This week the Victorian Government announced that the ‘Melbourne Esports Open’ will be held in Melbourne & Olympic Park in September this year, with a contract lasting until 2022.
“We’re turning Melbourne Park into every gamers dream; giant screens, the best talent and latest technology.” described John Eren, the Minister for Tourism and Major Events.
Better get your butt moving John, September is only 3 months away!
Hang on… what about the football? Aren’t the football finals held in September? (seriously someone tell me because I have no idea)
The event has been strategically planned in a bye-week before the AFL final, so footy fans get a chance to watch the awesomeness that is esports and/or call us nerds from a distance.
The Melbourne Esports Open will be ran in conjunction with TEG Live (parent company Ticketek) and international esports giants ESL, and held on the weekend of September 1st – 2nd.
The Andrews government predicts 10,000 attendees each day. The official attendees of IEM Sydney were 7,500 per day. So 10,000 a day is a sizable prediction, but achievable.
Everything Sydney does, Melbourne can do better, right? RIGHT? (Love ya Sydney, but living in a grid city is so much better… also why is everything so expensive?)
Editor’s Note: I’ll take Sydney’s utter beauty over a grid system any day of the week
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne Esports Open will utilise various arenas like Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court area, which sounds like there will be multiple tournaments of various games occurring simultaneously.
This is a good way to get more games featured (especially for a two day event), but not sure if clashing tournament times is a good idea for fans who want to watch multiple games.
Unfortunately, the games are unknown as of yet. My prediction would be the main games like League of Legends and Overwatch. Coincidentally, Sep 1 – 2 is around the time OPL Split 2 finals will be on, as well as Australian Overwatch Contenders Season 2 finals.
Could both event finals be held at the Melbourne Esports Open?
It’s hard to believe Riot would move everything down to Melbourne: their staff, players, computer gear – just for a weekend. But I remain hopeful about Overwatch, since ESL work in conjunction with Blizzard for the Overwatch Contenders.
Showing love to some of the smaller games in Australia like Dota 2 and Smite would be good to help those games grow, too. Before Gnifity aired, I would’ve said Rocket League also needed some love, but they’re getting TV time now! Rocket League is too good for us online streaming plebs.
Some of this is speculation, so don’t quote me if i’m wrong (but definitely do if i’m right, I love being right).
I spoke to esports veteran, Chris “Mayo” Smith, Director of Business In Games, to get some of his thoughts on the event.
Does he think Melbourne can beat Sydney as the esports capital?
“I think Melbourne can make a name for itself, especially as a strong sporting state already. I don’t think we need to play favourites, but Melbourne has a lot to do to catch up to Sydney, I can’t really comment on the success until I see more announcements.”
Melbourne also has some other major esports events like BAM (check out the article that I wrote!), and hopefully the ‘Esports Open’ will take us over the edge to become the true capital.
What games would he like to see at the event?
“A core esports title like Dota 2, CS:GO, League of Legends. Plus some newer comers like Rocket League and maybe a fighting game too.
“Heavy participation focus would be awesome too, allow people to play and try to qualify. After all, it is called the open!”
Does he think we will need to bring in international teams to help promote the event?
“It’s always helpful. Look at the historically successful events in Australia. Crown Casino $55k Call of Duty and CS:GO events, StarCraft WCS 2012, IEM Sydney. They all bring international teams or international influencer/talent or a combination of the two.
“This announcement has sent shock waves through many non endemic companies and codes sitting on the sidelines. They’re all now scrambling to get involved and I’m helping them navigate that.”
Exciting times ahead. Let’s hope we get some more information soon because I know we are all dying to find out more!
Aim for the stars,
For more information about the Melbourne Esports Open, head over to their website by clicking here.
Or tweet at them: https://twitter.com/MelbEsportsOpen
Want to watch Aussie esports in the meantime? Currently gfinity is on Twitch and TV!
Rocket League matches Live on Channel One every Sunday at 10am!
Fighting games more your jam? Check out https://www.couchwarriors.org/ for the latest fighting events in Melb.
Follow Chris Smith on Twitter.