Everything you need to know about Australian esports: the games, teams, and star players

Get caught up on all things competitive Oceanic gaming.

Photo via ESL Gaming

Australian esports is a huge, ever-changing landscape. Teams and star players come and go, competitive titles rise and fall, and through all the topsy-turvy adventures of esports Down Under, loyal Oceanic gaming fans keep their passion burning, turning out in droves across time zones to support their favorites.

⁠Here’s everything you need to know about modern Australian esports, from our biggest gaming stars to all our teams Down Under, and the pro titles they all play.

Esports titles in Oceania

Photo via ESL / Sarah Cooper

There are a host of competitive gaming titles Australians compete in, both at home in Oceania and internationally. These include first-person shooters, battle royales, MOBAs, all manner of fighting games, sports franchises, and more.

These include Aussie-based competitions and esports efforts abroad.

Australia’s biggest successes have come in MOBA arch-rivals League of Legends and Dota 2, as well as Counter-Strike. These same franchises have a heavy presence in domestic leagues, especially the LCO (League) and several CS:GO tournaments like ESL ANZ Champs and PGL events.

Other local competitions include the Oceania Tour (VALORANT), the Oceanic Nationals (Siege), E-League (FIFA), and Rocket League’s Oceanic Championships.

Here are the major games Australia competes in.

  • League of Legends
    • LCO
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
    • ESL ANZ Champs
    • DreamHack
    • PGL Asia-Pacific
  • Valorant
    • Oceania Tour
  • Rocket League
    • RLCS
    • Rocket League Oceania
    • The Gauntlet Series
  • FIFA
    • E-League
    • FIFAe Club World Cup
  • PUBG
    • Continental Series
  • Rainbow Six: Siege
    • Oceanic Nationals
    • APAC League South
  • Apex Legends
    • Global Series: APAC South
  • FGC events
    • OHN
    • CouchWarriors
    • Melbourne Melee
Photo via MEO Press Pool Media

Australia’s modern esports stars

What’s a gaming region without its best players and biggest names?

Australia may be a small nation⁠—we have 26 million residents and just 17 million gamers⁠ among them—but we consistently punch above our weight. It’s become quintessentially ‘Aussie’ since we hit the global sporting stage 100 years ago, and that “underdog” status has stayed firmly put in gaming too.

The following players are the best current (or recently retired, in one or two cases) competitive stars Australia has produced, ranging from League and Dota 2 champions to veteran Rocket League talents, and even CS:GO’s greatest ever loan.

Without further ado, our reigning Aussie esports stars.

Anathan “ana” Pham (Dota 2)

Photo via Valve

No Australian esports star has enamored mainstream audiences quite like two-time Dota 2 champion Anathan “ana” Pham, mainly due to his monstrous $6,008,163 winnings wallet. Dota’s Humblegod is retired, but never say never; ana won The International in 2018, retired, then came back to win in 2019 too.

Most of ana’s Dota 2 glittering career was spent with Red Bull-backed OG, where he played carry (Position 1). He is the highest-earning Australian esports star ever.

Justin “jks” Savage (Counter-Strike)

Photo via ESL Gaming

When you think of Australia Counter-Strike, veteran star Justin “jks” Savage would be the first that comes to mind. He is the only Australian to ever win an S-Tier tournament in the esport, a feat he achieved as a stand-in with FaZe at IEM Katowice this year, and is the only Aussie to ever make the illustrious HLTV Top 20 Players of the Year Ranking —a feat he managed in 2019 and 2020.

Jks most recently played for Complexity Gaming but is currently inactive. Before that he represented 100 Thieves and Renegades as part of the “Boys” lineup.

Victor “FBI” Huang (League of Legends)

Photo by Colin Young-Wolff via ESPAT/Riot Games

From internet cafe hero to North American League of Legends champion, Victor “FBI” Huang’s rise to the top of esports has been nothing short of sensational. The 23-year-old plays for 100 Thieves in the United States league and represented Oceania with Bombers at the Mid-Season Invitational in 2019.

FBI is the first Australian to be crowned domestic League champion in any major region outside Oceania. In 2021, he was named LCS All-Pro AD carry for his efforts.

Amer “Pred” Zulbeari (Call of Duty)

Photo via Call of Duty League

There’s been one question in Australian Call of Duty these past few years: why isn’t Amer “Pred” Zulbeari in the CDL? Well, in 2022, that injustice was finally resolved. The 20-year-old joined the Seattle Surge this year and has been frying ever since.

Ethan “Crunchy” Laker (VALORANT)

Crunchy flirted with a Counter-Strike career in the late 2010s before finding his true esports calling: VALORANT. The young star played for regional standouts EXO Clan in the early days before the roster joined NA org Soniqs.

The Soniqs lineup is being reshuffled after missing NA VCT, but Crunchy is expected to remain. His most played agents are Astra, KAY/0, and⁠—fittingly⁠—Skye.

Joshua “Sora” Lyras (Smash)

Image via @LilTrickshot on Twitter

Sora⁠—player Joshua Lyras, that is, not the character⁠—is considered the country’s best Super Smash Bros. player. He reigns supreme atop the Australian Melee Power Rankings and is C-Tier on MPGRContenders North America. The Melee star mains Fox, and represents Mindfreak at esports events.

Sean “Probe” Kempen (StarCraft II)

Image via Legacy Esports

Protoss star Probe has been a key figure in Aussie StarCraft II from Wings of Liberty all the way to his recent run at IEM Katowice 2022. Between 2013 and 2022 he has claimed 14 major medals and boasts a 56.9 percent win record.

In 2021, the 25-year-old said he was retiring. He is, however, still playing.

Etienne “Mag” Rousseau (Rainbow Six: Siege)

Photo via Ubisoft Press

If there’s one Aussie name that stands above the rest in Siege, it’s Fnatic’s Etienne “Mag” Rousseau. The 23-year-old started on Mindfreak in mid-2017 before switching to Fnatic and becoming the global org’s mainstay Rainbow Six star.

Daniel “Torsos” Parsons (Rocket League)

Photo via Tim Bright for RLCS

On longevity and titles, none have flown higher from Rocket League’s current players than Daniel “Torsos” Parsons. The Ground Zero star is the last remaining icon from the famous Alpha Sydney-come-Chiefs roster from the late 2010s, outlasting Drippay, Jake, and Kamii. In his career, Torsos has represented Oceania in nearly a dozen Majors.

James “TGLTN” Giezen (PUBG)

Photo via @tgltnPUBG on Twitter.

TGLTN started his PUBG esports career with the Chiefs in 2018 before hitting the North American big-time with Soniqs via a short stint with Elevate. He has represented the Soniqs battle royale division since 2019 and hit a monster high point with the org in 2021 by winning PUBG Corporation’s $7m PUBG Global Invitational.S in Incheon. Just check out that huge golden trophy!

Noyan “Genburten” Ozkose (Apex Legends)

Considered by many in the competitive Apex scene to be one of the greatest controller players in the world, Genburten has rapidly become a staple in the Australian battle royale scene since picking up the sticks in 2020. So far in his career, he’s earned more than $47,900 in prize money.

In recent times, the Australian-Turkish star has gravitated towards Caustic and Valkyrie in pro matches. He’s set to represent Oceania internationally with Reignite at the Apex Legends Global Series playoffs in April and May.

Jesse and Jordan Eckley, “x2Twins” (Fortnite)

Photo via Click Management

Brothers Jesse and Jordan Eckley may delve quite heavily into content creation and gaming videos over esports, but the impact they had on the Fortnite scene, especially around the World Cup in 2019, cannot be understated.

Between the pair, they’ve won $244,000 in their battle royale of choice.

All the biggest Oceanic esports orgs

The Australian esports scene spans a host of different titles, genres, and franchises, but these competitions are often inhabited by the same teams ⁠again and again — long-standing organizations with vested interests in our region.

Like the player base, the region’s organizational roster is topsy-turvy.

Ask any Oceanic fan, and they could list a half-dozen companies that have risen, built competitive rosters, joined games, and disappeared months later. This in part is what makes the heavyweight Australian orgs so special; they’ve survived changing landscapes, league closures, and player reshuffles. The works.

Here are the biggest esports orgs in Australia right now.

Chiefs

Photo via Riot Games

Founded in August 2014, the Chiefs Esports Club is one of the only remaining ‘old-guard’ organizations still proudly flying the Australian flag in modern gaming.

Over the years, the blue-and-white org has competed in⁠—and in many cases, won championships in⁠—League, CS:GO, Rocket League, VALORANT, and Rainbow Six Siege. Other titles in their wheelhouse have also included Fortnite, PUBG, and Halo Infinite. In their early years, the Chiefs were the team to beat in the OPL.

The Chiefs esports brand was acquired by ICON Esports in mid-2019.

Mindfreak

Photo via MLG

Mindfreak has had a heavy hand in Oceanic esports for more than a decade now. The organization was first founded in 2010, with Albert “Naked” Nassif acquiring the company soon after. MF’s focus over the years has been on competitive shooters, including Halo, Overwatch, VALORANT, and of course Call of Duty.

The org has dominated Oceanic Call of Duty, winning CWL London Open 2019 and CWL Anaheim Open 2019, and claiming a further 12 domestic titles. Mindfreak appeared at six CoD Championships, the equal third by any esports org.

In 2021, Mindfreak was acquired by esports veteran Michael Carmody.

ORDER

Photo via ESL Gaming

ORDER first burst onto the scene in 2017. The company originally sold itself as “The Melbourne Org” and quickly set about establishing itself as a serious competitor in League of Legends and Counter-Strike. Since then, the southern team has added FIFA, VALORANT, and Siege to its arsenal.

In more recent years, ORDER has looked to “shape the future of gaming culture,” à la an Australian 100 Thieves, by signing more Twitch stars and creators.

Renegades

Photo via IEM Press

Renegades may be an American-based organization, but its preference for Oceanic players and lineups over the years puts it firmly in the Aussie esports conversation. The iconic “Boys” roster in Counter-Strike flew the Renegades banner for years, including a top 4 finish at the StarLadder Berlin Major in 2019.

The org still boasts Oceanic-heavy lineups in Counter-Strike, Rocket League, and recently built a Call of Duty roster full of CDL alumni to play domestically.

Pentanet.GG

Photo via Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games

Perth-based PGG mainly competes in League of Legends and represented the region on the game’s international stage at the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational in Reykjavík. The org was established in 2020 and remains a one-game outfit.

Despite their limited involvement in other titles, however, PGG founded a cult following overseas via their Icelandic run and boasts a major Brazilian fan base.

Other big Aussie gaming orgs include:

  • Dire Wolves ⁠— League, FIFA, Valorant
  • Fury ⁠— Siege
  • Ground Zero ⁠— Rocket League, Siege, Smash
  • Kanga ⁠— League, Counter-Strike, Smash
  • Peace ⁠— League, VALORANT
  • Team Bliss — PUBG, Siege, Rocket League
  • Team PWR ⁠— Fortnite, Rocket League
  • Immunity — PUBG, Halo
  • Vertex ⁠— Counter-Strike, Siege

There are also several fallen giants that have shuttered doors across the years, for various reasons. Major defunct Australia esports orgs include:

  • Athletico, 2006–2020
  • Avant Gaming, 2011–2021
  • Bombers, 2017–2019
  • Dark Sided, 2016–2020
  • Legacy, 2014–2021
  • Tainted Minds, 2013–2017
  • Vox Eminor, 2010–2016
Photo via Riot Games

And there you have it: all the star players, teams, and competitive titles in the ever-changing Australian esports scene. Join us for the ride; it’s never boring!