Nick Vanzetti

Managing Director, ESL Australia

From creating grassroots community-led events as a hobby to becoming one of Australia’s leading e-sports event organisers, Nick has built a career around doing what he loves. Nick describes his business as evolving organically in response to the growing needs of the gaming community.

When I started my own business almost 10 years ago, we were directly servicing our fans and an audience that loved to watch the content that we produced. Those events were not like the big expos that we run today; they were more grassroots community-led events.

We ran our own events in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne for five years and built up a reputation. The gaming publishers – Xbox, Sony, Activision, Blizzard, etc – came to us to request our services on their own booths in exhibitions. After a while, those same publishers asked us to stage their events.

We still continued to do our community events in parallel. Then the eSports industry grew in popularity so that our own events were able to run on their own steam. Our first big stadium event, or mega event, was created in 2017 at the Qudos Arena.

The most interesting thing about events is that it’s never the same. One day you’re bumping into Bondi Icebergs setting up boxes and consoles beside the sea and the next day you’re in an expo hall setting up booths.

It’s never boring. It’s always very interesting. That’s one of the best things about the industry. I haven’t even entertained the thought of working in anything else because this is my passion.

Nick’s advice for anyone interested in a career in exhibitions and events:

Get yourself down to some of these shows. Pick a piece of content that you like or a pastime or an activity. It might be the boating and camping show, for example. But when you visit such a show try to peel back the layers of how you view the show. Put on a different lens and imagine what it might be like to be the guys who are working on the show. Getting involved in the content that you love is a huge thing. You can follow your passion and work in an industry that allows you to do that.


“It was my love for the gaming industry that drew me to events because of the need and desire to create something for an audience. Being able to reflect on where we’ve come from and where our passion project of eSports has really come from in the last 10 years… is really rewarding.”