Australian eSport stars who could become household names
eSports is exploding in popularity around the world, and as more and more young people become hooked on eSports as players, those Australians that have turned their love of gaming into professional careers are becoming better known as well.
If you haven't heard of these Australian eSports stars chartering new territory in League of Legends, Call of Duty, DOTA 2, Counter-Strike and others, there's a good chance they will have much larger profiles in the years ahead.
These players are both doing the Australian gaming community proud on the international stage and are laying the foundation for national and regional eSports leagues.
Chad “Spunj” Burchill
Spunj (pictured above) has always been a showman. The retired Counter-Strike: Global Offense player never backs down from an opportunity to speak his mind. A controversial figure in the CS: GO community, Burchill always offered an authentic opinion on his teammates, opposition, casters and his own performance. Spunj played for Vox Eminor in Australia before his team earned their move to the big leagues when they were signed by US team Renegades. Unfortunately for Spunj, with this ground-breaking move came heightened expectations from the toxic gaming community. Burchill often found himself victim of vicious memes, abuse and death threats when results didn't go Renegades' way.
Damien “KPII” Chok
KPII (Pronounced KayPie) is the first non-Chinese member of DOTA 2 team Newbee. Newbee are the 3rd highest grossing eSports team earning over $12.5 million (USD), mainly from their flagship DOTA 2 team. Playing for teams in Australia, South Korea and China during his journey, KPII learnt the strategic and tactical call-outs in each language necessary to compete at the highest level in the DOTA 2 community.
Denholm "Denz" Taylor
Denz is a member of Mindfreak, arguably Australia’s best team in the competitive Call of Duty scene. Mindfreak has kept a relatively consistent core team (Buzzo, Shockz, Denz and Fighta), something that is very rare in the eSports community. That was until Denz made a controversial six-month departure from Mindfreak following a lucrative offer from Tainted Minds. He rejoined Mindfreak, however, and the team began to show dominance in the Oceania region once again. Mindfreak also competes frequently in the Call of Duty World League Championship, testing their might against the best in the world.
Christopher “PapaSmithy” Smith
Currently based in Seoul, PapaSmithy is an English League of Legends shout-caster (commentator). PapaSmithy brings both insight and enthusiasm to the live-action unravelling in the League Championship Korea (LKC). Known for commentating an absurd amount of games with consistency and energy, PapaSmithy has earned the respect and admiration of his peers and fans.
Brandon "Snyp3rR" Holland
Snyp3rR competes for the Chiefs Sports Club playing League of Legends in the Oceanic Pro League. Based in Sydney, the Chiefs frequently place highly in the OPL and compete for spots in international tournaments. Snyp3rR is credited for the consistent performance of the Chiefs and his ambition to succeed on the international scene constantly drives the Chiefs forward. Signing for the Chiefs in 2014, Snyp3rR has seen the Australian eSports landscape evolve over the years and continues to be a fantastic ambassador for the growing industry.
These are but a few of the stars in the Australian eSports Universe and while they may not household names, if the popularity of eSports continues to grow, we may recognise these eSport stars the pivotal players that kicked off the eSports craze down under.
Pabu plays League of Legends professionally in the Oceanic Pro League. He is notorious for being the player who solo killed Doublelift, Faker and Rookie during th League of Legends All-Stars event in 2018 in Las Vegas.
A key member of the Gravitas team, Pabu has build a reputation for aggression over four years in the Oceanic Pro League and has even competed at Melbourne's Margaret Court Arena.