Taking gaming from the couch to an arena is the driving force behind Logan City Council’s move into the competitive world of eSports.
City Lifestyle and Community Committee Chairperson Councillor Steve Swenson said Logan Metro Sports and Events Centre at Crestmead was emerging as a regional venue for the growing industry and recreation activity.
“We hosted our first competition there late last year and are currently gearing up for the second tournament featuring Halo on April 27 and 28,” Cr Swenson said.
eSports are networked games, such as League of Legends, FIFA and Ultimate Smash Bros, and are increasingly played as competitive tournaments throughout the world.
It’s a fast growing billion-dollar international industry with major leagues established in Asia, America, Europe and Oceania.
The first major two-day event in Australia, held last year in Melbourne at the Rod Laver Arena, attracted 12,000 attendees and 12 million on-line spectators.
Cr Swenson said the goal in Logan was to establish a premier eSports league, covering a variety of gaming options and individual needs.
“As we do this we also want to build a grassroots program offering the opportunity for players at home to transition through to the major competitions,” he said.
The initiative is being led by Council’s Sports and events staff in association with QUT which has Australia’s first purpose-built university gaming arena, eSports scholarships and a partnership with Halo Australia.
Logan’s Halo tournament will feature 48 players in 12 teams.
Prospective players have already taken part in three online qualifying rounds with the fourth and final seeding round to be held on April 14.
The Halo tournament will be live streamed on Twitch – twitch.tv/haloaustralia
It is free for spectators to attend.
By 2020, eSports is predicted to grow into an industry worth up to $1.5 billion with high-performing Australian gamers being scouted and offered full-time contracts.
Within the next 10 years it is also tipped eSports could be included in the Olympics as a demonstration sport.