Tennis Australia and ESL Australia have teamed up to produce the largest competitive gaming event ever held in Australia! Fortnite Summer Smash brings some of the best talent from Australia and around the world. They’ll be competing at the Australian Open finals this weekend. Hundreds of players have descended on Margaret Court Arena to compete for a record AU$500,000 combined prize pool and charity donations.
The tournament invites international players, talent, and the public to compete. Hundreds of players signed up to be part of the Summer Smash. The first 500 players to register were automatically entered into the qualifiers. Qualifying rounds are currently taking place at the Aus Open. Points are awarded for 10th place and above as well as 3 or more eliminations. The top 100 players will go on to compete for the AU$400,000 prize pool tomorrow.
A further AU$100,000 is up for grabs in the ProAm duos competition. The ProAM brings another 100 esports, sports, entertainment, and gaming personalities together to compete for the prize. The prize will be donated to a charity of the winning team’s choice.
Local and international talent will be on show for the public during the ProAM. Such celebrities like Loserfruit, Muselk, Valkyrae, and more. These players are excited about competing in the Summer Smash and raising money for charity.
Kathleen “Loserfruit” Belsten is so excited to play Fortnite alongside a sport she loves so much. We spoke to her earlier today to get her thoughts on the Aus Open and esports. She commented on the growth of the gaming scene in Australia as well as the crossover between esports and physical sports:
I’ve played tennis since I was so young. I’ve watched the Aus Open all the time, and now we’ll be playing on the court too… We need more events like this. I like it when sport and esports combine and [the Aus Open] is a great place to do it… [I’m really excited to] walk around all the courts and soak up the atmosphere, and watch the young OC players compete and see how they do under pressure and when there’s money on the line.
Melbourne is also very excited to welcome Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo to the stage. The top American broadcaster has over 2.8 million followers on Twitch. He told us earlier today how excited he was to “be in the southern hemisphere for the first time and meet all my fans.” DrLupo commented on the incredible time he hopes to have here. He’ll be casting the solos Summer Smash and playing in the ProAm rounds. All the players and talent are very excited to be in Australia. For Australian fans it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet and see these stars in action. Tennis Australia and ESL have worked to bring these people down under and put on a great show.
For some talent, it wasn’t all about the Fortnite either. Players and casters had the chance to pick up a racket and try out some tennis for themselves before hitting the computer screens tomorrow.
Great to see so much #Fortnite at the #AusOpen and watching the players break out for some tennis is awesome. Looking forward to watching all the finals tomorrow#esports #esport #fortniteSummerSmash #Melbourne #Australia #gaming #gamers pic.twitter.com/r2S94aP5S3
— 💎 Michelle Mannering (@MishManners) January 26, 2019
Mark Reidy, the event organizer, is excited to host Fortnite alongside the tennis:
We’re really excited to host an event of this size at the Australian Open. The Fortnite Summer Smash is open to gamers across Australia to take part in and everyone is encouraged to sign up online for the chance to be one of 500 lucky players competing for $400,000 of prize money in the solos tournament.
We had the chance to catch up with Mark ourselves. He said it’s a great opportunity and one Tennis Australia is happy to be part of. He noted the increase in gaming around the globe and how Fortnite fits well into the Aus Open:
It’s a great opportunity to bring esports here, and it fits well with the goals of the Australian Open. We have so many entertainment offerings — the music, food, and all that — so with lots of stuff going on around the venue this fits nicely. Gaming is such a huge thing now, well it’s more visible and we’re excited about it… we’ve wanted to do something like this, and now seems like a good time. It’s the perfect game and it’s the kind of game which fits well with the event.
Mark further commented on the partnership Tennis Australia had built with ESL Australia:
ESL are great. They’ve done IEM in the past and we were very aware of the guys and the work they’ve done. They’ve done lots of events [at Margaret Court Arena], and when I talked to Nick [Vanzetti] about it he was super happy to jump on board. He liked the project too.
Furthermore Mark is keen to see the outcomes of the event. He and Tennis Australia would love to run more tournaments like this in future. “There’s also our own tennis game, and maybe we’d like to do something with it in future,” said Mark. It seems like what Aussies and gamers want are more events here. Our current run of events shows we have a vibrant growing scene and more brands are keen to be involved.
Margaret Court Arena has already played host to some incredible esports tournament. Earlier last year, ESL Australia held the Melbourne Esports Open. Riot Games and AFL also teamed up to run the League of Origin in November.
The finals of Fortnite Summer Smash will be streamed live. The competition kicks off live at 10 a.m. AEST. If you live in Melbourne, or are traveling for the Aus Open, tickets are super cheap and can be picked up at Ticketek. Otherwise, you can always cheer for your hero live on Twitch.
And we all like to play some Fortnite too. There’s a free play booth at the Aus Open. Attendees can play on PC, XBOX, or PS4. Freebies and prizes are available. Check back on Daily Esports tomorrow for all the updates from the event. In the meantime, get in the groove and read up on the Fortnite goss.
Michelle is a Content Producer in the realms of innovation and technology. Known as the “Hackathon Queen” you’ll often find her on stage MC’ing or speaking on a range of topics from artificial intelligence, to business, community engagement, the future of work, and esports. With a background in both science and arts, Michelle writes extensively on a range of topics including innovation, startups, corporate culture, esports, business development, and more. She has a passion for gaming and combines this with her experience in a range of industries. Michelle brings a unique insight into esports innovation and draws many parallels between the physical world of sport, and the digital world of esports.