Bastion Live partners with Avant Gaming

Bastion Collective’s events arm, Bastion Live, has announced its partnership with esports organisation Avant Gaming.

The announcement:

Marketing, communications and advisory group Bastion Collective today announced a partnership with one of Australia’s top esports teams, Avant Gaming, through its events arm, Bastion Live.

The agency’s bold move into the esports arena comes amid a period of significant investment and interest in the Australian marketplace in the global phenomenon of competitive online gaming – with the Adelaide Crows’ purchase of an esports team, Legacy esports, the Guinevere Capital purchase of the LG Dire Wolves, and the more recent acquisition by ESE esports of League of Legends team, Abyss.

The demographic of both esports players and spectators – primarily males aged 18 to 34, has proven to be an elusive group for brands and marketers to reach through traditional media, adding to their appeal outside the industry. The numbers of online spectators for live esports tournaments in Australia and abroad are staggering, dwarfing many traditional sports.

The international esports audience is estimated at 385 million and growing at just over 19% year on year, with recent research highlighting Australia has quickly grown to a market of more than 1.5 million esports fanatics – dwarfing the vast majority of more established, traditional sports and pastimes in this country.

Like many more traditional sporting teams, Avant Gaming is a broad esports brand with a stable of professional and semi-professional esports teams competing under its banner, including in the largest professional esports game in Australia, and one of the biggest globally, multi-player fantasy battle game, League of Legends. Avant Gaming also fields one of the eight teams in the Oceanic Pro League – the leading platform in Australia.

Additionally, Avant Gaming fields one of Australia’s leading Counter Strike teams and a Rocket League team and has several expansion opportunities currently being explored.

One of the leading esports brands in Australia, Avant Gaming currently has 10 staff including coaches, analysts, managers and 15 professional players on its books.

Oceanic League of Legends competitors are currently supported by Riot Games and receive a salary, housing and transport for the coaches, managers and the professional players who compete in the tournament. Other esport titles are quickly following suit with more structured, regulated tournaments emerging in America, Europe and Asia and likely to reach Australia soon.

Just like traditional athletes, professional players often put their studies or careers on hold to focus on esports until their careers end around 25 years of age when they can no longer keep up with the younger players.

Commenting on the acquisition, Founder & Executive Chairman Bastion Collective Fergus Watts, said esports represents the fastest-growing, most exciting development in sport generally that we’ve seen for a long time.

“Esports attracts millions of young viewers online from a demographic that is turning away from following and attending traditional sports, and the attraction goes far beyond just the competitive esports arena to the entire subculture that is consuming a generation”.

Bastion Live Executive Director Ben Sellenger said the parallel universe of esports was an exciting new world set to grow exponentially in Australia.

“At a time where millennials are moving away from traditional media, cutting cables, blocking pop-ups, using divergent media sources, streaming, torrenting and otherwise consuming content when, where and how they want it, there is no more effective platform to reach and engage deeply with this market segment globally than through esports,” said Mr Sellenger.

Bastion Live will help the continued growth of Avant Gaming through assisting with corporate and media partnerships, expanding Avant’s reach and growing the broader narrative around esports, as well as creating new player career paths beyond the sport.

Avant Gaming owner Wesley Collier said he was excited about the opportunities Bastion Live could bring to the team, including creating new career paths for players after their professional careers ended with the possibility of internships at Bastion.

“We are ecstatic about the partnership as Bastion has so much expertise in the sponsorship arena which will enable us to grow as a club, expand our content, compete in more international tournaments and attract more talent while also supporting our players who often sacrifice other career opportunities for the sport,” Mr Collier said.

“We want to be the number one team in Australia and compete as a top international team and this partnership will help bring a culture shift in our organisation to ensure we have that winning mentality,” he said.


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