Today marks the fifth anniversary of one of Canada’s premier esports tournament organizers, Northern Arena. The company was established on Sept. 1, 2016, with the goal of becoming an all-inclusive and empowering presence in the Canadian esports and gaming industry.
Aside from being a well-known tournament and event organizer, Northern Arena is also a production house with numerous ongoing projects aimed at gaming audiences worldwide. Many of these shows have helped foster the growth of Canadian gaming communities, and of individuals pursuing a career within the industry.
“September 1, 2016, was the beginning of a new adventure for me,” Northern Arena founder and CEO Carl-Edwin Michel said. “I decided to form a new company called Northern Arena, to bridge the gap between grassroots esports and Tier 1 esports events in Canada. We had our first official event at Fan Expo that very day. It was a crazy idea back then, but with the help of a few believers, we created something that we can be proud of.”
Over the course of the following five years, Northern Arena has overseen the development of many tournaments. Since 2016, Northern Arena has organized the Northern Arena Clash Championship, Mortal Kombat Klash, and the Rainbow Six Canadian Nationals. Recently, Northern Arena partnered up with TELUS for theTELUS Esports Series Rocket League Championship, the first esports tournament held by the Canadian telecom company.
In 2019 Northern Arena acquired Mirage Esports, taking under its wing what would become Quebec’s first professional esports team. This was followed by the addition of team Sailor Scouts in June 2021, who became in turn Quebec’s first all-female esports team.
“A lot of people came and went since 2016. Some of them kickstarted their careers in esports with us and went on to do amazing things. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but I’m proud of what we have accomplished. To those of you who were part of the amazing projects, we have created: thank you,” Michel said. “To my current team working on the TV shows, our websites, the tournaments and our esports teams: thank you for being amazing and being so passionate about what we do. We do it because we love esports, but more importantly because we love video games. If there is one thing certain, it’s that we are not done yet. There is a lot more to come.”