Over the past several years e-Sports, professional competitive video gaming, has become a global phenomenon. The game League of Legends is played by more than 60 million people per month, and more people watched the international final last year than streamed the Superbowl. The prize pool for DoTA2 in 2015 was over $US30 million. Traditional sports outlets including ESPN and television channels like South Africa’s SuperSport are recognising the growth of the industry and covering e-Sports to attract new audiences. At live events, thousands of people pack into stadium arenas to watch players, mostly male and often very young, play computer games. These events are a unique intersection of digital and physical culture, of internet individuality and communal spectacle.
Recognising the prestige of e-Sports (and a decline in Australian artsfunding), Applespiel will rebrand themselves as a wannabe professional League of Legends team. Echoing the narratives of sports films like Mighty Ducks and Rocky, an audience will follow Applespiel’s development as a team as they prepare to play against some of Sydney’s best e-athletes. Around live games and interviews Applespiel will curate a program of events to be part of e-Athlete, including panels, discussions and more theatrical responses to the rise of e-sports.
This project is currently in development.