Australia’s biggest ever esports event was held in Melbourne over the weekend and has made a stunning debut with over 12,000 avid esports fans turning up.
The Melbourne Esports OpenTM, presented by JB Hi-Fi, was hosted at Melbourne Park with Margaret Court Arena being transformed into the ESL Tournament Zone – a multi-tournament venue, featuring Forza, Overwatch, CS:GO, Pokemon and headlined by global sensation Fortnite.
Outside of Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena, thousands of fans packed into the JB Hi-Fi Game On Zone, to free play some of the hottest games along with first to play access to some of the biggest upcoming games including Marvel’s Spider-Man, Tom Clancy’s The Division and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
The tournament attracted over 12 million views across all content on Twitter, Facebook and Reddit.
The massive esports community conversation on Twitter saw #MEO2018 trending number 1 nationally on Saturday.
Co-promoter TEG’s CEO, Geoff Jones, said the success of this year’s Melbourne Esports Open proved that esports has a bright future on Australia’s major events calendar.
“We see in Europe, Asia and North America that major esports tournaments attract live audiences of 40,000 to 50,000 fans and millions online,” he said.
“There is no reason to doubt that Australia can follow that trend and make the Melbourne Esports Open a huge live event and a significant global esports competition.
“I commend the TEG Live team and our co-promoters for producing a spectacular live event that has set a new benchmark in Australia’s esports landscape, but we now have the challenge to make it bigger and better in 2019.”
The League of Legends’ Oceanic Pro League Grand Final was the main event on Sunday 2nd September, with fan favourites and four-time champions the Dire Wolves taking home the trophy after toppling the Chiefs Esports Club in a 3-1 victory.
The Dire Wolves will now represent Australia in the League of Legends World Championship in South Korea, and represent the Oceania region in the global championship.
Melbourne Esports Open is co-promoted by ESL, TEG Live and Fairfax Events with the support of Visit Victoria; Victoria’s tourism and events agency.
Visit Victoria CEO, Peter Bingeman said: “Melbourne Park is synonymous with major events and it was fantastic to see the precinct utilised in an innovative, new way this past weekend, welcoming Australia’s biggest esports celebration.
“The inaugural Melbourne Esports Open adds digital experiences to Melbourne’s enviable calendar of events and we are confident that the multi-day festival will move from strength-to-strength next year, and beyond.”
JB Hi-Fi, Australia’s largest home entertainment retailer, has joined the Melbourne Esports Open as the official presenting partner for three years.
JB Hi-Fi Group CEO, Richard Murray said: “It was fantastic to see how much fans enjoyed the event.
“Delivering such a genuinely engaging experience for Melbourne Esports Open visitors was only possible with the support of so many passionate JB Hi-Fi team members and our suppliers.”