The fact that one of Australia's largest banks is getting involved with esports speaks volumes. Mind you, so does this picture.
Anyway, ESL Australia announced today that St.George Bank will be sponsoring the second season of ESL's championship series for Australia and New Zealand. The second season featuring Counter-Strike kicked off this week and runs until November, with broadcasted matches every Tuesday and Wednesday night.
The matches will fill in some of the weekly time slots left over by the Oceanic Pro League for League of Legends, which aired every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 6:00 PM. The ESL AU & NZ Championship starts a little later, but runs well into the evening, with scheduled times from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM (5:00 PM to 9:00 PM AWST).
"We are seeing a large and growing number of St George customers embrace online games every month," St.George's general manager of retail banking, Ross Miller, said in a release. "Even in my household, it’s not just the kids playing and watching online games. Gaming connects all generations and St.George is proud to support this emerging trend and be part of the esports community."
The bank's support hasn't catapulted local Counter-Strike into the millions, mind you. The overall cash prize is $35,000, which isn't on the same level as that offered by the Call of Duty World League or even the Australian nationals for SMITE at PAX Australia last year. That said, there's plenty of Counter-Strike tournaments to play in. And if banks are starting to take notice of esports, it shouldn't be too long before those prize pools begin to soar.