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Professional gaming is hitting the mainstream. Here's everything you need to know about the Australian competitive gaming scene.

What is esports?

Electronic sports, commonly called esports, refers to the professional level of gaming within a competition or tournament setting. This industry has been growing exponentially over the past few years, moving from small venues and local competitions to global events with tournaments being broadcast all over the world. Stadiums are filled to the brim with fans cheering for players, teams or even just the characters they love.

Teams or single competitors compete for large prize pools and titles all year round in the game of their choice, living the dream we all wished for as children.

Overview of esports in Australia

The Australian esports scene is one of the fastest growing in the world as we hurry to catch up with the rest of the globe, where some countries have already accepted the sport as a national television event like football or soccer. Premier League clubs are even creating their own esports teams as the popularity of the sport continues to grow.

While our teams are nowhere near as popular as some international teams, they are still growing at an exuberant rate. Fans are the driving force in the industry and through their continued support, companies have been attracted to the digital sport in droves.

Developers like Blizzard and Activision (creators of Overwatch and Call of Duty) have even started hosting some national qualifying matches and tournaments here in our major cities, with Sydney and Melbourne being the centre stage for some important qualifying events this past year. Over the next few years this trend will continue, with hopefully some tournaments holding their finals here in Australia (provided our teams can make it through).

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What are the biggest esports games?

Most games with some kind of substantial player base can create a tournament, but it is the biggest and the best games that attract the crowds and the money.

Here is a list of just some of the current top esports games:

  • Overwatch
  • CS:GO
  • League of Legends
  • HearthStone
  • Call of Duty
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • Rocket League
  • Dota 2
  • Smite
  • Street Fighter V
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee
  • StarCraft II

Esports earnings in Australia

Professional esports players are closing the gap on sporting athletes in terms of pay, with team sponsors and tournament prize pools funding professional players so they can receive a comfortable earning within the top brackets. Prize pools are usually distributed evenly through the team, but even still winning players can walk away with some real bank.

Players are even able to earn over a million US dollars in a major tournament – it's no wonder new teams are popping up every day.

Here is a list of the top 10 Australian esports earners, their total earnings and their games:

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