A League of Legends tournament is coming to Sydney’s State Theatre

Matt Sayer 30 May 2018 NEWS

Riot Games is just one of many companies throwing its weight behind the Australian esports scene.

The Australian esports scene has exploded over the last couple of years. From Gfinity turning old Hoyts cinemas into flashy esports arenas to Telstra teaming up with professional esports teams to road-test its 5G mobile network, the competitive video game industry has found a welcome home Down Under.

This week, you can add two more big names to the growing number of organisations putting their weight behind Aussie esports. First and foremost is Riot Games, developer of the phenomenally-popular free-to-play MOBA League of Legends. The American game studio has teamed up with the Australian organisation Event Hospitality and Entertainment (EVENT) to bring the international League of Legends tournament Rift Rivals to Aussie shores for the first time.

Kicking off on 2 July and running through to 5 July, Rift Rivals will see the best League of Legends teams from across Oceania, Japan and Southeast Asia battle it out at Sydney's State Theatre. Renowned players like Shern "Shernfire" Tai of Dire Wolves fame, Kyohei "Ceros" Yoshida of DetonatioN FocusMe, and Nuttapong "G4" Menkasikan of Ascension Gaming will all represent their home regions in the four-day event.

With over 100 million active users across the globe, it's highly likely that tickets to the event will sell out faster than a half-price legendary skin. If you plan on attending, you'll want to have your browser pointed to the State Theatre website when tickets go on sale for $49 on Friday 1 June.

Alongside Riot Games, the Aussie esports scene has received a boost in local support this week thanks to the joint efforts of Aquis Entertainment and Executive Sports and Entertainment (ESE). The two companies have teamed up to form QeSports, an initiative aimed at growing the esports infrastructure Down Under. Both organisations bring plenty of experience to the table: ESE has operated within the traditional sports sector for quite some time and is a part-owner of the League of Legends team the Bombers, while Aquis Entertainment owns and runs Casino Canberra and has contributed to the development of multiple hotels and resorts throughout Australia.

Rohan Sawyer, CEO for QeSports, has big plans for the new partnership. He aims to not only develop new local esports initiatives but also help other companies and brands understand why esports is such a critical component of Aussie entertainment going forward. Additionally, QeSports will focus on supporting professional players to ensure they make the most of their talent.

"Esports is disrupting mainstream sport and the growth in audience and engagement should not be underestimated," said Sawyer. "Australia is becoming a focus of major publishers and brands for investment and we’re aiming to be the market leader across all segments of the esports ecosystem."

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