Good eSports NZ – Waikato University Arena

Ohh what a time to be alive! The University of Waikato has made New Zealand history by launching the first university-based esports facility, the OMEN Esports Arena. 

Equipped with multiple high-end Gaming PC, rows of DX Racer Gaming Chairs and a really big LG TV for streaming highlights, the esports arena serves as a dedicated space for on-campus gaming enthusiasts. 

To create the Arena, The University teamed up with OMEN, The popular HP gaming and esports brand who supplied 12 top-of-the-line gaming computers, and PB Tech, New Zealand’s largest IT and computer retailer who supplied the big screen LG TV as well as a partial sponsorship of the DX Racer gaming chairs. 

Mike Calvert, Director of Student Services at Waikato University, says the OMEN Esports Arena fits with the university’s direction of providing opportunities in a sport, “Esports is a global phenomenon and is one of the fastest-growing industries,” says Calvert. “With more than a million participants in New Zealand, and more than 300 million participants worldwide, it makes sense from a strategic perspective to move into this space,” he says. “Esports is a new and emerging field – the viewership is steadily climbing and the financial backing is growing, so it’s great to see the University of Waikato leading the way in this exciting industry.”

“We want to be able to give our students, who are likely to be engaging in esports anyway, an opportunity to be part of this in a socially inclusive environment where they can participate with like-minded people and, eventually, segue into future opportunities in esports.”

“It’s also an opportunity to link academic research and esports together, which is something we’re developing at the moment.” 

As part of the arena, the University of Waikato offers a school-leaver scholarship for students who excel in esports. The 2degrees Esports Scholarship for School-Leavers awards $5000 to students who demonstrate excellence in esports, exhibit leadership experience or potential, and who carry values in health and wellbeing. 

This year’s scholarship recipient, Ryan Holt, says the esports scholarship has allowed him to combine his passion for video games with his love of a challenge.  

Brian White, Business Development Manager for PB Tech Central North Island, says “the university’s commitment to opening an esports arena shows competitive gaming can be more than just a hobby. “For a major university to be so involved with development pathways and scholarships for competitive gaming is just amazing.”

Jason Spiller, Marketing Manager for Gaming, Esports & Immersive Technologies at HP, says the OMEN Esports arena is providing a new opportunity for the region. “Esports is growing. It’s not only growing as a career option for those wanting to turn pro, but it’s growing in a myriad of other ways. From future careers and game development to coding and tournament operations, there are so many other aspects that go into what is now a massive industry.”

“In an age of growing digital isolation, gaming and esports are one of best ways to provide identity and community to students and the OMEN Esports Arena provides a place to foster those connections,” says Spiller.

Amongst the crowd enjoying the grand opening celebrations was Conrad from Ping Zero NZ, who took out first place in the F1 racing tournament (he’s quite the racer!), and Callum from Pixel Lounge NZ who raced into 3rd for the fun mini-event.

It’s all very exciting, you can read more about the new University of Waikato eSports Arena on the official FB page!

GAME ON!… I mean… STUDY ON!… well, both I guess!

Good eSports – Intel Extreme Masters Gaming

Sydney just hosted a massive gaming event, an Intel Extreme Masters CSGO tournament and it was GOOD!

This tournament goes hand in hand with another cool promotion on now in NZ, IEM Certified Gaming PC \o/ Grabbing a system that’s certified in this way gets you a really sweet golden sticker for your new PC, that holographic certificate guarantees quality that meets only the highest standards from Intel and it also signals a FREE GAMES BONUS!

Looking specifically at the current games in the IEM Certified Gaming PC bundle there are a few “Free to Play” ones, the bonus with these comes in the form of in-game currency that you can use to add a little customisation to your tank, battleship or hero. If you’re wanting to check these out for yourself right away you can find the download links in our GGPC Free to Play PC Games Sticky Blog 🙂

You’ll also get Just Cause 3, Warhammer Vermintide (This one is multi-player Left for Dead style gaming gold) and the space battleship brawler Dreadnought  \o/ which we’ve been happily playing since early BETA testing:)

Topping the bonus games list right now is the recently released Halo Wars 2! Real-time strategy Halo style with Spartans, Warthogs and other classic Halo fighting forces. You’ll get the full game with the IEM bundle but there is also a Window 10 Store Halo Wars 2 demo available now you can check out now 🙂

The setup for the event was absolutely first class, from the moment you walked through the doors intel had a range of latest gaming laptops and IEM custom desktops ready to go with games to play and you could even join in on mini competitions in everything from a quick round of 3v3 CSGO to VR Racing time attacks.

The quality of the interactive experiences on offer were what made this opening experience so enjoyable though, it wasn’t just a nice seat for the racing games, intel had flown over VESARO force feedback equipment to give players genuine motion, these racing kits actually move with you and give you a real feeling of acceleration as you push yourself to take poll position and take away some of the prizes which flowed throughout the event.

Once we had made our way through the first gaming zone (pretty tough to do as they had an early access VR spellcasting fighting game right before the stairs to the arena) we got to check out the main event stage which lived up to the hype \o/ Some pretty epic lighting and smoke machines ensured the announcements for each match were exciting and the triple massive screens above would make following the gameplay easy. Behind this main stage a backstage team monitored everything, and further behind this there was another studio setup reminiscent of the Full Circle studio here in NZ – it would be from here that the casters did there sportscenter like commentary of each match.

Although early we could see from behind the stage that the arena was already starting to full up 🙂

The commentators were brilliant and whoever was responsible for switching the player camera to show the best moments of each round was amazing, they deserve a medal and speaking of! Between the two teams 5v5 gaming setups was a MASSIVE round medal, the trophy for the competition.

With the stage set we attempted to find our seats, which although reserved, had been claimed by some very excited chaps, they were kiwis as well who had flown over especially for the Intel Extreme Masters, we all enjoyed the matches together and had a great time debating (was more of a yelling match) who was going to to take the win for each round 🙂

The arena filled up fast and the weekends gaming begun with a roar! Massive applause welcomed each team as they approached the main stage, fun times ahead!

We estimate around 7000 people spectating in the arena and the competition was both fierce and extremely close, with the finals proving themselves to be the best! The rounds swung back and forth with bomb disarms coming down to microseconds and jumping knives being thwarted by deagles 😛

You can check out all the matches for yourself with the IEM Sydney game replays available via this link, because the games were so close it take a while to watch it all but it’s worth it 🙂

The local area in which the event was held was originally built to host the Olympics and handled the crowd with ease, special mention here to just how nice everyone was, both staff and attendees 🙂 two instances, in particular, stood out though, the first was meeting a chap that had lost his phone so we let him use ours to call it and a someone nice had handed it to the staff already. The second was the aftermath of the event, or lack of, we hung around for a bit after the finals chatting to some of the intel team and when we eventually left the outside wasn’t trashed, a little rubbish here are there but honestly pretty good with that amount of people!

We had a blast and can’t wait for the next big event, full credit to the teams from ESL and Intel for putting this one together so flawlessly – hope to see you at the next one!


Good eSports – Overwatch Pacific Championship NOW ON!

GGPC Overwatch Pacific Championship eSports NZ

UPDATE: The event has begun and you can watch the games with English commentary via the Full Circle eSports Twitch channel – damn good gaming so far with Blank eSports taking 7 wins so far putting them at the top of the table!

Now you might be thinking to yourself “hey GGPC, why are you writing about this in your New Zealand Blog when these chaps are from Australia?” and fair enough! Well, the guys covering this one at Full Circle eSports are actually in NZ!

GGPC Blank eSports Team Overwatch Taipei

UPDATE: The new Blizzard events center is now open! Aussie team Blank eSports have landed in Taipei and the first big tournament begins April 8th \o/

Blizzard TW have just officially announced a new Overwatch League for the Asia-Pacific Region with an event named the Overwatch Pacific Championship \o/ Up for grabs is MASSIVE prize pool of approx 380K NZ (8.3mil TWD). League events will start 8 April 2PM local time and it will last for 13 weeks! League will be held at the new venue to be launched on 30 March, details below.

The 8 invited teams include:

ahq eSports Club (Taiwan)

Blank Esports (Australia)

DeToNator GOLD (Japan)

Flash Wolves (Taiwan)

FireBall (Thailand) – (previously known as SweetTime)

Hong Kong Attitude (Hong Kong)

Machi Esports (Taiwan)

SunSister (Japan)

Original Article: Blizzard Taiwan is an exciting extension of the Blizzard global family. Located in the vibrant heart of Taipei City, they’ve just extended their support with a new venue which will be hosting gaming events soon 🙂 Blizzard Entertainment CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime will personally come to Taiwan to open the venue, with the afternoon promising a professional team stage competition.

For Overwatch specifically, rumors are already spreading that there will be a Overwatch League event sometime in April. There are also rumors that teams from Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan will participant this upcoming League. We can expect to see Taiwanese teams like Flash Wolves and AHQ had announce their Overwatch rosters plus we’ll get to see known players like Zonda and Baconjack from Flash Wolves to compete in the upcoming Overwatch league. More news should be announced during the launch.

We can’t wait to check this one out for ourselves when GGPC hits Taipei for Computex (this is right around the 1st Birthday for Overwatch on May 24th and should be massive!) and will update with lots of sweet photos when we do, be sure to check out our Instagram for the latest \o/

Good eSports – Forza Racing Championship Showdown!

GGPC Racing eSports

16 players, 3 tracks… but only four players will be heading to the Forza Racing Championship Grand Finals on December 11 🙂

This is a pretty big one in the world of racing eSports and is sponsored by Michelin, Logitech G and Playseat – Season 2 players worldwide compete for cash and prizes worth more than $150,000! The second championship season is heating up and you can check out all the action live via stream on twitch each Monday, should timing not be the best then the Youtube video below can keep you up to date with a replay of the event.

UPDATE: Next stream is coming up Thursday/Friday this week

Good eSports – Paladins Evie’s Winter Classic

Things are heating up the in the Paladins Winter Classic eSports event with not long to go till the final match begins 🙂

Paladins has now surpassed 4 million players worldwide and when the team-based shooter became available as an open beta it became one of the most popular games on Steam. In celebration of this achievement, Hi-Rez has decided to expand the Paladins Evie’s Winter Classic event, a competitive tournament that is now open to players around the world.

Initially the Paladins Evie’s Winter Classic was only announced for North America and Europe, but due to the success of the game this tournament now includes players from Oceania, Latin America, Brazil, and Russia. This tournament will be held in an open bracket format meaning that anyone could sign up to compete and the prizepool for each region will be $10,000.

Evie’s Winter Classic provides the perfect chance for Paladins rising stars to show their skills and make a name for themselves! Tune in to the PVP event using the video linked below (you’ll have to view it on YouTube, live twitch links appear as annotations) and check out the action for yourself, if you’re wanting to have a go for yourself the game download link can be found in our GGPC Free to Play PC Games blog 🙂

Good eSports NZ – Hoyts Oceanic Pro League of Legends Event

The League of Legends Oceanic Pro League (OPL) is nearly coming to an end with the Grand Final taking place in Australia later this month, but you don’t have to fly all the way to Australia to enjoy the event.

League of Legends OPL ShowbagHOYTS will also be screening the OPL Finals in a couple of theatres across New Zealand so you can watch the action on the big screen 🙂 Another cool bonus if you’re attending one of these showings is that you can also grab an awesome showbag at the event! 

These special showings are when Oceania’s champion is crowned so that they can progress to Worlds Qualifications.

There are two events being held in NZ, one at Hoyts Sylvia Park, Auckland and another at Hoyts Riccarton, Christchurch – you can get your tickets here 🙂 

Want to catch up on the action so far? League of Legends – Oceania have a YouTube channel where you can watch the games at your leisure, you can also follow the Riot Games Oceania Twitch Channel for live coverage or look out for live match updates within the League of Legends game client 😛

Good eSports NZ – The Road to Victory in Overwatch!

Nerf This Champions of Ping Zero

New Zealand just had it’s first Overwatch tournament at Ping Zero and it was GOOD!

There were 9 teams entered in the eSports competition, including two of our very own Good Gaming PC teams all chasing the glory of taking out this first tournament…  It was a tough fight but one teams consistent teamwork, strategy and gaming skill led them through all the brutal firefights and onto the winning podium – that team was NERF THIS led by team captain AVRL and wow, these guys certainly know how to play some Overwatch!

The teams composition subtly adapted as the levels and game modes changed but for the most part the core combination remained the same, the captain AVRL was a supporting class character named Zenyatta and stayed largely out of the direct conflict calling team targets while he buffed his teammates and hexed their opponents. Pharah (played skillfully by ELECTRIC) was a very versatile and mobile offensive hero for the team, often seen with Mercy (expertly played by TAK4N) being towed behind and increasing Pharahs damage by 30% while staying in a good position to reach anyone else in the team that could use some urgent healing.  Players WARFEAR, ELIAAS and GYMAR showed off their versatility by switching between a combination of Roadhog, Reinhart, Soldier 76, D.VA and Widowmaker depending on what the team needed to accomplish. Most importantly, even when things went badly they remained focused as a team and had a lot of fun in the matches.

Round after round passed and although some victories were narrow, Nerf This were only stopped in one round throughout the entire tournament during an earlier matchup vs LessThan3.

Below is some sweet game capture from the final matches in the tournament between teams NERF THIS & LESSTHAN3 and it’s got all the important team communication left in so you can check out what it takes to be a winning eSports team!

Pretty excellent stuff right!

Just before the finals our second team was put against NERF THIS in a match up – having already seen what they could do we decided to target and kill their team captain AVRL relentlessly, after all if you’re going to lose best to try and look good while doing it! Below is our favourite kill of the LAN 🙂

The next tournament is coming up soon and GGPC is ready to roll, if you’re a gamer and have been thinking of getting into eSports now is the time\o/


Good Gaming PC – eSports NZ custom builds!

We’re pretty excited to be competing in the upcoming Ping Zero! eSports tournaments and we’ve been working hard on creating some very special gaming PC for our GGPC team players to use throughout the event.

Massive thanks to Phanteks for the EVOLV, with this new form factor we had plenty of space on the desk for our weapons of choice, and big thanks to the Logitech G NZ crew for providing us the setups for eSports!

eSports NZ – Ping Zero Tournaments Incoming!

Ping Zero is a gaming event that started out as a hobby with a few mates and became New Zealand’s longest running and largest regular gaming event, an ever-growing community of veteran and new-generation gamers 🙂

ChecklistThis is a LAN Party so you’re required to bring your own system with you (PC, monitor, mouse and keyboard are a must!), for those after the full weekend experience be sure to check out the Ping Zero Checklist.

Tickets can be purchased here and pricing ranges from $10 – $50 depending on what you’re after, there are 12 tournaments this year with great prizes up for grabs so if you’re going with friends definitely take a look at the games and enter your favourite!

It’s an R18 event, so people are free to have a few drinks with their friends in between all the fragging, there will be an exclusive Ping Zero Pale Ale Craft Beer at the event as well!

Ping Zero is a professional event and as such will provide the gamer with fast internet, stable power, and a great friendly atmosphere.  If you are new to competitive gaming this is a great way to meet like-minded people, as everyone feels welcome.

This year we’ve got FIVE GGPC teams entering the various competitions, our friends over at PB Tech NZ and Mighty Ape NZ are also entering teams so this year it’s going to be an utter frag fest!

Be sure to check out the Ping Zero Facebook and get ready to GAME ON!

eSports NZ Tournaments