Tassie’s eSports whiz
TASSIE teen Sam Dennis is quickly becoming one of the best eSports gamers in the country.
The 16-year-old Lindisfarne boy is one of Australia’s top 12 Overwatch gamers and is eyeing a spot in one of the multimillion-dollar pro teams in North America.
He makes a little bit of money each week but it’s only the tip of the iceberg in a rapidly expanding industry.
With a global audience of 380 million viewers a year, the eSports economy is expected to grow to $1.4 billion by 2020.
Sam said he started playing the game Overwatch when he was 13 years old.
“My mum bought me the game on my computer and I just started playing,” he said.
“I played online and someone asked me if I wanted to play for a team.”
Sam was picked up by the Sydney Drop Bears team that made history when it won the first Overwatch Contenders Australia grand final.
“It was about four months after I got the game, we were just a casual team and we went in and won,” he said.
He was then selected in an Australian squad of 12 but didn’t make the final team of seven that toured Thailand.
He said his goal was to make the Aussie team for next year’s tournament.
Overwatch is played by two teams of six who battle to complete an objective and is among the top five most popular eSports games.
Sam’s dad Norm Dennis said he wasn’t sure what to make of eSports at first and he had no idea what was going on when watching his son compete.
“I actually went and bought it so I could learn the game, which I’m no good at, but I’ve got more of an appreciation for what’s happening,” he said.
“I can sit there and watch it now and I’ve got a rough idea of what’s happening. I still don’t know what the tactics are but at least I know who is winning and losing.”
Mr Dennis said he was supportive of Sam’s passion for eSports, provided his school marks didn’t drop and he played a team sport outside as well. “His coach has asked him if he wants to try out with some North American sides but he wants to finish Grade 10 first and then look at what’s next,” he said.
“There’s quite a few guys now that are making their name in Australia and then heading to America to play.’’
GAME STAR: eSport competitor Sam Dennis, 16, is earning a big reputation across the country.