After two years of online-only competition due to the coronavirus pandemic, one of Australia’s largest fighting game events returns to Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre this weekend — and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever.
Spread over three days, this year’s edition of Battle Arena Melbourne (BAM) will play host to the fighting game classics: Street Fighter, Tekken, Super Smash Bros and more. It will also include PC LAN events in both Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Rocket League in a collaboration with LANslide.
On the competitive side, Smash Ultimate and Melee enthusiasts will be able to pick up crucial points for the Smash World Tour as the global Smash scene slowly picks itself back up after extensive disruption to live events.
However, Smash is by no means the only fighting game at the event, with organisers CouchWarriors noting that at least fifteen different games will be present at BAM — with most if not all games eligible for points as part of CouchWarriors’ League competition. While not quite acting as a national finals, BAM offers double points for the CouchWarriors League and could make or break a tilt at a national title for many players.
Casual fans also have plenty to choose from over the three-day event, with cosplay and artist areas set up alongside an arcade for indie games and vendor booths of all shapes and sizes. Spectators can book separate passes to access the general gaming areas and participate in numerous events over the course of the weekend.
After years of events being postponed or cancelled, the return of one of Australia’s major esports events bodes incredibly well for the health of esports in the region. With BAM over the next few days and the three-day Dreamhack Melbourne rapidly approaching, a stunning recovery is on the cards for esports events in Australia — and hopefully this is only the beginning as we all return to normality.
BAM will run from the 13th-15th of May, and both competitors and spectators can register for the event at https://www.battlearenamelbourne.com.au/ — it looks like it’s going to be a spectacular return to form for Australia’s fighting game community.