Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) has expanded its multi-sport remit into the esports market by opening a new ‘Esports High Performance Centre’, the first venue of its kind in Australia.
Esports athletes and visitors at the centre will benefit from access to the latest technology and sport science, such as eye tracking technology and performance analysis. This has been made possible through a partnership between the SCG and the University of Technology, Sydney.
The facility will serve as the new home of the LG Dire Wolves, champions of the ‘League of Legends Oceania’ professional esports competition, as well as female development team Supa-Stellar.
In addition, both the LG Dire Wolves and Supa-Stellar will now be embedded alongside to the SCG Trust’s traditional sports partners, which include a host of major sports teams such as Australian Football League club the Sydney Swans, A-League football teak Sydney FC and National Rugby league outfit the Sydney Roosters.
Jamie Barkley, chief executive of the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust, said: “It will be a game changer to have Australia’s leading Esports professionals in a dedicated high performance centre in the same precinct as the best athletes and officials from the SCG and Allianz Stadium’s traditional sports.
“Our venues are rapidly expanding their technology offerings and partnering with professional Esports entities and establishing the state of the art training centre presents an exciting opportunity.”
David Harris, owner of LG Dire Wolves, added: “It’s an important step towards closing the gap with some of the top regions and becoming globally competitive in the Esports space. Our partnership with other organisations in the precinct including the UTS sport science faculty will help develop young talent both inside and outside of the game.”
News of the esports facility comes as the SCG prepares to host the fifth and final Test of this year’s Ashes cricket series between Australia and England. The first Test begins on November 23 at The Gabba in Brisbane, with the Ashes not due to arrive at the SCG until January 4 for what could be the deciding Test in the series.
Image: Marc Dalmulder