Huge esports event coming to Kettering

Action at a previous event. Credit: epic.LAN NNL-190124-160759005
Action at a previous event. Credit: epic.LAN NNL-190124-160759005

About 800 people are expected to attend a huge esports event in Kettering next month.

The event, put on by epic.LAN, will take over the Kettering Conference Centre in Thurston Drive from 4pm on February 7 to 4pm on February 10.

Action at a previous event. Credit: epic.LAN NNL-190124-160810005

Action at a previous event. Credit: epic.LAN NNL-190124-160810005

It will see gamers come together under one roof to play not only for fun but for prize money in tournaments.

The event provides a stepping stone for people who want to make the leap from playing games in their bedroom to something more serious.

Managing director of epic.LAN Jon Winkle said: “There’s all walks of life at our events.

“There are some teams who come here who are professionals and there are some people who do it as a holiday from their day job.”

Action at a previous event. Credit: epic.LAN NNL-190124-160748005

Action at a previous event. Credit: epic.LAN NNL-190124-160748005

Esports is a huge emerging market with many around the work making a professional career out of it.

One single tournament in Canada recently had a prize fund of $26m with some tournaments in the UK offering prize funds of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The Kettering tournament is offering prize funds from up to £1,750 to up to £5,000 on four PC games: Counter-Strike:Global Offensive, Rainbow Six Siege (18+), Rocket League and Starcraft 2.

About 70 per cent play for prize money with 30 per cent playing for fun with lots of other games available, including retro games.

There is camping, entertainment and food available on site, with many staying at local hotels.

Some players have gone from the events in Kettering to the international stage with international players entering tournaments in the town.

The company currently hosts about three events a year, with the biggest having about 450 people, so this will be the biggest yet.

Jon, who plays games for fun himself, said there will be about 2,000 networked devices.

He said: “This has been one of the most complicated events to organise so far and we can’t wait to see what it’s like.

“When we turn the lights off there will be a sea of screens which will be pretty cool.”

Jon is hoping to go one further over the next couple of years and use the adjacent Lighthouse Theatre to screen matches.

Many come through the doors as spectators. To buy tickets or to find out more visit https://www.epiclan.co.uk/epic26.