ESL Gaming to Open Three Esports Studios in Western Sydney

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ESL Gaming Australia has recently confirmed that it will be opening three new esports studios in Western Sydney. The Australian branch of the global esports tournament firm will broadcast a variety of gaming events from these studios.

What Do We Know So Far?

ESL has confirmed that they will be broadcasting their ESL ANZ Champs Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) tournament from here. Qualifying events for the new season of Champs will start on February 13th, leading up to the season’s first games taking place on March 8th. All of the games will be broadcast from the three new Sydney studios.

As well as remote broadcasts of tournaments, the Australian locations will also be used as the setting for small-scale shows and could play a part in bigger tournaments like the ESL Pro League, which have a global appeal. 

James Fletcher is the company’s product manager and he called this the “biggest change to ESL ANZ Champs” since it was started in 2015. He also called it the place where they expect all Starcraft 2 and CS: GO players to go to take part or else to watch as their favourite teams play against others. Fletcher said that the content would be relaxed, with Twitch chat, content and memes leading the way.

The ending of the Oceanic Pro League was a blow to esports in the region, but this latest move shows that ESL Gaming is still happy to support gaming in the region and help it to grow. At the end of 2020, the company announced that it had teamed up with Guinevere Capital to create a League of Legends pro league, with full details expected in the near future.

The Current State of Gaming in Australia

More than two-thirds of Australians are gamers, with the average daily time spent playing 89 minutes for males and 71 minutes for females, according to the IGEA Digital Australia report. The same report also revealed that the top reasons for playing games are for emotional wellbeing and to maintain social connections.

According to Reviews AU’s analysis of Google search volumes, among the most popular games in Australia are Fortnite, Minecraft and League of Legends. Sports games are also hugely popular here and in 2020 titles such as PGA Tour 2K21, EA Sports UFC 4 and NBA 2K20 all performed strongly, while the FIFA titles from EA Sports always sell well.

Online casino games such as pokies and roulette have traditionally been popular here too, with Australia having been named one of the keenest gambling nations. The Australian Government has outlawed online casinos and online poker sites in the country in recent years, although online sports betting is still permitted. Offline betting regulations vary by territory, so it is a good idea to check the rules for each region before you make any plans.

The Nintendo Switch has proved popular, as it was the best-selling console in Australia in 2020, selling 88% more units than in 2019. Among the Switch titles to take up good positions in the gaming charts were Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Mario Party and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Home-grown games to have achieved success over the years include 1982’s The Hobbit, which was originally published by Melbourne House for the ZX Spectrum computer. It sold over 100,000 copies in its first two years on its way to becoming one of the best-selling text adventures ever.

2011’s L.A. Noire by Team Bondi and 2017’s Hollow Knight by Team Cherry also proved to be popular, although it could be argued that there is still scope for the country to grow its games development industry in line with the growing demand for games. The way that video games are made means that developers in Australia can contribute more easily to the global market than ever before.

As for esports, the Australian Esports League by Critical Hit Entertainment has been up and running since 2016, with current tournaments featuring games like Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Tekken 7. Esports revenue here was calculated at A$5.0m for 2019, putting it in line with countries like Spain and Brazil. The trend has been for fast growth and with Australians among the most avid gamers on the planet, it should continue in this way.

esl gaming to open three esports studios in western sydney

Source: Pixabay

A Look to the Future

The future of gaming and esports in Australia looks bright. This is a nation of games lovers and the competitive edge added in esports tournaments should help to ensure that interest in gaming keeps on growing.

Feature Image: Source: Pixabay

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