It’s no surprise that eSports is surging in popularity. One of the places where eSports is only just starting to grow, is right in Australia. That’s where companies such as Zen eSports Network come in, to fill the gaps and help propagate the growing community in Australia. During PAX Australia, we had the pleasure of speaking to one of the Zen eSports ambassadors, Michelle Mannering, who gave us a quick run down on what exactly the company is, what their goals are and what sort work we can expect from them.
Gamespresso: Hi there Michelle, it’s a pleasure to meet you. First off, can we have a chat about what exactly is Zen eSports Network?
Mannering: Yeah! We’re an Australian based company, it’s an Australian venture, and the whole idea of Zen eSports is to put Australia on the global eSports map. So you know that in Australia, we have the community, we have the teams, we have the players — we may not have the best internet connection, but we have the internet here. But what we don’t have is the support and the backing of a big company to get behind eSports, and that is what Zen eSports Network is all about.
GS: Absolutely, it’s fantastic to hear. So, what is the rundown of the company’s history?
M: Zen eSports is actually brand new, we just launched the network and just today, we announced the Zen eSports League. So what it is, is a Counter-Strike League with $100,000 worth of prize money up for grabs. So the tournament being played throughout the PAX arena, is the semi final matches. The two winners of these matches will go into play in the tournament and league next year. There are 8 teams, 4 from Australia and New Zealand and 4 from the other South East Asian countries.
GS: That’s incredible! Obviously being new, you’re working with several companies?
M: Yeah, so we’re partnered with ESL, we’ve also got St. George’s Bank, Mount Franklin Water, Schnitz and LG. Common household names in Australia, which is exciting! We’ve just started but we’re always looking for more sponsors and partnerships to help us push forward the community.
GS: Definitely, especially with common brands, it’s always nice to see more companies embracing the scene. What other ways is the company helping the scene?
M: So, we have what we call the four main pillars of the network. The first is the community, which is us allowing people to jump online, create a profile, join teams, create that community and even get scouted out by pros. The second pillar is TV how we can use that to expose the community en masse and to a larger audience. There’s also the League, which we spoke about earlier and finally, we’ll be running tournaments over the year. Hopefully, by using all four of these, we can bring together the community and even bridge the gap between casual gaming and pro gaming.
GS: Fantastic, I trust that the reception has been wild during PAX, thank you so much for your time and for speaking to us!
M: Thank you for chatting to us!
We’ll be keeping a watch out on how the Zen eSports Network goes, hopefully over time, the company will help break the waves in Australia and help create a unified community that will put Australia in the lime light when it comes to eSports. For more information on Zen eSports, you can follow the team on Facebook, Twitter or their website.