Events DC Hosts ESports World Championship Players First Trip to Washington, DC: Future Hub of ESports



WASHINGTON, DC – April 19, 2017 – Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia will host four Smite 2016 – 2017 World Championship esports players in Washington, DC as part of their first-of-its-kind sponsorship with NRG, from April 19 – 27. The World Championship players’ visit to DC represents Events DC’s efforts to cement Washington, DC as the “Capital of Esports.” This experience also marks the European-based players’ first to trip to the nation’s capital.

While visiting the District, the players will participate in boot camps to continue their scrims (or practice schedule) and will spend three days exploring the best of what the city has from restaurants, neighborhoods and popular attractions. The activities planned also showcase DC’s “Made in DC” side of the city – from Compass Coffee, Smoked & Staked and a local brewery tour at Bluejacket.

“Sponsoring a team like NRG and hosting these extraordinary players are a perfect way for DC to show that it’s embracing esports and gearing up to be an esports capital,” said Max Brown, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Events DC. “It is our priority to be a forward-thinking organization and to continue to identify unique ways to attract visitors to Washington, DC and esports is just one avenue of entertainment to keep visitors and residents coming to the city, further drive economic development and act as a catalyst for future job growth.”

In addition to exploring DC and keeping up with their practice schedule, Events DC will host an event on Friday, April 21 in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington as an opportunity for DC youth to interact with and learn tips and best practices from these esports stars.

“As U.S. cities compete to get tourists and visitors, Events DC’s sponsorship with NRG is a path into esports that strongly aligns with our long-term mission and vision to attract new events and generate heightened tourism and economic activity for DC,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC. “This is just another exciting prong in our strategic approach to continue to make DC a great place to live, work and play.”
“Our back-to-back World Champion Smite team has landed in DC! The boys are fired up to take in the sights and sounds of our nation’s capital with the Events DC. I am sure they will come away with a newfound respect for our capital city. Keep an eye out for them in DC. These guys know how to make their presence felt,” said Andy Miller, chairman and co-founder of NRG esports.

Despite the large number of enthusiasts, most tournaments and teams have no strong geographic association and through this innovative sponsorship with NRG, Events DC is working to change that and make DC an esports destination. NRG is at the helm of this industry that attracts twelve percent of Americans and who saw 42 million unique viewers from around the world tune in to watch the 2016 League of Legends World [esports] Championship, resulting in a larger viewership than the NBA Finals.

The four Smite players who will be visiting include, Craig “iRaffer” Rathbone, England, Kennet “Adapting” Ros, Sweden, Emil “emilitoo” Stärnman, Sweden and André “Yammyn” Brännvall, Sweden.

“My team and I are so excited to be visiting DC for the first time. This trip marks what we hope to be the beginning of many trips back to compete in future esports tournaments and continue to hold our World Championship title! Let’s see what DC brings,” said NRG professional player, Craig “iRaffer” Rathbone.

With a rising evolution of competitive gaming that transforms video games into a spectator sport with a strong following of enthusiasts that enjoy traveling, esports will help position Events DC on a global stage in an effort to attract future industries, new revenue, and visitors to the nation’s capital.

As part of Events DC’s sponsorship, NRG players will continue to participate in promotional appearances and events in conjunction with Washington, DC – as well as across social media channels, including Twitch, the esports streaming platform. The NRG sponsorship will also play a key role in increasing Events DC’s esports profile both internationally and domestically, while underscoring the importance of bringing tournaments to the District.

To follow the Smite World Championship players’ adventures across DC this week, follow Events DC on Twitter: @TheEventsDC.


About Events DC
Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, deliver premier event services and flexible venues across the nation’s capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District’s hospitality and tourism economy that generates over $400 million annually in total economic impact, and the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Events DC manages the Stadium-Armory campus, which includes Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and surrounding Festival Grounds, the non-military functions of the DC Armory and Maloof Skate Park at RFK Stadium. Events DC also built and now serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States. The most recent addition is Gateway DC, an innovative and versatile space featuring a covered and open-air pavilion in the center of a 1-acre park, conveniently located in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. For more information, please visit

About NRG Esports
NRG Esports was founded by Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov, co-owners of the Sacramento Kings in 2015. NRG counts advisors Shaquille O’Neal, Alex Rodriguez, and Jimmy Rollins among its investors. NRG have quickly become one of the most-loved teams in North America, with an exciting blend of young, upcoming talent and established veterans. NRG fields teams across Vain Glory, Overwatch, CSGO, Smite, and Rocket League, as well as Smash and Hearthstone players and is home to the back to back SMITE World Champions. NRG Esports is the current reigning world champions in SMITE and the current North American champions in Rocket League

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