Esports, or competitive video gaming, is a global phenomenon that has a fast-growing fan-base and significant year on year revenue growth. Its revenues are a fraction of the size of traditional sports but it presents a significant new challenge to esports Australia.
According to researchers at the University of Melbourne, esports spectatorship is a complex experience. They identified three categories of eSports spectators:
In recent years, Australian esports has seen the emergence of a new breed of competitive titles. With a heavy emphasis on MOBA arch-rivals League of Legends and Dota 2, alongside CS:GO, Rocket League, FIFA, and more, the country’s top players are racking up huge sums at international events.
The country has several top-level esports organizations, but the best of them all are the ones that represent its most important cities and have long standing associations with its biggest fans. Perth-based PGG, for example, mainly competes in League of Legends while putting up notable performances at the Oceanic Nationals and in the Mid-Season Invitational in Reykjavik.
The Curse OCE stands out as the most impressive esports award given to an Australian team in recent history. A team of seasoned pros led by Australian gaming guru Mark ‘MarkZ’ Zimmerman, the org is the only one to win the most major awards in Australia, including an ESWC trophy. The organization has been lauded for its on-going efforts to nurture young aspiring esports talents and foster the next generation of competitors.
Dignitas is an esports organization that fields teams in three of the largest and most popular games. It is backed by a group of investors including the Philadelphia 76ers, Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment (HBSE), Susquehanna International Group, and Delaware North.
Founded in 2003, Dignitas has amassed 18 World Championships across multiple gaming titles. The company is based in Newark, New Jersey.
When former NBC Sports CEO Mike Prindiville became the organization’s CEO in May, he immediately began working to update the Dignitas brand. He said that he had a three-pronged approach in mind: competitive esports teams, content and marketing, and strategic investment.
The organization’s latest move was to open a new training and media production facility in Newark, New Jersey. It is aimed at creating original content for the cross-section of gaming, entertainment and lifestyle media.
Australia has taken a big step towards becoming an esports powerhouse. The country has now opened its first Esports High Performance Centre at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Moore Park. This facility will house Oceania’s leading League of Legends team LG Dire Wolves and Australia’s mixed gender Counter-Strike team Supa-Stellar.
The center will be stocked with new technology in eye-tracking and performance analysis as part of a partnership with the University of Technology Sydney. It will be a key training facility for regional and international visiting teams.
In a recent announcement, online payments provider Neosurf has signed a multi-year agreement to become sponsor of the four esports teams operating within the Esports High Performance Centre. The Dire Wolves, N8 Esports, Team Oracle and Supa-Stellar will all benefit from this partnership and have a wide range of co-activations planned, including scholarships, bootcamps, online coaching and events.
Team Immunity is one of Australia’s premier eSports teams. Based in Melbourne, they have a roster of players who play in multiple different eSports games. They are sponsored by Intel, BenQ, GeIL, Antec, SteelSeries & more.
They competed in the 2019 Predator League Finals, winning third place and establishing Australia as a serious contender in the region’s esports scene. They will be returning to the tournament in 2020 for another chance at a win.
In addition to Team Immunity, there are several other Australian eSports teams competing in PUBG and League of Legends. These include Vox Eminor in CS:GO and Legacy eSports in LoL.
In PUBG, there is a known Australian player named Jouxy who recently joined the team from Battle Arena Elites. He has previously achieved 4th and 2nd place at PCS APAC 1 and 2.