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An unlikely alliance in the fight against Loneliness

We launched our social experiment #BeatLoneliness at an esports bar in Melbourne, Rocket League gamers by our side.

Step into Melbourne’s eGaming Bar, GGEZ, on Tuesday night, 1 May, and you would have felt the room buzzing with a new conversation.

Loneliness affects too many Australians. Some 25% of Australian report feeling lonely most or all of the time, and nearly all of us suffer from loneliness at some point in our lives.

It’s a problem we don’t often talk about: until now.

Red Cross has formed an unlikely alliance with esports team Legacy to launch its #BeatLoneliness campaign. At the event, Legacy renamed their team to ‘Loneliness’ and became the team for guests and patrons to beat.

Tyson Harris, coach of team Loneliness (formerly Legacy), says he’s proud to be part of campaign to raise awareness of the loneliness issue while doing something to overcome it.

“When I first started playing Rocket League I only had a couple of friends but through those two friends I’ve met all these new people just by playing Rocket League,” says Tyson Harris.   

Even Red Cross CEO Judy Slatyer and President Ross Pinney took to the controls to beat Loneliness in five-minute Rocket League challenge matches.

“Your team, whether you’re a player or a fan, isn’t just a team, it’s also your support network,” says Judy Slatyer.

“The friendships and sense of belonging in sporting and gaming communities is what makes this project so special. We want people to know loneliness doesn’t have to be a constant in their life.”

Tyson Harris agrees that shared experiences have helped him form new connections.

“I’ve been able to experience new things that I’ve never been able to do before,” says Tyson. “I’ve played at events in front of massive crowds, I’ve met all sorts of new people and all of this was just through a game,” he says.

Legacy is the first team to rebrand themselves as Loneliness, with Red Cross calling on anyone who plays team sport – from trivia to table tennis, amateur to pro – to rebrand themselves as Loneliness and become the team to beat.

We’ve got free kits and jerseys to help you spread the word. And by coming together, you and your mates will already be getting the one-up on loneliness: you’ll be helping us start a life-changing conversation for people who feel alone and isolated.

Sign up to Beat Loneliness.