The biggest Australian esports event is moving states. Having been held in Sydney's Olympic Park for the last few years, ESL announced Tuesday morning that Australia's annual $US250,000 event would be moving to Melbourne.
The move is a major loss for Sydney esports, further enshrining Melbourne not just as a central location for Australian game development but esports as well. Melbourne Esports Open, Game Connect Asia-Pacific and PAX Australia have traditionally been the largest game or game-related conventions in the last half of Melbourne's calendar, but the incorporation of Intel Extreme Masters will add a huge international presence - and attention - to the Melbourne Esports Open.
"Australians have always generated atmospheres that could not be matched by anything else. Coming back for 2020 was a top priority, and the Melbourne Esports Open was a natural match," Michal Blicharz, vice president of pro gaming at ESL, said.
Victorian Tourism, Sport and Major Events minister Martin Pakula added in a release that it was "fantastic" for Victoria to be a leader in esports, given the state's contribution to the video game industry. "More than half of Australia’s digital games companies are based here, so the local jobs story is just as compelling as the on-screen action," he said.
Visit Victoria is officially
Tickets for IEM Melbourne will start from $69 for a single day or $139 for the full weekend, with $229 and $999 premium and Global Elite tickets available from February 14 through Ticketek. Matches will be played at Rod Laver Arena, rather than the Margaret Court Arena which was used for the recent Fortnite Summer Smash. Events and activities for the rest of Melbourne Esports Open will be announced through the official site.