Gfinity Esports Australia, an Australian esports business with a cool name, recently announced the inaugural Gfinity Australia Elite Series – a game changer for local esports.
Offering a whopping total prize pool of 450,000 bucks in its first year, the competition is comprised of two leagues – the Challenger Series and the Elite Series. The Challenger Series is dubbed a “competition for all gamers” and allows anyone to enter, whereas the higher-tier Elite series is geared more towards established pro gamers.
The Gfinity Australia Elite Series will include tournaments in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Street Fighter V and Rocket League – a fair spread of game types and one that should have at least minimal appeal to everyone.
The 2018 Challenger series commenced on the 7th of January, and there is $15K in prize money on the line each month for participants.
“The Challenger Series is designed as an integrated, grassroots support platform, which is frequently seen in traditional sports, and is key to the development of Australian esports,” explained now-CEO of Gfinity Australia, Dominic Remond, in a press release.
The best players from the Challenger Series enter what is known as the Elite Draft, were they are in with the opportunity to join one of the six professional teams in the Elite Series.
Seasons are based on a league system, with six teams each representing a major Australian city. Each weekend, Elite Series matches will take place in front of a live audience, with games played over seven weekends.
“Gfinity Australia provides a clear pathway from amateur to professional, to secure a place in Australia’s newest esports franchises, and be part of the biggest league to launch in Australia. This exciting competitive framework is core to the Gfinity Australia ecosystem and is designed to help boost esports in the Australian market, and bring a unique viewing experience to audiences, with substantial prize money at stake,” said Remond.
This structure is based upon that used by Gfinity in the UK.
“Australia is the first territory of expansion for Gfinity, driven by this country’s passion for competitive sports and the growing popularity of esports. Gfinity Australia wants to build the ‘Big Bash League of esports’, and I’m excited to have joined the team here in Australia and looking forward to establishing the Gfinity Elite Series as a must-watch part of the Australian sport and entertainment calendar,” said Remond, who was appointed as CEO late last year.
Gfinity then went on to secure Alienware as a presenting partner for the competition’s Elite Series, and their hardware – such as the Alienware Aurora and Alienware 17 – will be used by players in the Elite series. Doubling as the official hardware Partner, Alienware was an obvious choice for Gfinity.
“As passionate supporters of the gaming community, their brand and products are a perfect fit for our ambition to create Australia’s first city-based professional esports league,” commented Remond.
“Esports is a highly sought-after space, and this partnership is demonstrative of the great commercial potential brands can see in Gfinity Australia’s Elite Series. We’re thrilled that Alienware has jumped at the opportunity to help bring a new wave of esports into Australia. It will enable them to further connect with a valuable, tech-savvy, younger audience.”
The most recent announcement revealed a partnership with Hoyts Cinemas, which are set to open a number of gaming arenas within already existing cinema locations around the country, in order to immerse gamers in the esports environment of the Gfinity Australia Competition – the first of which will open in Moore Park, Sydney. The arenas are set to boast state-of-the-art gaming equipment and broadcast and production suites.
“The Gfinity Esport Arenas will be a game changer for esports in Australia and will allow fans and players to enjoy the best gaming action within a high quality location,” said Remond of the arena partnership with one of the world’s leading entertainment companies. “We are excited that our inaugural Gfinity Elite Series, presented by Alienware, will be the first event to be staged at the new Arena, in front of a live audience, each weekend for seven weeks.
“We’re also fortunate to be able to leverage HOYTS’ national venue reach with the potential for esports fans to watch our tournaments on the big screen, in additional HOYTS cinema locations across the country. This will enable our fans and audiences to join in the excitement as we continue to position Gfinity Esports Australia as the leading esports tournament and broadcast provider in the country.”
Damian Keogh, CEO of the HOYTS Group, noted that HOYTS Entertainment Quarter in Sydney’s Moore Park was a natural fit for the first dedicated Gfinity Esports Arena, given its history as a sporting precinct.
“With proximity to the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sydney Football Stadium, we feel this is the perfect setting to offer esports fans the impact of a cinema-styled viewing experience that will be unlike anything else in Australia.
“Our partnership with Gfinity Esports Australia will assist HOYTS to continue in our mission to innovate, create and challenge the normal cinema going experience. It’s all part of our Experience More brand promise.”