AS MANY as 10,000 people will come together this weekend for the first ever Resonate eSports and gaming festival in Scotland’s biggest city.

Once considered a solitary practice, gaming has now become a spectator event, with crowds packing arenas to watch the best players in high-stakes tournaments, many of whom are also online stars, achieving a cult following by posting video clips of their gaming tips on YouTube.

A host of prominent YouTubers will meet fans at the SECC in Glasgow from Friday for a three-day celebration of all things digital.


YUP, it’ll be busy. The event is open to all ages, with a dedicated kids’ zone for younger players featuring a Splatoon-inspired firing range and Lego-building area.

However, much of the action will be for more mature heads, with teams battling it out for supremacy in anti-terrorism shooter Counter-Strike.

Tournaments will also be held for fantasy strategy title Hearthstone and multi-player battle arena game League of Legends, with the grand finals scheduled for the closing day of the event.

The massive Minecraft – partly developed by Scotland’s 4J Studios – will also take centre stage, with online favourites Codename_B, ChooChoosGaming and Speedy taking the audience on a “Minecraft Modding Adventure” on Saturday.

The three YouTubers will be followed on stage by other web stars later in the day, including one session by Scottish YouTubers discussing their digital lives.


CONTROLLERS will be raised for a mass Fifa 16 tournament, while eSports betting firm Unikrn will bring eSports professionals to an adults-only bar area to meet fans.

Players of fighting games like Street Fighter V can face off against each other, Glasgow’s Megabytes Cafe will bring a taste of the 80s and 90s with a retro eats and games area and the latest in pro gaming gear will also be on show.

Indie developers will also introduce players to their up-and-coming titles before they are released.

The show is the brainchild of Fran McIntyre, director of QD Events, who aims to make it an annual event. In fact, next year’s dates are already pencilled in on the SECC calendar.

McIntyre, whose firm organises the Irn Bru Carnival and other high-profile fixtures, was inspired to create a Scottish gaming spectacular after attending a Minecraft event in London with her partner and children.

“Resonate has been in my head for about two years,” she said, “and we’ve been formally planning since last October. I’m excited about this one. It’s the kind of thing lots of companies in London try to do, lots of companies abroad.

“For Scotland, this is a massive opportunity in the home of 4J Studios and Grand Theft Auto. There is so much expertise here around gaming, so let’s celebrate it and keep it here.”


THERE can be few people left today who don’t know that the controversial game series was born in Scotland at the Dundee offices of DMA Design, which also created 90s puzzle favourite Lemmings.

The city is still the creative heart of the sector, with turnover in the industry – which includes around 100 companies – at around £67.6 million.

Overall, the technology sector employs around 84,000 people in Scotland, with an additional 70,000 jobs expected over the next five years.

“Resonate is not shortbread and haggis,” McIntyre said, “but it should be at the home of gaming. Scotland has always been known for Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings. In this event we’re trying to galvanise all the different communities involved in gaming, from parents who are watching their kids playing Plants Vs Zombies and remembering their days on the Gameboy to obsessive Fifa players and women – it tends to be women – playing Candy Crush obsessively.”


HERALDED as the biggest mobile game release ever, the augmented reality game has been at the top of news schedules since its launch, with an estimated 20-30 million downloads in the US alone.

Pop star Rihanna told crowds at a concert in France not to play the game while she was on stage, while an audience member at a Beyonce gig was caught searching for the cartoon characters rather than watching the singer, much to the anger of other fans.

However, Pokéhunters are very much welcome at Resonate. “I’m just so chuffed the SECC and The Hydro have so many Pokéstops,” McIntyre joked. The juniors area at the event will include a Pokémon gym, but McIntyre says the focus for younger visitors is on bringing the digital experience into the real world.

“The kids’ zone will be very interesting,” she said.

“We are bringing 2D playing from your front room to life.

“There will be a few screens in the zone but there will also be a Let’s Dance area, a Lego pit and Nerf guns to let them take that gaming experience and use their imaginations.

“We have never had anything quite like this in Scotland,” she went on.

“There are two benchmarks of success – one is that I want the people who are providing the content to come away saying ‘we need to be here again next year’.

“The other is the visitors doing exactly the same.”

Resonate is at the SECC in Glasgow from Friday-Sunday. Tickets and more at