UK-based esports giant Gfinity is expanding into Australia, and bringing a substantial prize pool with it.
Gfinity Australia's inaugural competitions will include Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League and Street Fighter V, and the company will dole out AU$450,000 in prize money in its first year.
There will be two competition tiers: Challenger and Elite.
Registration is now open to all for the inaugural Challenger Series, which kicks off on January 7 and runs for two months. Head on over to the official site for more details.
There is AU$15,000 in prize money on the line each month, including during a separate pre-season competition, which starts this week.
“The Challenger Series is designed as an integrated, grassroots support platform, which is frequently seen in traditional sports, and is key to the development of Australian esports,” said incoming Gfinity Australia CEO Dominic Remond.
Following the conclusion of The Challenger Series in early 2018, the best amateur players from The Challenger Series will enter The Elite Draft, with the opportunity to be selected to join one of the city-based professional franchise teams and play alongside the pros in The Elite Series.
Gfinity Australia will run two Elite Seasons in 2018, comprising seven weeks of competition for each season.
Each season is based on a league system, with six professional teams competing, each representing a major Australian city.
The Elite Series matches will be played each weekend in front of a live audience, with a finals weekend for each game title, and an overall franchise winner based on combined team performance.
“Gfinity Australia provides a clear pathway from amateur to professional, to secure a place in Australia’s newest esports franchises, and be part of the biggest league to launch in Australia," said Remond.
"Australia is the first territory of expansion for Gfinity, driven by this country’s passion for competitive sports and the growing popularity of esports.
"Gfinity Australia wants to build the ‘Big Bash League of esports’, and I’m looking forward to joining the team in 2018 as we move to establish the Gfinity Elite Series as a must-watch part of the Australian sport and entertainment calendar."
The structure for The Challenger and Elite Series is based on the model used successfully by Gfinity in the UK, which saw 30 amateurs drafted into The Elite Series in season one, with the competition reaching more than 15 million people in its first year.