Melbourne Uni opened their doors for the Australia Esports Federation’s DOTA 2 Championship

The University of Melbourne is known for its prestigious academic achievements and high-ranking sporting titles. As Australia’s number one university, and a number of University Games championships under its belt, it’s interesting therefore that the uni decided to branch out into new realm.

Today the Australia Esports Federation hosted its first big esports competition at Melbourne Uni. The DOTA 2 Season 4 finals brought the four best teams from Australia and New Zealand to compete for the Season Championship. Whilst the Uni’s Open Stage has held many theatre productions, I’m pretty sure this is the first time it’s had a video game tournament within its walls. And it’s great to see them open to having these types of events.

Tickets were sold out online and the stage was absolutely packed. Fans streamed in, eager to watch their favourite players battle it out. Attendees were treated to exclusive, limited edition DOTA mousepads and mice – if you were lucky enough to have gotten your hands on a gold or silver ticket – as well as plenty of food and access to their favourite players and casters.

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It’s a packed house, and this was only the first game of the day!

I’m sure no one was disappointed with the results today. Match after match was fast paced, filled with the unexpected and always a good show. Semi-final one went straight to a tiebreaker after Focus fought back to take round two from Natural 9. Focus went on to defeated Natural 9 and gained a spot in the finals. Water took out Ponzlulu 2-0 and headed on to face Focus in the grand final.

If you haven’t watched or played DOTA 2 before, it’s a five verse five team game where the objective is to take out the other team’s home base. Each player controls a specific character with unique skills and moves. The players here today are some of the top DOTA players in Aus/NZ.

The grand final went all the way to four games! After Water took out the first two games, Focus made a come back in the third around the 30 minute mark. The team, carried by “Lose Yourself”, defended the high ground and fought back to claim the third game. The fourth game ended relatively quickly as Water gained the upper hand early. The team manager of Focus said:

They had a “big of a rough time [in the first two games], it was very intense. But they played 7 games today, and they played very well

I’m sure we’ll see great things to come from this young team. Congrats to Water for taking home the win. For full match results, see below.

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Season 4 Champions (and me) take home the trophy

But the day wasn’t all about the DOTA 2 celebrities. Fans had plenty of time to get involved by playing their own 1v1 tournaments, having a shot at Mario Kart, trying their hands at Rocket League, reliving their childhood with Super Smash Bros 64, or showing off their creations in the cosplay competition.

Cosplay is always an area that fascinates me. It’s something I love as it combines some of the best aspects together – creativity, video gaming, sewing, wood-work, art, and more. It’s always great to see the effort people put into their costumes and the realism they can show. The winner of the cosplay competition was Ashley who took home an insanely cute plushie.

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Cosplayers show off their costumes

For the first esports event, it was pretty brilliant! The Australia Esports Federation did a great job transforming the Open Stage into a production-ready arena, complete with gaming tables, theatre-style seating, big screen, and Twitch-worthy broadcasting. If you weren’t lucky enough to be at the tournament, or you simply want to watch the replays, check out the full stream at AEF on Twitch.

I hope we see tournaments at the uni become bigger and better. With a sold-out event this time, it’s only natural that the AEF will look to host their competitions in larger arenas. It’s good that the uni gets involved in this new era of technology. As we continue to say on our Esports Central show, it’s an untapped and growing area and one universities, institutions, and organisations are exploring.

At the end of the day, the Australian Esports Federation Announced their next big match for July in Melbourne, so stay tuned!

All the match results are below, and if you’re keen to see more on the event, or just check out the atmosphere, head over to my YouTube video for interviews, event coverage, and more.

Match Results

Semi Final One

Winner: Focus

Natural 9 (43) defeated Focus (20)
Focus (25) defeated Natural 9 (12)
Focus (35) defeated Natural 9 (7)

Semi Final Two

Winner: Water

Water (30) defeated Ponzlulu (26)
Water (28) defeated Ponzlulu (16)

Grand Final

Champion: Water

Water (49) defeated Focus (44)
Water (39) defeated Focus (28)
Focus (47) defeated Water (30)
Water (32) defeated Focus (12)

If you haven’t watched any DOTA 2 or you’re not familiar with esports, the scores above in brackets indicate the kill score for each team.

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