South African Esports is a funny beast. For the most part it is filled with drama and chaos which is probably why it is the most addictive and highly enthralling form of entertainment out there. RUSH Esports was the first event of its kind in South Africa – which paired up all our favourite Esports titles under one roof. Stands littered the Sandton Convention Centre allowing visitors the chance to watch competitive gaming and also get behind a device and try their own hand at the latest craze taking over the world.
So what were my highlights from RUSH Esports 2017? I figured I’d list them for you incase you have serious FOMO and missed out.
The OMEN by HP Stand
As you entered the RUSH show you were greeted with an impressive stand from Omen by HP. The black and red stand was chocker block full of new Omen devices that allowed fans the chance to actually get in on the action and start playing. I tried my hand at BroForce and left with a new Steam purchase. There was also Call of Duty, Tomb Raider and a few racing games available so everyone’s interests were met. The OMEN notebooks currently available in South Africa were powering up the fun but there were also a few surprises on offer with new OMEN devices available to play on. These babies should land in South Africa in the next few months and will likely be available just in time for rAge in October.
The also had a giant smoke machine that replicated Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings. It was rad.
OMEN by HP took it a step further by sponsoring a League of Legends tournament that saw the winners jetting off to Prague for an opportunity to compete in an international competition. This is possibly the biggest news of RUSH because our local League of Legends scene is going to get incredible international experience. I cannot wait to follow their journey to Prague!
The Hearthstone Fire Side gathering
This one was a big surprise for me and if I had to announce my favourite stand at RUSH it would be this one. Constantine104 had taught me the basics of Hearthstone already but the Fire Side gathering amplified my interest in a game that can be played not only on your notebook but also on your tablet or smartphone. The Fire Side gathering from Kwese Gamer was a great opportunity for casual gamers to get in on the Esports action. Much like the Omen by HP stand, there were a host of devices set up allowing those visiting the show to sit down and learn the game as well as compete for prizes. I loved the tavern type feel on display and really hope we will see more of the Hearthstone Fire Side set ups at the likes or rAge.
During my build up to RUSH I mentioned the NAG LAN. This was my first time ever being in on the action. Even though I only was able to spend a short time in the LAN it was still an awesome experience and I definitely want to spend more time at the NAG LAN come rAge. It was so much fun watching the Call of Duty players get excited during wins or watching someone wake up and toddle around in search of the elusive coffee. The idea behind the LAN is that you bring your own computer and spend a weekend gaming with your friends. It really is tons of fun and far easier if you have a notebook, rather than carrying a giant PC around (conveniently HP was selling OMENS that weekend – useful!).
The Kaizer Chiefs FIFA Stand
The boys from ACGL did the most incredible job of handling the FIFA stand at RUSH. There were constant queues for those wanting to compete in the FIFA tournament and always excitement on stage. In fact, during the final of the ESWC qualifier at the CSGO stage the shout casters were drowned out by the sheer crowd excitement that Nick Holden was able to produce as commentator. Well done to ACGL for running not only this exciting showcase but ensuring the Call of Duty events were running effortlessly at the same time.
RUSH was, well… a RUSH. It was so much fun watching the entire Esports community come together and giving us an opportunity to share our love for Esports with casual gamers who popped past the show. I cannot wait till rAge in October to do it all over again! I really hope OMEN by HP brings the Mount Doom tower back for more fun!