TEG and ESL have today confirmed that the inaugural Melbourne Esports Open in September this year will feature the League of Legends Oceanic Pro League Finals and the Overwatch Contenders Australia Season 2 Finals.
In a major coup for the event, Riot Games has inked a multi-year deal for the League of Legends Oceanic Pro League Finals to headline the Melbourne Esports Open until 2022.
TEG and ESL are also delighted to announce that JB Hi-Fi, Australia’s largest home entertainment retailer, has joined the Melbourne Esports Open as official presenting partner for the next three years.
Tickets to the Melbourne Esports Open are on sale tomorrow from ticketek.com.au. Prices start at $19.90 for juniors and $29.90 for adults. Family day passes start from $79.70.
Speaking on the move of the Oceanic Pro League Finals to Melbourne, Head of Oceanic Esports for Riot Games, Daniel Ringland said the return to a major venue at Rod Laver Arena would be hugely popular with fans.
“The OPL had a stadium Grand Final at Sydney’s Luna Park in 2015 and Brisbane’s Courier Mail Plaza in 2016,” said Ringland.
“However, 2017 lacked a stadium Grand Final which was disappointing to our fans and didn’t reflect the magnitude of the OPL Grand Final, which selects the team who will go on to participate in the largest esports event the world has ever seen – the League of Legends World Championship.
“The Melbourne Esports Open solves for that in a sustainable, annual event and I’m thrilled to be able to deliver our fans a stadium event in Melbourne for the next five years.”
The Overwatch Contenders Australia Season 2 Finals. will be held on Saturday, 1 September at Rod Laver Arena, representing the finale of the premier Overwatch esports tournament in the Australia/New Zealand region.
Released in 2016, Blizzard Entertainment’s team-based action game, Overwatch, showcases a diverse cast of heroes who battle in colourful, dynamic locations across the globe. Overwatch has quickly grown into one of the world’s most popular games, with more than 40 million players.
Overwatch Contenders Australia is a high-level tournament series for aspiring pro Overwatch players, one of seven Contenders tournament series around the world. Overwatch Contenders is part of Overwatch esports’ Path to Pro, and is an opportunity for players and teams to be noticed by organisations in the Overwatch League—the first major global city-based esports league.
In Overwatch Contenders Australia, 12 of the highest-performing teams across Australia and New Zealand will battle for their share of a $AUD 67,000 Season 2 prize pool. The top four teams from the regular season will advance to the Melbourne Esports Open for the Season 2 Playoffs live on stage.
JB Hi-Fi Group CEO Richard Murray said: “With the rapid growth in popularity of esports in Australia and JB Hi-Fi’s long and successful history in supporting and growing the gaming category in Australia, we are proud to be a supporter of the Melbourne Esports Open, an event for passionate esports and gaming fans alike.”
The Melbourne Esports Open will also incorporate a true “open” tournament format, with avid gamers invited to enter knock-out competitions against some of the very best amateur and pro players across the region.
Avid gamers can turn up to play, compete and showcase their skills across multiple esports titles. These open tournaments will find their home in Margaret Court Arena during the Melbourne Esports Open, with details to be announced soon.
Nick Vanzetti, Managing Director ESL Australia, said: “We are very excited to bring the biggest games in esports to Melbourne in September and we are thrilled that League of Legends has now locked in for five years. In addition, the Melbourne Esports Open will host a series of open tournaments in Margaret Court Arena that will pit the best emerging talent against the elite players from across the region!”
TEG CEO Geoff Jones said presenting esports in live mega-events in Australia is a big idea whose time has come.
“TEG is committed to creating an unforgettable experience across the Melbourne Park precinct for esports fans from all over Australia and overseas,” said Jones.
“On our projected attendances, the number of matches and the sheer scale of activity, the MEO will be the biggest local esports event staged in the Oceania region. As a celebration of the very best in esports competition, TEG Live and ESL aim to make this event the epicentre of esports in this country.”
The Melbourne Esports Open is presented with the support of Visit Victoria, Victoria’s tourism and events company.