As esport proceeds to boom, continual support for the industry is apparent. QUT eSports is leading the national charge with its esport program and brand new ‘arena’ facilities. As other universities begin to follow suit, the QUT program has set the standards and continues to deliver in all aspects, whether for esport fanatics, for general gamers or for those looking to learn more about the industry or perhaps pursue research in the field. Regardless, QUT eSports has a lot to offer regardless of who you are, and this is a guide to how to get the most out of it.
This program is all about esports; that is, the pursuit of playing video games competitively. QUT eSports facilitates this in an array of ways, through training, access to competition and also events. In terms of training, a selection of the most popular and most played esport titles are offered. These training sessions are held in the arena where players are offered insight into aspects of the game to take their play to higher levels. In order to further develop and hone in such skills and practice, access to various competitions such as the AEL are on offer. These opportunities act as more practical grounds for players to test their abilities outside of training as well as have other players and organisations involved, which assists in developing the scene at a broader scale. In addition to dedicated training and competitive platforms, QUT eSports holds events that incorporate aspects of developing skill, facilitating a ground for competition but most importantly enabling community engagement. This is exemplified through an open LAN event that was run at the arena in early August, where all these aspects came together. An important part of developing a local grassroots scene are events like these and this has been proven overseas already.
Of course, while these competitive pursuits are an important aspect of esport, the wider community of more general and casual gamers are just as crucial to a growing scene. As an extension of how the program contributes towards the community, this is even more evident for any casual gamers involved. The community is critical as it defines the majority of people involved in the program, so ensuring these people are catered to are important to the ongoing success of QUT eSports.
“Community is at the crux of the QUT eSports program. Without it, we would not have a reason to start let along have been running this entire time. We put a large emphasis on looking after our community through support, general activities and even when designing our new arena space. What is also great is; through being a part of the community you can hone your competitive skills or pursue research and academic endeavours as well. I hope more people visit and learn a bit more about us because we’re open to everybody, not just QUT students and staff, and we’re very welcoming not matter who you are!” – Jess Occhi (QUT eSports Staff)
The QUT eSports arena is a space that was built for the community and acts as the hub of the program, being the place to play games, meetup, socialize and so forth. There are many things available to gamers and casual fans that reaffirm all aforementioned ideas which are array of games, high-quality PC’s and equipment, a space designed with consideration to community engagement and a group of staff who are involved and welcoming.
A perhaps less discussed aspect of QUT eSports is in the value it offers for academics and those who aren’t as familiar with esport and gaming. Considering the growth that has been occurring in the industry, now is one of the most critical times for both more supporters and fans but also academic research and formal understanding. Regarding the group of people who aren’t as familiar with esport, QUT eSports is set up to educate and have anyone get involved. Whether this is to learn about the games themselves or learn to have an appreciation for the competitive discipline and all the effort and sacrifices that go into a career in esport– the team is able and willing to facilitate this. Esport as an emerging industry is prone to be misunderstood. And something that Michael Trotter and Dylan Poulus (Founders of the program) prioritise is ensuring that there is backing from researchers and academics for the validity in the industry, which can be and has been done in a myriad of unique fields. Business, Psychology, Media and IT among others all have a role and are components that influence how esport develops. Due to the nature of esport, it is a very exciting and highly engaging industry, comparable to traditional sports with large stadium events, international broadcasts, and multimillion-dollar sponsorship deals. While it might not be for everyone in this regard, it is certainly something to acknowledge and have a basic understanding of, which QUT eSports proudly can facilitate.
QUT eSports is a program that is about all things esport. As this industry continues to grow nationally and internationally, there has never been a better time to get involved, learn all about it and to keep a tab on all the unique aspects arriving each day. Get in touch with QUT eSports online by reaching out on Facebook/Twitter or in person with a visit to the Arena in X-Block at QUT Gardens Point.
Ashley Whyte – Twitter: Uncle_Shhlee