The Samsung University eSports Finals for Overwatch, Hearthstone and League of Legends were held in Sydney this weekend. This event was organised by the University eSports League (UEL) and sponsored by GradConnection, Hive Gaming and Blizzard Entertainment. The total prize pool was AUD$10,000 plus flights and accommodation for interstate teams. The results were:
1st – Disguised Toast Fanclub – $2000 + Champion Trophy
2nd – RMIT Redbacks – $1000 + Runners Up Trophy
3rd – The Wocksties – $350
1st – Failing Uni Kids – $2000 + Champion Trophy
2nd – Brian Piccolo – $1000 + Runners Up Trophy
3rd – Ebin – $350
League of Legends: $3,350
1st – ROBMCFREEWIN – $2000 + Champion Trophy
2nd – QUT Tigers – $1000 + Runners Up Trophy
3rd – Crown Esports – $350
For exclusive interviews with the teams, watch our coverage of the event. There was free entry for players and spectators and the event drew over 1,200 attendees and over 13,000 unique viewers on Twitch. The event started at 11:30am on Saturday and lasted for nine hours. The Twitch stream lasted for seven hours and Samsung UEL was featured on the Twitch front page for the duration of all streams. The official hashtag of the event was #uel2018 which had over 800,000 impressions across social media.
The entire competition spanned five weeks including online qualifiers and involved over 600 university students. Edmond Lee, Managing Director of Hive Gaming said ‘the event was designed to give the student athletes a taste of a real life professional tournament whilst keeping attendees entertained and having fun. We believe we managed to deliver that today’.
Between games, attendees could take photos with cosplayers, play a range of video games and speak to recruiters from the Business, Finance and Technology sectors. Having recruiters at a gaming event may seem like a mismatch but gaming can develop a range of skills which employers look for in their staff. All three games featured at the event require teamwork, good communication and the ability to perform under pressure. These skills feature regular in the essential criteria of job descriptions. Furthermore, to fully engage with eSports, knowledge of technology and social media is required. For example, the Samsung University eSports Finals were streamed on Twitch and social media coverage used #uel2018. Knowing how to effectively engage with others online may be useful because recruiters are increasingly seeking Marketing and Communication candidates with sound knowledge of social media platforms. So, aside from being fun, eSports may also develop valuable commercial skills.
Entering the UEL is straightforward. Any Australian university student that is enrolled in a university course in the current year is able to join. Players of any level can participate in the qualifying rounds. Just logon on the specified dates and start gaming. The top players from the qualifying rounds will progress to the semi-finals.
To further develop eSports, Hive Gaming Australia has recently announced Project Dojo which will see the construction of Australia’s first ever dedicated eSports training facility. The specifics of Project Dojo have not been made public yet, but Edmond Lee, Managing Director of Hive Gaming says ‘Hive Gaming’s focus is to provide eSports enthusiasts and athletes with a platform to experience and grow in the industry. Keep an eye out for a lot more of exciting projects in the near future.’ Based on knowledge of international eSports dojos we can speculate on what to expect from Project Dojo. eSports dojos are the gaming industry’s equivalent of a gym. For a fee, customers can use the custom gaming facilities, try various games, attend workshops, make industry connections and compete in tournaments. Receiving this mentoring and practice should elevate players’ abilities and create a more engaging end product for the audience. It will be exciting to learn more about Project Dojo over the next few months and see how this move helps develop the Australian eSports industry.