Northstar Meetings Group has announced the upcoming hosts for the EsportsTravel Summit—the only event of its kind for esports tournament and event organizers. In 2024, the event will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina. The 2025 event will be staged in Bloomington, Minnesota. The announcement was made on the final day of the 2023 EsportsTravel Summit, which was held in Toronto.
The 2024 EsportsTravel Summit, hosted by Visit Raleigh and the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, will be held May 29–31, 2024. The 2025 EsportsTravel Summit, hosted by the Bloomington MN Convention & Visitors Bureau, will be staged June 16–18, 2025.
Produced by Northstar Meetings Group, the EsportsTravel Summit is the premier business conference focused on esports tournaments and events as well as the role of the travel industry in the continued growth of video gaming and esports. The event facilitates partnerships between esports organizations and the travel industry while providing educational programming, a marketplace with one-on-one appointments and multiple business networking opportunities.
“Raleigh and Bloomington are ideal hosts for our upcoming EsportsTravel Summits,” said Jason Gewirtz, vice president of the Sports Division of Northstar Meetings Group, which organizes the event. “We are excited to get to work with our partners at Visit Raleigh and the Bloomington MN Convention & Visitors Bureau to plan for a dynamic, productive and educational experience for the esports events industry. Our attendees will enjoy seeing how these forward-thinking destinations have planned out their esports ecosystems and embraced the future of the events industry.”
2024 EsportsTravel Summit Heads to Raleigh
In 2024, the EsportsTravel Summit will be staged at the Raleigh Convention Center. In recent years, Raleigh has emerged as a leading global host destination for esports, cementing its reputation as a market that celebrates the competitive video game culture and community. The capital city has become a global hotspot for hosting the most diverse national and international game title events and is focused on becoming a leading global destination for esports industry research, development and education.
In the past 12 months Raleigh has hosted several major esports tournaments, including the 2022 Fortnite Championship Series Invitational, the 2022 Call of Duty Major 1, the 2022 Apex Legends Global Series Championship, the 2023 League of Legends-Spring League Championship Series and the most recent Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Qualifier, with events hosted at the Raleigh Convention Center and PNC Arena. Overall, esports have generated more than 30,000 overnight visitors for the destination, with an average of 19 countries represented per event.
“We’ve watched with great interest for years what Raleigh has accomplished in esports and we are thrilled to bring the EsportsTravel Summit to one of the epicenters of esports in the United States,” Gewirtz said. “Raleigh’s track record in esports and its ability to attract top-tier esports events speaks for itself.”
Greater Raleigh is also home to numerous video game and esports endemic companies, including leading developer Epic Games, technology providers Lenovo, Cisco and NVIDIA, plus open-source software company Red Hat. The region has also created the Greater Raleigh Esports Local Organizing Committee (GRELOC), a local group that has proven paramount to the execution of the local, regional, national and international strategy driving Greater Raleigh’s success in esports and video gaming initiatives.
“Greater Raleigh is excited to host the 2024 EsportsTravel Summit,” said Loren Gold, executive vice president of Visit Raleigh. “We are looking forward to welcoming all industry attendees and offering them an immersive and educational experience that only Greater Raleigh can deliver.”
Bloomington to Host EsportsTravel Summit in 2025
In 2025, the EsportsTravel Summit will be hosted by the Bloomington MN CVB — home of Mall of America, with events planned at JW Marriott Mall of America, Wisdom Gaming and Minneapolis. Located just 15 minutes south of Minneapolis–St. Paul and MSP Airport, the city of Bloomington is home to the iconic Mall of America and features more than 45 hotels within the city limits.
Bloomington is home to Wisdom Gaming, a premier gaming company specializing in esports production, content creation, tournament organization, design and strategic brand activation. Wisdom operates a mega production studio at the Mall of America and owns and operates the MNVL league with a focus on esports growth throughout high schools in Minnesota. Its Mall of America headquarters is also the home of T-Wolves Gaming, the NBA 2K League affiliate of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“Bloomington is a terrific example of how a destination can put itself on the esports map through strategic partnerships with the venues that are unique to the area,” Gewirtz said. “Their approach to esports growth will serve as a tremendous example for how other destinations can think and act in a similar fashion.”
“We are thrilled to host the 2025 EsportsTravel Summit in Bloomington, Minnesota, and demonstrate why we are a great destination for esports events,” said Bonnie Carlson, president and chief executive officer of the Bloomington, Minnesota Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We can’t wait to showcase our destination’s assets, including the capacity for esports activations at Mall of America, the nation’s largest retail and entertainment complex, and the ease of working with our esports partner Wisdom Gaming Studios. It is a match made in heaven.”