The eSports market is growing at a rapid pace all across the world and Australia has turned out to be one of the fastest growing markets. More than 67 million people in Australia play some sort of video game every month and over 16 billion minutes of streamed gaming has been recorded on eSports gaming platforms.
Australia has millions of amateur gaming players but there are a number of players who are turning pro and attracting sponsorship from some of the biggest brands in the world as they realize the potential of the eSports market. The number of international video gaming tournaments is also growing rapidly and has been successful of attracting a large fan base where over 40 percent of fans have admitted to not playing any of these video games but had an interest to learn more about the game and the industry.
Some of the most popular video games right now include Defence of the Ancients (DOTA), League of Legends, Counter Strike, Starcraft and Hearthstone. A number of professional poker players have shown a keen interest in playing Hearthstone including poker hall of famer Daniel Negreanu.
During the last weekend in November, Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena played host to an All Star eSports tournament and the response was fantastic as thousands of Aussies packed the stadium to see international eSports players face off in League of Legends game. The tournament organizers stated that this was the biggest eSporting event held in Australia as the event was also streamed to a number of special screening sites in Australia which drew thousands of fans.
One of the eGamers at the All Star tournament was Aaron “ChuChuz” Bland, a 19 year old from Sydney who spent a lot of his childhood pursuing his passion of playing video games. Bland spent well over 5 hours a day practicing and often attended professional eSporting events by telling his parents and teachers that he was attending squash tournaments as he knew he would not get approval to take video gaming so seriously. Bland’s mother now supports her son’s passion for video gaming and is proud of what he has accomplished so far.
Since the game is growing at a rapid pace down under, Chris Smith decided to form the Australian eSports community in an effort to make sure player rights were protected. In a statement, Smith said “We are talking about money and we’re talking about finances, were talking about people who are often between those ages of 16 to 19 travelling overseas winning lots of money and the same time trying to juggle school, juggle study.”