Aquis Entertainment (ASX:AQS), based in Canberra, and Executive Sports and Entertainment (ESE), an industry leader in the esports sector in Australia and New Zealand, announced yesterday that they are establishing QeSports, a joint venture set to aggressively invest in the booming esports market.
The goals of QeSports are to build innovation in the community, develop events and esports consultancy and establish esports specific infrastracture across Australia and New Zealand. QeSports hopes to utilise ESE’s experience with traditional sport and investments in League of legends esports, in their part-ownership of the Bombers team, and Aquis Entertainment’s experience in venue management and development for next generation entertainment.
The global esports market is growing at 26% year on year according to research house Newzoo and the industry’s worth is expected to grow with evolving media consumption habits to $1.5 billion by 2020. Global audiences were estimated at 287 million in 2017 with 20% audience growth predicted between 2017 and 2019. Just last week, Epic Games, the publisher of Fortnite, announced its push into competitive gaming with a US$100m prize pool for season 2018-19.
According to Nielsen Esports Playbook research, the Australian esports audience has more than doubled in the past five years. Australia currently boasts 11 million gamers, an active esports audience of 3.2 million and 46% awareness of the esports category. Earlier in May it was announced that a global first partnership between the AFL and Riot Games would be further legitimising esports domestically.
QeSports CEO, Rohan Sawyer says that this partnership will allow QeSports to develop assets and new initiatives that are a first in the Australian esports space, with fit for purpose products that are gamer-centric. In addition, he says they will focus on helping companies and brands understand why and how they should invest in the esports space while offering talent management solutions to professional players.
“Esports is disrupting mainstream sport and the growth in audience and engagement should not be underestimated. They’re digital natives, early adopters and high spenders”.
“Australia is becoming a focus of major publishers and brands for investment and we’re aiming to be the market leader across all segments of the esports ecosystem”
Jessica Mellor, CEO of Aquis Entertainment believes a push into the esports market is a natural progression for the group.
“Aquis Entertainment’s vision is to provide Australia with next generation entertainment and our move into the esports market is very much in line with our strategy”.
“Australians are well known for their passion for traditional sports and we’re starting to see this translate to esports as the sector matures”.
“Two-thirds of Australian esports fans are aged 18-34 and that’s a market segment we know very well. This, coupled with our experience in entertainment venue operations, puts us in a strong position to meet a wide range of expanding needs in the esports space”