some of the areas mentioned above – given the sheer size of the community and the audience."

Whilst he says there are similarities between esports and traditional sports (sponsorship, tickets, advertising, branding etc), Madill stresses the importance of recognziing the "nuanced industry" of esports, where different communities and ecosystems exist within different games.

"For any Irish esports organisation, or indeed any brand or rights holder looking to enter esports, it’s about prioritising player welfare; it’s about addressing diversity and inclusion; and it’s about thinking innovatively about how commercial partnerships can bring together the community, engage new audiences, and help the Irish esports and gaming industry mature and develop in the right way."