Why the Gold Coast Is Fast Becoming an Esports Mecca

The esports industry has seen incredible growth in recent years. The US alone has 29.6 million esports viewers per month: That’s like the entire population of Australia (and then some) tuning in the watch competitive video games — a far cry from what was deemed an activity for nerds just a few decades ago. 

With interest comes revenue — esports is now a worldwide multi-billion dollar industry. The gaming market is valued at a whopping US$145 billion, making it the biggest sector in the entire entertainment industry. On the competitive side of gaming, projected revenue in the esports sector is set to range from US$1 billion (A$1.3 billion) to US$3 billion (A$4.1 billion).

In Australia, esports revenue is projected to grow to A$16 million by 2025 — and the Gold Coast looks set to boast a major slice of this pie. Earlier this year, luxury car and racing giants Ferrari signed a multi-year collaboration contract with Gold Coast simulation company Next Level Racing, with the company set to supply simulators to Ferrari to help train esports racers.

Hess Ghah, the founder of Next Level Racing, told the ABC he was “humbled” by the partnership. “Ferrari is the most iconic company in the world in motorsports and racing, and to be supplying them with our products is absolutely fantastic,” he said.

“Our cockpits are already in Maranello in Italy, in a Ferrari facility. They’re using them for training and global esports competitions already.”

This deal, and others like it, are part of a push to have more esports hosted in Queensland in the lead-up to the 2032 Olympics which will officially be held in Brisbane, but will have a number of events taking place on the Gold Coast.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate believes by the time the Olympics come to his city, esports will already be an Olympic sport.

“I am confident esports will feature heavily in the 2028 L.A. Olympics and Paralympics,” he told Business Insider. “In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some esport competitions attracted as much spectator interest as other traditional Olympic sports.”

Mr Tate confirmed his city wants a slice of the global esport action, “and we are currently talking with a range of operators about how we can make that happen,” he said.

“In July this year, I met with the Global esports Federation CEO during a Mayoral Mission to Birmingham. Details from that discussion must remain confidential for now but I can confirm that the Gold Coast’s name is in front of the key decision-makers in this industry.”

“What impressed the esports federation was how well our city managed the 2018 Commonwealth Games, as well as our telecommunications and fibre optic capacity, which would allow world-class competitions to take place.”

With Gold Coast-based simulation company Ryan Aerospace recently winning a major contract from the US Air Force, and the growing popularity of the Gold Coast Esports Cup, it seems Mr Tate’s optimism is well-warranted.

“My advice is: Watch this space,” he said.

This post was created by Insider Studios with City of Gold Coast

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