16 May 2018 | 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Event details

The esports economy is worth in excess of $US600 million and it continues to grow 40 percent year-on-year. Last year, at the IEM World Championship in Poland, a record-breaking 46 million fans tuned in online to watch the tournament. That’s more than four times the amount of people who watched the AFL Grand Final!


The esports community is developing strongly in Australia. Professionalism in the community is developing through associations with huge sporting clubs like the Essendon Bombers and Melbourne City.  The Essendon esports team even had a controversial cameo on Friday night football earlier this year.


How long will it take for these players to become common among sporting legends? When will families sit down to watch League of Legends instead of the Sunday Football?


Join us, to learn more from a panel of gamers, academics, media representatives, and business leaders to cover the practical and theoretical concepts behind the rise of esports.


Michelle Mannering

Host at Esports Central, Hackathon Queen

Known as the “Hackathon Queen,” Michelle is at the forefront of Melbourne’s startup scene, where she runs a number of hackathons to drive the city’s entrepreneurial culture. With a Master in Media and Communications, she’s written a number of research papers on video gaming; from its culture to its gameplay.

As an avid gamer, Michelle has worked in the esports arena and has hosted shows at PAX Australia. Michelle is also a regular co-host on esports central. In her downtime, you’ll find her relaxing on the couch and unwinding with Legends of Zelda, Assassin’s Creed or Final Fantasy.

Emma Witkowski

Co-director of the Playable Media Lab

Emma is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at RMIT University and is also the co-director of Playable Media Lab: the center for game design and research. With a Ph.D. in game studies, Emma is interested in the study of people and cultures and how that applies to game research. Her research explores cultures, high-performance play, LAN tournaments, gender and games and networked media. From 2016 to 2017, she studied top-tier EU esports teams and emerging franchise involvements with traditional sports leagues.

Lachlan McAllister

Founder at GG EZ

After years of telling people: ‘esports is the biggest thing you’ve never heard of!’ Lachlan decided to open a new bar that would distinguish esports from the standard gaming model. GG EZ has launched as Australia’s first ever dedicated esports bar to bring the esports industry into the mainstream. Lachlan has years of experience running renowned Melbourne bars including Lily Blacks and Mr Wow’s Emporium and GG EZ is the icing on the cake for the Melbourne gaming community.

Marcus Gomes

FIFA Player at Melbourne City Football Clurb

Marcus Gomes is the professional esport FIFA Player for Melbourne City Football Club. He started playing competitively at the end of 2016 and was signed by Melbourne City in August 2017. This was after he’d won a tournament in Doha that crowned him as the ‘Rest of World’ (Oceania, Asia, Middle East, Africa) FIFA champion. This led to him competing at the 2017 FIWC world-finals in London and since then, he has competed at several FIFA tournaments around the world. Some examples are: Barcelona Champions Cup (February 2018), Manchester Champions Cup (April 2018)  and the upcoming FIFAeWorldCup Playoffs in Amsterdam (May 2018). Marcus is also someone who loves playing and watching a variety of video games and is looking to boost esports here in Australia through competing.

Chris Smith

Director at Business in Games

With over 8 years of experience in the esports industry, Chris has held various titles and roles within the industry, ranging from semi-professional player to journalist, event coordinator, PR & Marketing Specialist, commentator, consultant and more. Currently working as the director of his company, Business in Games, Chris offers mentoring courses, consultancy for non-endemic brands entering the industry and industry networking mediums. Further to this, Chris is a founding board member of the Esports Games Association Australia.

Shamila Gopalan

Co-Organiser, Founder & Managing Partner at Gosh Media Pty Ltd

Shamila is both an entrepreneur and a media veteran, with close to 20 years of experience in print, TV, film and digital across Asia Pacific. Having managed the digital division of Fox International channels (National Geo, FOX, FX, StarWorld, Channel V) and lead the South East Asia business for CNN International, Shamila has the acute expertise in building successful businesses across Australasia.
Shamila founded BlinkAsia in Singapore, an independent content and entertainment company and has worked on several global unscripted formats. BlinkAsia had also produced a slate of unscripted sports shows including esports. Recently relocating to Melbourne, Shamila has identified the growth in the esports industry, and has launched Gosh Media in Australia. Gosh is currently working together with leading producers and industry experts to launch an esports content series across Australia and NZ as well as other slate of programs across the region.

Dates and fees
16 May
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm


Academy Xi,
Level 3,
45 Exhibition St,

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