Regardless of how you spell it, professional gaming is serious business, with huge prize pools on the table for international competitions and competitors possessing elite skills that have to be seen to be believed. Australians love a challenge, though, and three teams from Down Under made it to the world championships at BlizzCon in Los Angeles recently for games Overwatch, Heroes Of The Storm and World of Warcraft Arena. With more than USD$1m on the line across all three titles, it’s no surprise Aussie accents were among those clamouring for some of that epic real-life loot. What people may not realise is exactly how much work is required to get to the top levels of international gaming competition; so attended BlizzCon and caught up with representatives from the Australian teams competing there. The first thing to appreciate is competitive gaming is treated the same as traditional physical sports — there are teams with individual player specialties, led by a captain and backed up by a coach and (in some cases) support staff. Gaming is serious business, with huge prize pools on the table for international competitions. Photo: Robert PaulSource:Supplied In BlizzCon’s case, Australia was represented by Team Australia (captain Andrew “Rqt” Haws, players Ajay “Aetar” Umasankar, Jason “Ieatuup” Ho, Jordan “Gunba” Graham, Marcus “Kiki’ Jacob, and Ashley “Trill” Powell, coached by Jason “Serenity” Wang) for Overwatch, team Viewsonic Dark Sided (captain Jeremy “Moops” Setio, with members Hayden “Sashin” Kang, Joshua “Hacky” Hackett, Ashley “DeMiSe” Branson and Robert “Robadobah” Purling) for Heroes Of The Storm and Blank Esports (captain Kane “Yunex” Dennis, with members Nathan “Primez” Saccuzzo, Joel “Streaming” Barker and Jonny “Rook” Brett, coached by Daniel Morton) for World of Warcraft Arena. Getting to the top levels involves not just practice, but also determination, as Overwatch Team Australia captain Andrew Haws explained. “The biggest thing is the mentality and the desire to want to do it as a career,” he said. “Like anything in life, if you’re heart’s not in it, you won’t succeed. “The mechanics and skills can be caught up with if you’re