Essendon + Abyss = esports!


I’m not going to pretend like I know if this is a good idea or not.


Looking forward to jackie’s training reports on this.


Has there been much reaction in the esports community? Are they generally receptive to interest from traditional sporting clubs?


And the benfti hype thread.


Esports is sports in that it’s humans in competition. But I’m not certai about how much loyalty fans have to certain teams and am under the impression that players are regularly turned over and lack the motor skills to compete within years.

Also obligatory snarky comment, if it was still 2014 we’d sign Fatal1ty


I think I will leave questions about motivations to Justin Rodski and his team - this is their initiative and one I think is really great. I mentioned further up that esports has a brand, sponsorship, membership and commercial upside as the industry grows.

The players, coach and team manager were all tweeting last night. This, of course, is my favourite…



Finally the 11 hours a day I spend sniping on Quake II Arena will pay off!


IF it makes money so real sportmen and women can play real sports and win the club flags, then I’m all for it.

Do “gamers” have xbox vrs nintendo debates? That’s the most important issue I can see here.


One part of me is WTF. Another is “will the club pay me to go pro on FIFA?” Because I’d totally be up for that.


If there ends up being an esports competition for Australian Rules football, then it’s kind of adjacent.

Without that, it’s frankly as random as starting up any other sporting team under the Essendon banner…how many different sports should we be playing under the Essendon banner, and what should they be?


‘Lakers versus Celtics and the NBA Playoffs’ and I might be interested.


competitive videogaming…electronic Sports…
it’s becoming massive massive business overseas…
wise move by AFL and the EFC to get involved now

for example the Starcraft II world championship was recently decided in California…

here is the League of Legends world final… the game of choice for Abyss

not the either of those videos would really make a lot of sense to you unless you have played said games…


Not even Woosha knows!


I don’t think I’ll ever care about this, but it seems like it’s a revenue stream that is at arms length from football and will happen sort of in the background.

If it is as huge as people say, it might replace revenue from gambling and pokies and therefore it is a good thing.


From the Herald Sun this morning…

Australian eSports industry set to explode as big money flows in for full-time gamers

THEY are professional full-time athletes who have coaches, team managers, personal trainers and nutritionists and plan to fill Etihad Stadium with fans within “three to five years”.

But these athletes do not play football, nor any other traditional sport for that matter.

Welcome to the world of eSports, which has experienced a meteoric rise from bedroom hobby to stadium-filler in recent years.

Yes, we are talking about professional video game players, some of whom are earning million-dollar paypackets for hitting a few buttons on their computer keyboards.

Already big in Europe and America where 80,000-seat stadiums are being packed with fans to watch gaming tournaments, big money investment is now being made in the sport in Australia which is considered the next big frontier.

Earlier this year the Adelaide Crows branched out from their football club roots to purchase a professional Sydney-based team which competes in the Oceanic Pro League.

The league has eight teams who battle each other in a variety of games including League of Legends, one of the world’s biggest computer games with an estimated 100 million active players a month.

Now, Essendon has followed suit joining with Executive Sports and Entertainment to take ownership of top-tier team Abyss.

The team, likely to be renamed the Bombers, will be based at Essendon’s Tullamarine headquarters and compete in the League of Legends — a multiplayer online fantasy game.

ESE executive director Rohan Sawyer — a former investment banker who has gone on to work in horse racing and with the Rugby World Cup — said eSports had the potential to be a major player in the Australian sporting landscape in coming years.

Speaking to the Herald Sun earlier this year, before the Bombers’ investment, Sawyer said: “I picked up on it about two years ago when I was in Europe.

“I definitely think it could be one of those top-tier sports here in Australia.

“It’s going to take time but I think it could quite comfortably pack out an Etihad Stadium within the next three to five years.”

With the increased investment in Australia has come a new level of professionalism.

Team Abyss train on their computers seven hours a day, six days a week in a “gaming house” and have a coach that trains them to better play League of Legends, a team-based strategic fantasy battle game with wizardry, demons and heroes.

“We’re not talking huge wages when you start to talk AFL and NRL but when you look on a global scale there are wages that dwarf AFL and NRL boys,” Sawyer said.

“I think a lot of people just think they sit behind computer screens.

“But we’re talking high performance systems with personal trainers, nutritionists, sending them away on training camps.

“So I think the thing that attracted myself was it has very similar attributes to mainstream sport here in Australia.

“As these teams begin to build and build they will be doing more of what the mainstream sports do and that is training these guys like full-time professional athlete.”

Abyss head coach Josh Slee said the growth of eSports in recent years had been incredible and he could not see it slowing anytime soon.

“It’s an avalanche as it marches its way forward,” Slee said.

The AFL bought Etihad Stadium last year and has flagged interest in potentially using the venue to host eSports tournaments.

Sawyer said a national eSports home-and-away season much like an AFL season might not be too far away.

“As the sport grows, being able to spread it across Australia and have a home-and-away season would be fantastic,” he said.

“That’s a discussion being had now.”

TEAM ABYSS (June 2017)

League of Legends has five player positions during battle

Top Lane: Jackson ‘Pabu’ Pavone (17)

Jungler: Seb De Ceglie (22)

Mid Lane: Carlo ‘Looch’ La Civita (20)

Marksman: Julian ‘Raid’ Skordos (19)

Support: Andrew ‘Rosey’ Rose (23)

Coach: Joshua ‘Drak’ Slee (33)


11am — Wake Up

11am-1pm — Physical Activity session, normally gym or tennis

1pm-3pm — Lunch break

3pm-6.30pm — Gaming training session

6.30pm-7.30pm — Dinner break

7.30pm-11pm — Gaming training session

11pm-midnight — Daily review of training sessions with coach, encompassing video highlights and tips for improvement


WELCOME TO ESSENDON - Andrew Rose, Jackson Pavone, Julian Skordos, Seb De Ceglie and Carlo La Civita.


Just because I’m on the way to becoming the Official Blitz Pessimist, and cos I’m a lifelong nerd with a deep disaffection for the way elements of nerdiness are going now…

@Catherine_Lio please please PLEASE tell me that the club has done really really solid background checks on these guys. I’m not a LoL (or exports in general) guy and I wouldn’t know Abyss if I met them in the street, but online gaming culture in general is depressingly saturated with misogyny, gay hate, and naked vicious anti Semitism and racism. Some of it is ‘casual’ or unthinking and/or ironic, but a lot is also deadly serious, and the whole gamergate thing sadly has made me assume the worst until proven otherwise. We should be giving these guys background checks every bit as thorough as we give prospective draftees. I’d hate to find out via a front page headline that some EFC employee has a long online history of telling their gaming opponents to ‘get back in the oven Jew cuck’ or similar.


11AM Wake up :joy:

Where do I sign?


I certainly hope you become old enough for the then younger generations (who think they are original and are doing things never done before) to treat you with disdain, disrespect and ridicule. Because they will.


My two would spend hours watching other people play video games on tv if we’d let them. Remember when you were a kid an some adult near by would say " too much tv rots your brain"? I’m finding it increasingly difficult to not become that adult. Personally, I would rather sit through a strata council meeting of owners twice than watch someone else play video games but the kidz seem to love it.