It's not often that the words "iron ore miner" and "esports" appear in the same sentence. But that's the unusual reality for eSports Mogul, which started trading as Australia's first publicly listed esports company.
Back in February Volta Mining, a company based in Perth around the development, acquisition and exploration of iron ore assets, announced it would be entering the most peculiar of industries: esports.
But Volta Mining wasn't just buying their way into esports: they officially rebranded. On Friday, Volta Mining officially began trading under the name eSports Mogul Asia Pacific Limited, with the SMH reporting its shares closing 1¢ higher at 3¢.
It's interesting ground for the Australian industry, especially considering the many barriers esports still has to overcome. One problem is the fact that it's not actually legal to charge online gamers to play in all states, according to legal advice given to eSports Mogul. That same advice, according to the SMH report, added that some states (but it didn't say which) also prohibits playing a game of skill for money.
Given that much of esports is principally that - playing a game of skill in a tournament for money - it's a stumbling block the industry will have to overcome in the next few years.
Nonetheless, it's an interesting step for the local industry. It'll also be intriguing to see how companies like eSports Mogul respond to moves by Microsoft to offer automated tournaments from within the Xbox platform itself, or whether the pull of money will keep encouraging players to seek out third party services in the years to come.