Melbourne will be at the centre of the eSports world this weekend as thousands of digital gamers descend on the city for the second annual Melbourne eSports Open.
The Melbourne eSports Open is Australasia’s biggest festival of eSports and the latest addition to Victoria’s packed major events calendar, with elite international teams to battle for $170,000 in prizemoney in front of cheering crowds at Rod Laver, Margaret Court and Melbourne arenas.
The schedule is highlighted by two major finals – League of Legends Oceanic Pro League on Saturday and Overwatch Contender Australia Season 2 on Sunday. Other popular titles to feature across the weekend will include Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Masters, Pokémon, Halo, Forza Motorsport and Fortnite.
Last year’s inaugural Melbourne eSports Open attracted more than 12,000 digital games fans from across the globe.
It was the first year of a five-year deal brokered by the Andrews Labor Government to bring the international eSport festival to Melbourne.
Victoria is the digital games and eSports capital of Australia with 53 per cent of the country’s digital games companies based here, along with the Game Developers’ Association of Australia.
Victoria’s digital games calendar also includes Melbourne International Games Week which features PAX AUS, Games Connect Asia Pacific and the Australian Game Developers Awards, making it the largest digital games celebration across Asia Pacific. Melbourne International Games Week runs from October 5-13.
Digital games is the world’s largest entertainment market, worth more than the movie and music industries combined. In Australia, the industry generates $2.2 billion annual income.
Victoria’s major events calendar provides something for everyone, from theatrical blockbusters such as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival and sporting spectaculars including golf’s Presidents Cup in December and next year’s ICC T20 men’s and women’s World Cup finals.
Major events generate more than $1.8 billion for the Victorian economy each year.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula
“The digital games industry is the largest entertainment market on the planet and as the major events capital of Australia, Melbourne is the natural place to host the eSports Open.” “Digital games are creating jobs of the future in Victoria right now and that’s why we are backing this fast-growing sector as part of our major events strategy.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley
“Melbourne is recognised across the world for fostering creative talent in the digital games industry. This cross-over of eSports and game development is a massive and growing opportunity for our creative sector.”