If you needed any more proof of eSport’s meteoric rise in popularity, here it is – the Sydney Cricket Ground will be opening Australia‘s first eSports High Performance Centre.

As well as becoming the new home for current League of Legends Oceania champions, the LG Dire Wolves and female development team Supa-Stellar, the centre will also work with the UTS sport science faculty to help develop young talent.

These teams will sit alongside the SCG Trust’s traditional partners including the Sydney Swans, Sydney Sixers, Sydney Roosters, Sydney FC, Cricket NSW, Rugby Australia, AFL NSW, NRL and the NSW Waratahs.

The LG Dire Wolves are Oceania‘s best LoL team, becoming the first Aussie side to compete in the world championships earlier this year. Arguably one the biggest eSports events in the world, it sold out Beijing‘s 80,000-seat Olympic stadium and attracted hundreds of millions of viewers around the world.

“SCG High Performance Centre is about bringing eSports closer to a traditional sports environment and culture to improve training and raise the level of professionalism,” LG Dire Wolves owner David Harris told PEDESTRIAN.TV.

“It is really important to separate the work and living environment. Most eSports teams follow the Korean model of gaming houses, where players train and live, but we feel that it is important to separate it as it better suits Australian culture and we believe it will allow our players to prosper.” 

The partnership with UTS gives the centre access to bullshit-good sports science like eye tracking technology and performance analysis, which will give our teams a better chance on the international stage, where most competing countries already take advantage of such performance enhancement. 

“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,” Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust Chief Executive Jamie Barkley said in a statement.

Visiting domestic and international teams will also use the centre for training, along with fresh talent hoping to make it as a pro gamer.

It’s always great to see eSport getting huge support like this from big players, bringing its legitimacy as a sport inline with traditional ones. Considering the gigantic money coming out of the industry, it’s not surprising that folks are now starting to sit up and listen.

Image: Develop Online.