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25 years' worth of competitive StarCraft II watched in one weekend

Insomnia48 a triumphant success; ESET UK Masters grand finals draw record crowds

London, UK, 27th March 2013: It has today been revealed that over 25 years’ worth of competitive StarCraft II footage was watched by fans over one weekend as the UK’s largest gaming festival, Insomnia48, celebrates another hugely successful event.

The ESET UK Masters drew record-breaking numbers to its Twitch TV channel, with over 20,000 concurrent viewers watching 225,861 hours of some of the most dramatic StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm match-ups ever.

Norway’s Snute became champion this year, knocking the UK’s own BlinG from the top spot. According to casters and viewers alike, Germany’s HeRoMaRiNE impressed throughout, eventually coming fourth and solidifying a promising career at the tender age of 15. Crowds were also thrilled as prolific South Korean player ForGG was knocked out in the early rounds, much to his own and the audience’s consternation.

“The ESET UK Masters has once again proven to be a tremendous success, drawing unprecedented numbers via Twitch and live at Insomnia48 itself,” Said Quinton Watts, VP Marketing and Sales, ESET. “It’s clear from the high turn-out, community support and intense excitement levels that things are going to get better and better for eSports in the UK.”

The ESET UK Masters has proven its weight as a premier international tournament, the first and only of its kind in the UK. With thousands around the world contributing via the various Twitter feeds, Twitch channels, conversation threads and a very popular Reddit forum, the community has clearly demonstrated support and will no doubt continue to do so as Season 2 commences soon.

Viewing figures for eSports tournaments in the US and South Korea draw a parallel with English Premier League football, and are expected to become stratospheric in the UK as approval and recognition grow. With sponsors offering increasingly large amounts of money for tournament prizes, such as ESET’s £10,000 prize pot, it is fast becoming a lucrative pastime – gaming is no longer just a hobby. 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015