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RMIT’s Esports and Games club has added to their successful year after recently winning the inaugural UniSport Australia Esports Championships (UAEC).
The UAEC took place over seven weeks and consisted of teams of three playing across three separate competitions of Rocket League, FIFA 20 and Super Smash Bros Ultimate.
Image: UniSport Australia
Despite not winning any of the individual competitions, RMIT was able to win the championship through overall points scored which RMIT Esports and Games club vice president Thomas O’Brien said was helped by student interest.
"We're a powerhouse as a Uni because of our numbers. A lot of Unis struggle to get one team in competitions but we have enough people interested to field multiple teams," Mr O’Brien said.
Mr O’Brien said “it’s not just numbers”, and that RMIT fielded skilled players in order to finish on the podium for both FIFA and Rocket League.
"These players worked really hard and they know how good they are. We certainly weren't the underdog by any stretch," he said.
The club, which has over 300 members, has also taken victories in the Australian Esports League’s (AEL) first semester competitions for Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO), Rainbow Six Siege and DOTA 2 based on some decisive victories.
"Everyone who plays esports at RMIT is very excited about themselves and there's a lot of pride, but it's because they're so good," Mr O’Brien said.
"A lot of our players enjoy the competition. They're very excited about winning and they come to claim titles."
Image: RMIT Sport/UniSport Australia
UniSport Project manager Natalie Broom worked in partnership with the AEL to deliver the UAEC after their original plans were disrupted by COVID-19.
“We were going to include an in-person esports competition in UniSport Nationals which was due to take place in Perth this September however, due to COVID-19 Nationals were cancelled,” Ms Broom said.
Despite the cancellation, Ms Broom and her team looked for a way to move the competition online so that students would not miss out on their chance to compete.
“After surveying our member universities, it was clear that there was a desire for universities and their esports clubs to compete in a competition, so we decided to run the UAEC as a trial,” she said.
With help from the AEL, UniSport have been able to livestream the UAEC via Twitch and Ms Broom said this format may continue in future esports competitions run by UniSport.
“The university esports landscape is a rapidly evolving environment. What we know from our engagement with our members is that there is the desire for more esports competition and UniSport are working hard to develop our strategy in this space,” she said.
“We hope to be able to move into 2021 with a clear vision of what esports competition looks like for us and open up more opportunities for students to represent their university on the esports stage.”