Esports in Australia has witnessed incredible momentum over the last few years. Gone are the days where competitive gamers would congregate in dank LAN centres to play Counter-Strike Source – instead, modern esports arenas in Australia boast high-spec computers, lightning fast internet and creature comforts like hot food and drinks. Read on to learn about some of Legit Nerds favourite esports venues around the country!
Zen Gaming Lounge: Melbourne
ZEN Gaming Lounge pioneered the oceanic esports scene as Melbourne’s first dedicated esports hub. Zen are nurturing the Melbourne esports community with state of the art equipment, including more than 80 tournament-spec computers, a 10 computer VIP Black Room battle station, PlayStation 4 consoles and a specialised tournament viewing room.
Located next to Crown Casino, all three floors of Zen are open 24 hours a day with prices designed for both the early birds and night owls flocking to the esports scene.
Escape Portal: Western Australia
A family operated esports venue based in Perth, the 500 square metre Escape Portal is the perfect haven for esports devotees. With dozens of high spec PCs, tournaments are regularly hosted by Escape Portal with prizes awarded to the victors (like headsets, gift cards and clothing).
Escape Portal also offer their well-equipped space for private events and birthday parties, so you’ll be able to hop on their high-speed internet and make the most of an impressive game catalogue in order to crush your friends – it’s your birthday, after all!
For Canberrans with itchy trigger fingers, Reload Bar and Games host local game tournaments and offer screenings of the biggest esports events in the world on numerous big screens. Staying up to date with the biggest victories in the world while sitting back with a drink from their well-stocked bar is just the icing on the cake.
To set themselves even further apart from the competition, Reload Bar & Games is Australia’s first augmented reality enabled bar. The reloadbAR app allows visitors to see interactive holographic visions in the venue itself, engage in retro game challenges, take photos with a variety of game characters and win free drinks.
QUT eSports: Brisbane
New esports arenas aren’t just being relegated to hip bars and cafes – to demonstrate how far the state of the game has come, Queensland University of Technology added esports to its sporting division in 2018. QUT esports plays host to a state of the art gaming arena, professional and community teams, training, events and even internships for those looking to jumpstart their gaming career.
QUT esports teams don’t just compete on campus, though. In a world first, QUT have university teams compete against professional organisations in the Oceanic Challenger Series and competitions such as the Australian Esports Leagues University Cup. The venue is open to students, staff and the general public, so make sure to check it out if you have the chance!
The Gfinity Australia Challenger Series marks a new step for Australian esports by providing a clear and structured competitive framework. Presented by Alienware, the Gfinity Elite Series sees 6 city-based Clubs competing weekly in a state-of-the-art esports arena specially created inside a Hoyts Cinema Complex.
This is no exclusive event, either. Top-ranked players competing in the open Gfinity Challenger Series can go on to compete in front of a live audience as part of an Elite Series team over the 7 weeks. If you think you’ve got the gaming prowess, you can sign up here.
Special Mention: GG EZ Bar, Melbourne.
A pioneer in Australian esports venues, we'll visit GG EZ Bar in a feature article later this year.