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Melbourne is leading Australia’s esports scene

Battle Arena Melbourne kicked off this June, making Melbourne the host of Australia’s biggest esports event by participation.


The hololive pre-show in Rod Laver Arena, with the crowd sporting the official DreamHack Penlights. Photo: Patrick Lyne.

With a lineup of nearly 50 events, the main stage is reserved for the esports World Cup qualifier, which will see gamers competing in new games such as Tekken 8 and Street Fighter 6. 


Other events include the Tekken World Tour with a $5,000 prize, the Arc World Tour, and other tournaments in games such as Super Smash Bros., Mortal Kombat 1, and Guilty Gear Strive.


The event follows Dreamhack, which took place earlier this year and was the host to the League Circuit Oceania and the ESL Challenger.


Breaking a record of 35,500 attendees over its three days at Melbourne Park, the once esports-focused Dreamhack has now branched into streaming and content creation with multiple prominent figures making their appearance.


However, esports still made waves with two of Oceania’s premiere esports tournaments: The ESL Challenger Counter-Strike tournament, and the LCO League of Legends first split final.


While Rod Laver Arena sported the LCO where team Ground Zero (GZ) became the winners of the split 1 circuit, Margaret Court Arena held the ESL, with team MIBR taking home the winning prize of $50,000 in front of a rowdy Australian crowd.


MIBR team member “Drop” holding his ESL Challenger medal. Photo: Patrick Lyne

“The crowd here was awesome,” says MIBR member ‘Drop’


“When we first started playing, I thought, ‘Why are there so many people here?’ I didn’t expect so many people.”


Dreamhack and BAM have solidified Melbourne as Australia’s hotspot for esports, with PAX Aus coming to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre later this year.


With the surge in popularity in the content creation and esports industries, more people than ever before are breaking into the industry,


A survey conducted by Lego shows that YouTube content creation or vlogging is among the most desired jobs of young people between ages 8 and 12. 


The popularity of esports is also on the rise with a projected 38.45% increase in revenue between 2023 and 2028

As the ESL Challenger shows, big payouts are coming from the esports industry, especially from the perspective of younger people working for minimum wage or not working at all, and it’s not unknown for competitors to withdraw from school at a young age to pursue esports as a full-time career.


After leaving school at age 16. Shern “Shernfire” Cherng Tai (25) of GZ decided to pursue eSports full-time, which paid off after his standout performance in the LCO split 1 final that awarded him the title of Most Valuable Player.


“If you want to win, you do the work necessary, however long you believe that is,” he tells The Swanston Gazette.

“If you’re aiming to just be a professional player, you’re not aiming high enough to get anywhere.”


The next largest esports event will take place later this year at PAX Aus, which will host another round of tournaments and competitions.



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