Esports are coming of age, with the teams being recognised and rewarded for the effort and training that goes into competing at the highest level. There was a parallel esports championship at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022. It has recently been announced that esports will not be a medalled event at the upcoming Commonwealth games in Australia in 2026. However, they are most definitely in their ascendancy, with events attracting large crowds and healthy prize pools.
Esports are played across a variety of titles. Dota 2, eFootball and CS:GO are some of the most well-known. Both men and women are competing at a professional level. The events are not only popular amongst video game players and fans either, they are increasingly popular for bettors too. It is possible to place a wager on the outcome of many tournaments, with some bookies having whole sections dedicated to esports. A quick look at this list of Australian bookmakers will show who is offering odds on different esports games and teams.
There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy esports. This can either be as a viewer of players at the top of their game. However, there are plenty of events in Australia where gamers come together and compete in person. You do not need to be part of a professional team to enjoy some competition. While playing with friends over the internet is fun, many people want to come together in a festival-like atmosphere to play a wide variety of games. There are competitive leagues at every level, much as you find in most sporting disciplines.
Meet the professionals
ESL is known for organising CS:GO tournaments in Australia, and this year they are promising an even bigger and better event. It is scheduled to take place in Melbourne on the 28th-30th of April. The precise format has yet to be announced, but eight teams are expected to compete for a share of the $100,000 prize pot.
DreamHack Festival has it all
The CS:GO tournament takes place during this year’s DreamHack festival, a celebration of all things gaming. As well as the CS:GO professional event, there is music, merch and a massive BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) LAN event. A LAN ticket at DreamHack Melbourne includes a port on the high-speed internet connection, power outlets and a chair. The organisers say you can even bring your own chair if you want to!
The Gaming Expo is a celebration of gaming
If you cannot wait until April for a gaming event, do not worry. A new kid on the block arrives in March when The Gaming Expo (TGX) throws open its door. The event also takes place in Melbourne. It will be held at the city’s Convention and Exhibition Centre on the weekend of March 11th-12th, 2023.
Attendees can get a real taste of esports tournaments with everything from beginner to pro-level action. There will be a mix of cosplay, artwork and gameplay. The organisers promise appearances from popular YouTube and Twitch content creators. As well as a massive BYOC PC Lan party, there are also tabletop, card and console games to play. There will be opportunities to try out games from indie developers to major publishers.
Avcon for lovers of anime
For lovers of gaming and anime, Avcon is a popular event. It returns to the Adelaide Convention Centre on July 21st this year. It runs until the 23rd and is the go-to event for all anime gaming fans. The annual event has been running for 21 years and is Adelaide’s premier anime and video games festival. It is volunteer-run and works on a not-for-profit basis. The organisers describe it as a community event celebrating the world of anime, gaming, cosplay, pop culture, art, creativity and more. It all comes together as one great big community event to attract people of all ages.
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