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Alba Iulia
Monday, January 18, 2021

The Growing Popularity of Australian Esports

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Along with the rest of the world, the Philippines is a country with an incredible, ever increasing love for esports. What you might not know is that there is also a rapidly growing filipino esports fan base across the world. More specifically, filipino and other asian communities in Australia form a huge part of a growing group of gamers and fans enthralled by esports in the country. 

It is these esports fans that are a huge part of why Aussie esports are on the rapid upward trend – world class esports tournaments are being held across the country, Australian teams are dominating the international esports landscape, and Australian esports earnings are showing young Aussies with incomes in the millions – in prize money alone. 

With this in mind, here is what is going on in the competitive Australian esports scene, and where the industry looks to be headed. 

The games that have fans hooked

The growth of esports in Australia is definitely in line with the love Aussies have for sports in general – whether it is Rugby, Cricket, or otherwise. But when it comes to what games are popular in the country, most watched and played choices go beyond traditional sports games like FIFA and NBA 2K.

Based on the top earning Aussie esports players, the most popular game on the competitive scene (by far) is Dota 2. Initially released in 2013, the game has grown hugely in popularity, with prize pools to match. Anathan ‘ana Pham was Australia’s highest earning esports player (in terms of prize money), and he earned the majority of his net worth in one Dota 2 tournament alone. Other well paying esports games are Call of Duty, CS:GO, Fortnite, and League of Legends. 

If you look at popular esports games in terms of international viewership, the games that come out on top are slightly different. Based on 2019 stats, League of Legends was by far the most popular game to watch, followed by CS:GO, Dota 2, Overwatch, and Hearthstone. In 2020, high stream view counts included games like Cyberpunk 2077, which broke concurrent streaming viewers for a single player game. 

The future of Aussie esports

Looking forward, there is a lot to be optimistic about surrounding the Australian esports industry. 

Gaming is popular as it is – in 2019, the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney (the largest indoor arena in the country) sold out all 18,000 seats, and aussies are dominating the streaming industry as well. On YouTube, Australian content creators like Muselk are reaching the ten million subscriber mark, and other streamers like Pestily and Loserfruit aren’t far behind. 

However, with a few failed esports operations and events in recent years, issues with the industry have been highlighted. A number of factors have been blamed, from lack of investor support, to problems with online streaming in Australia, which are limiting the success of esports when compared on an international scale. Even limitations regarding internet speeds throughout Australia are showing tangible disadvantages in terms of Australia’s ability to keep up with the international workforce. When you consider these Australia specific problems on top of the high skill floors and other difficulties associated with esports as a whole, it is clear to see that the industry has room for growth and improvement. 

Esports in the Philippines

When you compare esports in Australia to the gaming scene in the Philippines, there are some interesting insights to make. Like Australia, the country has world class esports teams that are competitive against the best teams in the world, and world renowned local esports organisations.

With the entire industry governed by the Philippine Esports Organisation (PeSO), the country has a foundation for what is looking to be a bright future in gaming. Currently, Filipino esports teams are heavily focused on Dota 2, with top team TNC Predator having reported prize earnings of $3,928,755 USD. 

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