Following the spate of positive announcements for Australian esports, there’s more good news on the way. Gfinity is teaming up with Hoyts Cinemas to create dedicated esports arenas.
To say that its been a good few months for Australian esports would be a huge understatement. First, Gfinity announced their Australian Elite Series and then followed that up with the announcement that they were hiring Sydney Sixers boss Dominic Remond to head up Gfinity Australia. They’re clearly hoping he’ll bring his Big Bash success to the Gfinity’s Elite Series and esports in Australia.
In the months that followed, some of the AFL teams have launched esports teams; the Sydney Cricket Ground has launched an esports center and the Australian Football Federation launched a Fifa competition. In some kind of esports perfect storm, it’s all kicking off and it’s fantastic to see traditional Australian sports organisations stepping into the esports space with such fervor. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
(Could Australia soon host regular esports events of this magnitude? I hope so!)
And yes, Sydney is now getting it’s first dedicated esports events space after Gfinity and Hoyt’s inked their partnership. Dominic has clearly been busy! The new arena will be in Hoyt’s Moore Park cinema complex and will be kitted out in all the best gaming tech, including Alienware hardware. (Another solid partnership). The arena will go live in April, ahead of Gfinity’s Elite Series, which has a tasty prize pool of $450,000 and is spread across CS:GO, Rocket League and Street Fighter V.
This is apparently the first of many such arenas and the partnership enables Gfinity to show their events in cinemas across the country. This partnership with Hoyts is a fantastic strategic move for both parties and is great news for the local esports scene, both because of Gfinity’s buy in to launching a professional Australian competition, but also that esports events will have a dedicated home base to call their own.
Leading up to the Elite Series is the Challenger series, which gives hopeful up and comers the chance to get drafted into the top teams. If you think you’ve got what it takes, you can find more info here.
I’m especially excited about the ramping up of Rocket League in Australian esports. Personally, I think it has the best chance of converting traditional sports fans, as it’s the most relate-able and is both easy and exhilarating to watch. If I had the chops, I’d throw my own hat into the ring, but for now, I think I’ll stick to words!
TLDR: This is a solid step forward in Australian esports and one that I’ll be following really closely. A call out to all Aussie gamers, get around it and make an effort to convert a non gamer and get them interested. That’s the best way for us to make sure we get more of this!