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$450,000 esports league is coming Down Under

The UK's Gfinity's Elite League will start up in Australia next year. The Challenger League, a route to pro for amateurs, is open for registration now.

Joe Brady

Australia's esports scene is about to lift off -- to Gfinity and beyond.

The UK's Gfinity Elite League is coming to Australia early next year with a 2018 prize pool of AU$450,000, which will be spread over two seasons.

The league will feature three games, Rocket League, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Street Fighter V, and pit pro teams from Australia's six states against each other.

It will be helmed by current Sydney Sixers cricket team manager Dominic Remond, the latest exec to make the jump from sports to esports, who will act as Australia's Gfinity CEO starting February.

It's been a hot year for esports in Australia. Overwatch's World Cup drew over 2,000 people to The Star in Sydney back in July, and League of Legends got its own local reality show called "The Next Gamer." Esports is a global monster, with the aforementioned League of Legends being one of the few games at the centre -- it's sold out LA's Staple Centre multiple times, and 14 million tuned into the 2016 World Championship finals.

"Esports is really another form of sport," he said, "sports are competitive, sports have fans, and fans love rivalries and tribalism. By creating this structure of a city-based league, it'll give more personal connections with fans to a team they can support."

Essential to Gfinity is the Challenger League. Beginning on Jan. 7, it gives hopeful amateurs an opportunity to get drafted to one of the Elite League's professional teams. Last year, in the Elite League's first UK season, 13,000 players joined the Challenger League, leading to 30 being drafted into pro teams.  

If you want to enter the Challenger League, and by the way there's AU$15,000 in monthly prizes between now and February, you can register here.

The Elite League will run two seasons over the year. Last year's Elite Leagues were seen on UK TV, including BBC, but it's not yet known if the Australian league will get TV play. It will be streaming on live Facebook, Twitch and YouTube. 

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