Meet the tiny European island vying to become an esports giant

In industries dominated by goliaths, it’s irresistible to put down roots for little guys – and the game is no different. A small European island embraces this outsider spirit and supports its very first professional esports team. The organization in question may only be six months old, but it already has an incredible record in League of Legends.

Founded in December 2020 and based on the tiny 33 mile long Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, newcomer X7 Esports made his debut in the League of Legends United Kingdom Esports League (UKEL) Summer Open qualifiers, where he set a flawless record of 10-0.

Continued success could be expected, thanks to the sponsorship of the Isle of Man government. In an effort spearheaded by its Digital Isle of Man initiative, the authority is beginning a “long-term commitment to the [esports] industry ”and aims to nurture talent and make X7 a global powerhouse, which could expand to compete with more major games in the coming months.

It’s appropriate, really; the Isle of Man is best known for its rich competitive heritage.

For many people, the island is known for one thing: the (in) famous Isle of Man TT motorcycle race, one of the world’s most dangerous time trials – more than 150 people have died in its 114-year history. Some are luckier, which was famously demonstrated by manx biker Conor Cummins in 2010, who skidded off a hill and somersaulted a drystone wall. Undeterred by his near-death experience and multiple injuries, he returned to racing two years later.

Still, the fun-sized island has a lot more to offer than a two-wheeler madness. Located between England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, legend has it that it was created when an Irish giant threw a stone at a Scottish giant, creating the lake of Lake Neagh and the new earth in a gargantuan moment of wrath. To this day, historians continue to debate whether this is true or not (it is certainly true).

Nowadays, as a dependency of the crown, the Isle of Man is protected and represented by the United Kingdom, but not part of it. The island governs itself and has gained a reputation as a tax haven, attracting the headquarters of companies like Entain, the FTSE 100-listed owner of betting brands such as bwin, Coral and Ladbrokes. As a proud community, the island continues to nurture local businesses, and X7 Esports is the latest addition to the list.

With its new investment, X7 Esports, which already has players from UK, Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Austria on its squad, will focus on attracting and supporting more talent from around the world. whole.

X7 Esports founder Josh Kingett thanked Digital Isle of Man for their help, praising them for their forward thinking attitude towards competitive gaming. He said: “Getting involved in esports at such a crucial time is a good thing for the Isle of Man. It’s also great to see the island continue to support local initiatives and those who want to make a name for themselves in this space.

Chris Kissack, Esports Manager at Digital Isle of Man, added: “Esports is a fast growing industry on the Isle of Man, and we are delighted to support X7 on its journey. We continue to show and prove our authenticity and passion for growing esports on the Isle of Man and powering X7 to help them on their journey to compete at the highest level is another example. “

If the early performances are any sign of things to come, it might only be a matter of months before X7 becomes a giant in its own right – although, hopefully, it doesn’t get so mad at it. rival esports teams that he throws 33 mile stones at them.


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