It's been a little while since one of Australia's major events on the fighting game calendar, Battle Arena Melbourne, held its last event. But the organisation recently showed off some figures from BAM10, which included an intriguing stat that's worth knowing about the FGC, and esports in general.
The Australian FGC has had the longest history amongst all the scenes when it comes to hosting truly international tournaments - international being events that attract competitors from overseas, rather than exhibition-style events where international teams are invited as such.
BAM10 carried on that tradition, with 30 competitors from overseas. But the much more interesting figure is the amount of overall competitors to unique competitors.
The entire tournament had 870 unique competitors overall, with 830 of those participating in the five major tournaments - Super Smash Melee, Tekken, DBFZ, SF5 and Smash 4.
That doesn't mean there were only 40 people playing in the rest of the side tournaments, but rather than a high degree of those playing in one tournament also competed in a second, if not more, tournament.
Outside of the five listed on the infographic, for instance, BAM10 also had a doubles tournament for Project M (the fan-made Smash) with 17 separate teams. 52 teams took part in the Melee doubles tournament. 19 players took part in the DOA5: Last Round side event; another 72 participated in the Guilty Gear Xrd REV2 bracket, while 24 played in the Mortal Kombat XL tourney.
It's interesting because while those who actively compete in, say, CS:GO or Overwatch might take a passing interest in other games, it's usually casual. The idea of having a "main" game doesn't really apply for, say, someone pursuing their OPL dreams in League. The FGC has always had more of a carnival atmosphere though, making it more accommodating for players to compete - and organisers to showcase - multiple titles.
As an aside, it's also worth taking stock of the size of the Smash community. The combined strength of the Smash tournaments, along with the extra interest in Project M (and the element of people interested in Smash that don't, or can't, attend tournaments) augurs very well for anyone interested in Smash's debut on the Switch later this year.
Knowing in advance that tournaments will be well attended is a bonus, but it's also a good sign for online play in general ahead of Smash Ultimate's launch on December 7.