A new purpose-built arena for esports is being opened to the public this weekend during the QUT Open Day (Saturday, 29 July), unveiling an Australian first – a university lead push into the esports competitive market.
The idea behind the initiate comes from Dylan Poulus, and fellow student Michael Trotter who created an esports club back in 2016 while studying psychology. In 2017, the club was added to the QUT Sport portfolio, giving the club a better opportunity to help aspiring esports athletes move into the professional scene. Mr Poulus says the idea is to create a grass-roots way to move into professional esports.
“We have two main purposes: We’re providing a pathway for video gamers to move from amateurs to professional players and we are also creating industry opportunities for students who want to move into the business of esports.”
QUT’s facility will also be home to their epsorts pro-team QUT Tigers, who are seeing their own successes being the first University team to compete in League of Legends Oceanic Challenger Series.
As esports moves more into the mainstream view, it continues to bring in billions of dollars for local and international industries.
In May, the program sent several students to intern with organisers of The Intel Extreme Masters which offers a prize pool of over $300,000. Internationally, competitions are offering several hundreds-of-thousands, up to millions of dollars in prize pools, along with global audiences. The League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational in Europe was viewed by approximately 60-million people online. “Traditional” sports are also getting involved with esports, with the AFL making a big push to get involved and creating new esports teams. It’s Etihad Stadium in Melbourne was announced as the new home of competitive sports.
QUT’s open day is Saturday, 29 July at the Gardens Point (City) campus. The QUT esports arena is located in X Block and more information on the open day is available here.