I’m coming off the back of my Mettlestate high. The Samsung Galaxy CSGO Championship was one hell of an experience and I’ll try put that into words at some point soon. For now, here are 3 things you need to know about South African Esports right now in case you’ve been living under a rock or the event from this past weekend caught your fancy.
1 It isn’t just about CSGO
This is a big one for me to chat about and I’m super excited. You’ve likely seen my best friend on my YouTube channel at some point no doubt and you likely know she also happens to be my housemate. What you might not know is that she is also the brains behind a really rad Esports event happening in June. The Injustice 2 South African Cup is kicking off on the 21st of May (the day before my birthday) and will end in a giant fancy tournament on the 8th of July. The geniuses from ACGL are running the thing and no doubt will kill it. The Grand Final will happen in Pretoria and will feature four of the best South African fighting competitors battling it out in Injustice 2 for a trip overseas to the VS Fighting Tournament and R60 000 in prize money. The event will also have performances from Jack Parow and Fokofpolisiecar.
If you sub to my channel you’ll know that said bestie has supported me at every single Esports event I’ve been apart of. She is always in the crowd cheering for the players and making sure I don’t have stuff in my teeth when I go on stream. So while I’m not involved in this particular event at all I’m going to be there with all the bells and whistles cheering her on because this is going to be a spectacle of note. So freaking proud right now and it hasn’t even kicked off!
2 Telkom DGL becomes VS Gaming and gets Supersport on board
During sound checks for the Samsung Galaxy CSGO Championship I had the chance to have a quick lunch with the new CEO of VS Gaming (which was the Telkom DGL). Cambridge Mokanyane handled brand and strategy for Telkom for a few years and previous to that held marketing roles at Unilever, SAB and MTN. He’s now jumping into Esports and took some time out to watch me scoff salad and chat to me about his plans for Esports.
Jumping right in I asked him some tough questions about what the hell was going on at DGL. He was open and honest with me on all accounts. He knows they haven’t been streaming Masters games and really giving much insight into the Masters programme. He assured me this was because of the company rebrand and that we can expect proper Masters updates soon. I also pointed out the giant clash of potential dates between a Masters final at rAge and the recently announced ESL Africa final (which has been confirmed to be held at rAge). While Cambridge couldn’t confirm if there would be a clash he did assure me that he and his organisation will never force players to choose between tournaments and that he wants the players to play in as many tournaments as they possibly can.
I know much of the local scene is extremely dubious of the changes at Telkom DGL. Mainly because of the complete radio silence they’ve experienced in the last few months but I really want to believe Cambridge and his mission to be completely open and grow the scene. Time will tell if he was sincere but my gut tells me he and VS Gaming are serious about putting a spotlight on the players. He also told me about two partnerships with Supersport and MetroFM. The Supersport partnership is a biggie. It will allow local content to be broadcast on the channels and get some much needed eyeballs on it. My understanding is that it will be more lifestyle show type content over streaming of games but we’ll have to wait and see. More air time can only be a good for South African Esports.
To highlight my point – yesterday, before this article went live the Mythic Gaming team publicly announced that despite securing a spot in the Dota2 Masters Comp in the next few weeks their accommodation and travel wouldn’t be covered (they were a wild card winner as opposed to an invited Masters team). Invited teams have these costs covered but wild card winners weren’t previously catered for. I picked up the phone and rang VS Gaming team after seeing the social minutes and asked about it. 5 minutes before publishing this piece I received a call from Cambridge to confirm that the team would have their costs covered because he wanted the wild card team to be there. Staying true to his promise that he just wants everyone to play. Good start?
3 The spotlight on girls gaming is about to get brighter
For the past few months I’ve had a private little passion project I’ve been sitting on. It has been a baby of mine for sometime and a dream that has slowly been eating away at my brain for far too long. This week I received confirmation that the partners I needed are all in. In the next few weeks I’m going to be able to announce properly and cannot wait to share my love of gaming and South African Esports with you. Be sure to keep following the blog because this is something you aren’t going to want to miss and something you’re going to be able to participate in. I’m pretty sure you’re going to love it. So watch this space!