Esports is experiencing a serious surge in Australia, and whether it is those streaming tournaments via platforms such as Twitch or the players themselves battling it out on the stage, its popularity is undeniable.
The Australian Esports league has gained more exposure, and it is thriving with a wealth of tournaments for CS:Go, League of Legends, and much more.
But how is the Esports landscape looking in Australia, and what can we expect in the future? In this guide, we have pinpointed some of the trends taking place Down Under.
Putting Esports on the map
Until 2016, Esports was relatively unheard of in Australia. However, for a country that has 26 million residents, it is continuing to punch above its weight and it has made its mark in Esports. For example, there will be an ESL Challenger event that will stop in Melbourne in April 2023. And like the 2022 edition, the prize pool will be worth $100,000, and the winners will be rewarded with a spot in the ESL Pro League Conference season 18.
CS:Go is a big drawer for players, but it has also gained popularity in the betting sphere. Indeed, all the top bookmakers in Australia will cast a careful eye on the biggest tournaments. Bet365 Australia, for example, will have prepared pre-match lines for a raft of CS:Go events as well as other leading titles.
Esports is among one of the main sporting trends that is starting to take hold in Australia. With new technologies, such as AR and VR also making an impact, Esports is on the crest of the wave, and it could well be included in the roster for the 2032 Olympics which will be staged in Brisbane.
Discussing potential trends, Jon Whittle of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), said: “Next-generation technology is reshaping the sporting field as is the new generation of Australians with new habits, values, and attitudes to sport and physical activity.
“The 2032 sporting landscape will look vastly different to what we see today as sporting populations and organisations seek greater diversity, access, and integrity in sport at all levels.
“This report will play an important role in shaping long-term policy, strategic planning, and investment decisions for the future.”
For some professionals, Esports has already been a godsend. Australian cyclist Jay Vine feels indebted to Esports for helping him make inroads as an e-cyclist.
He said: “Without esports, I wouldn’t have been able to turn professional, so it’s life changing for me.
“Just like cricket has Test matches, one day and T20, [ecycling] is a shorter format, which is more exciting, and hopefully bring more viewership into the cycling space.
As we have seen, Esports is still in the embryonic stage in Australia, but the potential is immense. It will be fascinating to see how Esports develops Down Under in the years to come, but by the time the 2032 Olympics roll around, Esports could be a big player.