In 2018, when the Melbourne Esports Open was held for the first time, it was announced to the public only six weeks beforehand. According to Tim McGregor, TEG Live Managing Director, trying to put the MEO together in that time was a huge challenge.
McGregor says that with only six weeks to prepare, he and his team were literally “racing to the line.”
In 2019, the MEO has been announced in April, giving four-months to prepare. It puts the organisers in a much better position and ensures the event will be bigger and better.
Tim McGregor Melbourne Esports Open
McGregor says that the extra time to organise the event this year means that MEO 2019 has “expanded right across the precinct.” As a Melbournian, McGregor knows the power of the Melbourne & Olympics Park Precinct.
I’m a Melbourne guy, I’ve been to the Australian Open tennis many times, I’ve been to numerous concerts, numerous sporting events, all of that.
It’s actually an incredible precinct, and it was always our ambition over time to take up more and more of the precinct as the event grew.
While last year’s event drew 12,000 fans, the limited time running up to the event after announcing meant there was room for improvement. In McGregor’s view, the MEO is more of a festival and thus having 12,000 attendees in the first year is a strong result.
We knew it was only really baby steps along the journey, and that this year is the time to drastically expand, to take over Grand Slam Oval and also Melbourne Arena, the old Hisense Arena, now called Melbourne Arena.
Just because the event is expanding across more space, McGregor assures us that it won’t mean fewer things for attendees to do. Quite the opposite in fact. Taking up more space means “filling it with more interaction, more stuff to do and more entertainment generally.”
The biggest takeaway from 2018 was that it gave the Melbourne Esports Open the foundation it needed to grow into the future.
Part of this growth is how the MEO 2019 is going to host every genre of esports possible. In 2018, most of the events and shows were focused on shooters and MOBAs. These genres are hugely popular as esports but there are many, many more games with significant followings.
At MEO 2019, the JB Hi-Fi Game On Zone will return and it’s in here that attendees will find all manner of games to play and esports to get involved with. McGregor promises more announcements ahead of the event on which games will be included.
One element of MEO 2019 that McGregor believes they got right is the date.
We are on the AFL bye weekend, so it’s a great time in Melbourne to not have 250000 people going and watching AFL games across the city.
So, it’s easier to get around and there are AFL fans looking for something to do, which is terrific.
Additionally, the MEO falls on the same weekend as Father’s Day which saw many families attend in 2018. “We’re recognising it’s an important day for lots of families and making it a family event, is really part of our emphasis as well.”
Melbourne Esports Open 2019 also has a much closer relationship with Twitch, both the company and popular streamers. This, according to McGregor means “that we’re firing on all cylinders from the commencement of the announcement, right the way through to the event.”
Finally, anyone who attended the MEO in 2018 would know that the precinct was under construction. It meant that navigating the outside was difficult and it wasn’t the most attractive sight. In 2019 though, the works have finished. McGregor says, “It’s far better this year, it’ll be much better for people to understand where everything is, where everything’s laid out.
“And as I said, it’s over a larger footprint but that means there’s going to be a lot more content which is the other thing we wanted to ensure we delivered that is a lot more things for people to do.”
The Melbourne Esports Open will be held at Melbourne & Olympic Parks from August 31 through September 1.
For more information head to the official website.