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There has been a burst of new activity in the ANZ esports scene as we approach the end of 2019, with a number of new competitions being announced ahead of the new year.

These new competitions collectively focus on opportunities for players and fans of a number of esports that don’t sit at the top of the tier lists. From Starcraft 2 to Mario Kart, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG) to FIFA 20, a number of communities will see something new in the local scene.

From another perspective, we see titles like Overwatch being the basis for a new women’s tournament, aiming to create a space for both professional and social teams to get a chance to compete in a welcoming environment.

With a new entrant to Australia’s school esports scene also in the list, focused on a younger age group than other high school leagues, we see a very wide mix of game and audience targets as part of the early 2020 competitive landscape.

Every month The Esports Observer presents the biggest esports business news in ANZ (Australia, New Zealand), including investments, acquisitions, sponsorships, and other major news from the region.

AusCraft Live Tournament Event to Launch In January

Credit: C(E)2PE

Event organizer C(E)2PE (pronounced ‘Keep’) has announced a three-day Starcraft 2 tournament to take place in Melbourne in January. AusCraft will feature a small prize pool of just $5K AUD ($3.4K USD), but aims to feature a number of top Australian and international players in a style that suggests a focus on entertainment over pure competition.

“It will go beyond the in-game action to focus on bringing out the characters that make the pro players distinct personalities in their own right,” the organizers said in the announcement. “Through a range of live activities, AusCraft will provide a platform for key personal narratives focused on a unique entertainment experience.”

“Broadcasting live from an exclusive gamer heaven located near one of Melbourne’s most iconic beaches in Rye, Auscraft is all about combining the casual and social aspect of gaming with a pro-gaming tournament.”

The tournament will be streamed live on Twitch from Jan. 10-12.

FUSE League a New Addition To Australian School Esports

Credit: FUSE League

A new esports organization has launched in Australia that aims to bring school-based esports to students in Years 5 through 8. FUSE League targets students in the “middle school” age bracket and will run tournaments across Mario Kart Deluxe 8, Rocket League, and FIFA 20 – all on Nintendo Switch, according to the FUSE League website.

Competition will run at a state level around the country, with all state champions set to attend a national final at the 2020 Melbourne Esports Open. FUSE League has announced it is operating in partnership with retailer JB Hi-Fi and The Chiefs Esports Club.

As a school esports organization, FUSE League will be operating either alongside or in competition with META High School Esports, which runs national high school esports tournaments. Most of the esports represented do not overlap – META operates League of Legends and NBA 2K19 competitions – but both do offer Rocket League. FUSE’s focus on a younger age group may help to form a comfortable dividing line between the two organizations and their tournament operations.

ANZ Premier League Delivers Tiered Tournament For PUBG

Credit: ANZ Premier League

Esports organization ANZ Premier League has launched a PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS competition, with an initial qualifying phase concluding recently ahead of a tiered tournament structure set to launch in January.

The three tiers of competition will hold $6.8K in prize money, with the top 16 teams competing in the ‘Immortals League’ for $5.4K, another 16 teams in the mid-tier “Titan League” competing for $1.2K, and all remaining teams in a ‘Gladiator League’ competing for $135.

Teams will be charged entry fees for all three tiers, with fees based on the tier they have qualified for – $85 (Immortals), $50 (Titan), and $6.70 (Gladiator).

ANZ Premier League aims to run the competitions for eight week seasons, with open qualifiers also running ahead of any future seasons during 2020.

XP Esports Women’s League Opens In 2020

Credit: XP Esports

Australian esports organization XP Esports has announced it is launching a Women’s League in 2020. The competition will feature two esports, Rainbow Six: Siege and Overwatch. No prize money has been announced, but the tournament is expected to launch in February 2020 as an online competition, with the potential for an offline event.

Information has been limited so far, but a LinkedIn post from Brodie Fisher, director of XP Esports, also suggests that alongside a professional league there will also be a women’s social league to increase opportunities for such teams to compete.

XP Esports is also hosting an open registration Call of Duty tournament in January at AusLan Brisbane, with a prize pool of $6.8K.


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