While it’s venue doors won’t be open for the foreseeable future, Fortress Melbourne this Friday introduces Firefights, a weekly online event where players in the Oceanic region can compete in tournaments and matches from home.
In partnership with tech giants Alienware, the gaming hub aims to bridge the gap between social and competitive gaming in the local region, offering prizes for players as well as featuring matches on Fortress Melbourne's main Twitch channel, complete with professional commentary.
For Samuel Han, Fortress Esports’ Marketing Manager, the main focus is to create an all-encompassing gaming experience that can transition seamlessly to their offline facilities upon reopening. “We care about welcoming all gamers at Fortress so we wanted to make a competitive event that is also inclusive. Firefights, open to all skill levels, is a regular weekly tournament that gives the opportunity for the everyday player to be a part of a premium broadcast event and play on the big stage.”
Fortress’ inaugural Firefights this Friday night will feature Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in a 2v2 Gunfight format. Sign-ups are open, with early bird registration entering players into a draw with over $1,700 in prizes, supplied by partner Alienware. Each week, Firefights will feature a different title and game mode, establishing a weekly rotation between games providing plenty of variety for all participants. Firefights entry fees will help support each week’s prize pool, currently set at $500.
Fortress is looking to expand its online event calendar following the closure of the facility and arena in March—just six days after its long-anticipated opening—due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. One such event is Tavern Trivia; held every Monday on the main Twitch channel, it has been successful in keeping fans engaged over the last few weeks.
It is not yet known when the main facility will be reopened; however, eased restrictions in Victoria will allow Fortress to open its dining and entertainment precinct as early as next weekend. Given Australia’s continued reduction of active coronavirus cases,
“With Australia's great response to the COVID situation and the recent lift of restrictions in Victoria, we've got our eye towards the future and a reopening of The Tavern at Fortress Melbourne on June 12th. We've launched an exclusive private dining and entertainment experience, Fantasy Feast, in our medieval tavern with a great response this week. As time goes on and restrictions continue to lift we look forward to reopening other areas of Fortress Melbourne and welcoming gamers back home. In the interim we've been working hard to develop comprehensive cleaning policies and procedures to ensure we're safe and socially responsible.” - Samuel Han, Fortress Esports Marketing Manager
Firefights begins this Friday June 5 at 6:00pm AEST—entry for the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare tournament is $15 with registration closing June 4 at 4:00pm AEST. Keep in touch with Fortress Melbourne via Twitter as the venue closes in on a full reopening date. For more news, reports and content about esports & gaming in Oceania, stay tuned to Here’s The Thing.