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My best work yet?

A project I've been working on for rAge Digital 2020

For the past few months I’ve been working on a project that is arguably my most ambitious yet. I’ve seen the almost final drafts of said project and I honestly have never been more proud of what I’ve made. So today I’m doing the thing everyone hates and teasing to what it is to come. Hopefully without giving too much away.

A few months ago the organisers of rAge Expo approached me and explained their rAge Digital 2020 idea to me. With the pandemic creating a world of uncertainty it meant Southern Africa’s biggest gaming expo would not be able to happen physically. The rAge team still wanted to bring something to fans online, but not the typical zoom call conversations we’ve seen across other “digital only” events. We had a chat about esports and what we could possibly do in the space.

And so it began

esports telkom masters
Rehearsing the day before my first “esports” hosting job with Thulani/ Black Hammer from Aperture Gaming

I read a lot of “thought leader” stuff from various people involved in esports in South Africa. Over time I’ve realised how little most of them know about the history of competitive gaming in our country. I include myself here. I was extremely naive and uneducated on how much happened before my and your time. International players were travelling to South Africa to compete in the nineties already. I use the words “international players” but I’m not talking about Tier 3 competitors, I’m talking some of the best IN THE WORLD at the time. Many of whom now grace history books as the first “esports celebrities” to exist. We were sending teams overseas years before big MGOs were using it as a way to try showcase their bank accounts. There’s this insane history that spans decades and involves people that have gone on to make a difference in esports at a global level. So began my research into the History of Esports in South Africa. I spent time trawling through archives made available to me by various personalities, teams and organisations. I interviewed some of the faces and voices who made a huge impact in how competitive gaming evolved in South Africa. Then I wrote it all down in a script and we put it together.

The history of Esports

nag lan 2003

The history of Esports is a 30 minute documentary type video that takes you back to when esports in South Africa began (or as far back as we could trace it). The show gives an overview of growth and development throughout the years, not only giving you the historical timeline but also highlighting issues that hamper growth. As part of the show we have incredible insight from local esports personality and one of the more established gaming hosts, who was swinging a mic for competitive gaming shows before most of the current talent had picked one up:

Kamza Mbatha

I’m extremely grateful to also have the memories and experience of one of League of Legends’ most prolific casters and someone with a great understanding of making an entertaining show:

Trevor “Quickshot” Henry

Quickshot explains his own esports journey while also discussing some of the issues that smaller regions like South Africa face as they try develop the esports landscape. Finally, I spoke to one of the guys who “made it”:

Tiaan “T.C” Coertzen

of Cloud9 fame also shares his journey and insight in to the growing competitive gaming scene.

The show will air live, for the first time, at the rAge Digital Expo 2020. You’ll be able to watch it at 18:15 on Friday the 6th of November.

It will be able to watch on:

twitch.tv/rageexpolive

youtube.com/NAGMagSA

facebook.com/rAgeExpo

It will also be available as a stand alone piece of content on the NAG YouTube channel after the live stream.

The future of Esports

While the history of Esports was a research based project, the second piece of content I’ve written, hosted and helped produce for rAge Digital 2020 is rather an exploration of where we go through here. I interviewed some of South Africa’s best new players in a range of titles that are starting to grow in the country. I wanted to showcase new faces and gaming communities that have the ability to create larger and more diverse competitive player bases. The show features:

Fortnite player Kareem Khan from Bravado Gaming

Street Fighter player JabhiM from Goliath Gaming

FIFA competitor Julio “Beast” Bianchi from Goliath Gaming

Sim Racer Jason Absmeier from White Rabbit Gaming

Sim Racer Bruno Cadilhe from White Rabbit Gaming

The show gets insight from each of them about their chosen game and then also showcases the competitive landscape locally and explains how the games work as esports. You’ll be able to watch it on the same channels I shared earlier in this post on Saturday 7th November at 12:25.

Is this my best work?

telkom dgl masters series
Watching esports before I worked in it, with some familiar faces.

The more time I spend in esports broadcasting the more I realise that I love the behind the scenes stuff. The production of live events and weaving an interesting narrative is something I’ve become borderline obsessed with. Creating these shows, collaborating with rAge and the incredible video editors to bring a story to life – it was definitely challenging but also some of the most fulfilling work I’ve done recently. I’m beyond excited for you to see the final product. I believe both of these shows are some of my best work to date, in the gaming and esports space. I’m counting down the days till they go live!

I'd love to chat to you some more.

 

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