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Edmonton hosts Alberta’s largest esports event 

Digital Media and Entertainment
Published On
March 1, 2023

Over the weekend of February 18-19, Alberta’s largest esports event ever took place. Thousands of attendees flocked to the Edmonton Expo Centre over the weekend to take in the video gaming festivities. Over 3600 tickets were registered, marking a monumental moment for esports in the province. 

As members of the group that commissioned the Alberta Esports Strategy, representatives from Edmonton Global, Alberta Esports Association, and Explore Edmonton participated in a panel to discuss how the Strategy can be implemented within the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. The panelists shared how the esports industry is evolving in Canada and how the investment potential in Alberta esports continues to grow. 

The event was led by the Alberta Esports Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting esports in the province. Over the course of the weekend, there was a total of 18 panels, 18 tournaments, and 31 artists and exhibitors. To represent the incredible talent of game developers in the province, Game Discovery Exhibition – GDX had an entire area dedicated to it.  

The Alberta Esports Strategy panel discussed how the province could further capitalize on the four pillars of the Strategy:

1.     Strong grassroots community
2.     Places to play
3.     Talent presence and pipeline
4.     Proper partners 

 Moderated by CBC News reporter, Stephen Cook, the Alberta Esports Strategy panel was well-attended on Saturday morning. Stephen was actually an original executive team member of the University of Alberta Pokémon Club and so it was only fitting he lead the Q&A.  


 “We are ranked second globally for games research and a lot of people are looking to relocate here because we have that provincial support. We have venues like Rogers Place and the Edmonton Expo Centre. We have a really supportive game development community, and we have the potential to be a global leader in esports.” 

  • Madison Côté, Senior Manager, Business Development, AI & Technology, Edmonton Global 

“The Alberta Esports Strategy validates the space we have here in the Edmonton region. If you build it, they will come. If we can accomplish an event like the Esports Expo with this kind of budget, then what can we accomplish with more sponsors? We need to collaborate with businesses and work as a team at all levels.” 

  • CK Dhaliwal, Director of External Affairs, Esports Canada; Business Development and Academic Manager, Alberta Esports Association 

“Supporting events like this creates an economic impact for the Edmonton region. We’re here to collaborate and think big. What can we do bigger and better to make a statement in this ecosystem? We got the ball rolling and it’s going to keep getting bigger.” 

  • Shirlene Cuarsema, Business Development Account Manager, Business Events, Explore Edmonton 


Stephen Cook, Madison Côté, Shirlene Cuarsema, CK Dhaliwal

The Alberta Esports Strategy was commissioned in 2021 by Calgary Economic Development, Edmonton Screen Industries Office, Explore Edmonton, Edmonton Global, Tourism Calgary, and the Alberta Esports Association to better understand the economic potential and opportunity esports holds in Alberta. This strategy acts as a benchmark, providing the province a roadmap to capitalize on the opportunity. Currently the esports industry sits at a global revenue of $1.1 billion with a year over year growth of 15.7%.   

 Over the last several years, Alberta has experienced record investments into the esports industry and continues to see a growing number of intercollegiate esports teams.  With top-tier stadiums and large event venues, our province has the potential to offer premium gaming experiences and esports tournaments on an international stage. The video game industry is already significant in Canada with an estimated total GDP impact of $5.5 billion to the national economy in 2021. Esports, an emerging industry in its own right,  is also expected to grow quickly. According to Research and Markets the industry represented $2.5 billion globally in 2022 and is expected to grow to $12.5 billion globally by 2030. Esports is a legitimate, growing industry in Alberta and hosting events like the Alberta Esports Expo and future international tournaments will attract future investment into the province’s esports ecosystem. 


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Edmonton Global