I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to write this all down and wrap up a somewhat surreal experience. I’ve typed and hit back space more times than I can count, but it seems close to impossible to articulate what was, easily, one of the craziest weekends of my life.
It started on Wednesday evening when a man decided to take a screw driver to the door of my car when I popped in to the Woolies to get milk. He then opened the boot and helped himself to a stack of my gear including a very sentimental Knomo Laptop Bag, a pair of Beats by Dre headphones I won and my beloved MacBook Pro.
I was going in to rAge minus a lot of gear. Great.
Thursday I spent the day in the Dome in Northgate rehearsing for the Telkom DGL Masters final with legendary MC and Esports personality Paul “ReDeYe” Chaloner. Watching a pro at work in rehearsals alone made me realise how much I still have to learn and how very little I actually know. The next three days were mainly a blur, but the need to up my game has stuck with me since Thursday.
I watched some incredible CS:GO and was so incredibly proud when Bravado Gaming took home the title. The Dota 2 Final was the upset of the tournament with an incredible performance from White Rabbit Gaming who were announced the winners. There was a lot of lessons learnt this weekend. Organisational and production lessons were tossed at everyone behind the scenes at regular intervals. I think having a personality like ReDeYe in the vicinity really helped us all realise we need to improve (yes, this is the basically going to be the way I end every paragraph – told you it stuck!).
I want to go in to so much detail about the games, the complaints, the chaos…. but it is hard to put those experiences in to words. I want to go in to detail about the seesaw of emotion you feel when you open a stream and realise a man has dubbed you Cringe Girl and it has stuck – you don’t know whether to quit right there or just laugh it off. I want to try explain how completely inadequate I felt standing up there with ReDeYe and realising how much I need to learn.
It is not only about me though. I really want to try explain how incredibly emotional I felt when I found out Bravado and Carbon would start playing at 9:30am in their Grand Final on Sunday and the rAge doors only opened at 10. I want you to know how angry I felt and how sad – because they deserved to play to a packed out audience. I wanted the public to see these gents in action because I really believe that anyone who watches will, like me, become hooked. I want to to try put down in words the jubilation when White Rabbit won the Dota 2 Grand Final, seeing the joy on their clan leader’s face and knowing how hard they worked… before feeling gutted when I looked over at the Bravado boys.
I think I felt every emotion that exists this weekend. It made me realise that I might be a fan girl, I might be a n00b, but I really care about this scene and about building these players. They deserve stardom, they deserve medals and they deserve every accolade that comes their way. A lot of people hate on the local scene, on organisations, on competitions, on people in the scene… It is easy to see there are problems but there is one constant: these incredible players who, despite all the odds, just keep trucking on. It is inspiring; hooking you and pulling you into the tide that is South African Esports. I feel very honoured to have been apart of this, even in a small way.
I have a vlog on the way – just finalising the laptop situation so I have editing software. The photos included in this post are courtesy of the Telkom DGL, Bravado Gaming and Darryn Wright (yup my brother).
Did you go to rAge? What did you think?
I'd love to chat to you some more.
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