ESL Africa, what it really means
NEWS | Abdullah 'anneKsiy' Adam | Bravado | April 14, 2017
A lot of competitive gamers in South Africa have been waiting for something big to happen to give the scene some international publicity. We had ESEA being released in South Africa recently, and along with that, an invitation spot for one team from South Africa to proceed to the ESEA LAN finals. Finally, we’ve given a taste of what we’re capable of and together we’ve attracted the start of something big, really big.
Bravado Gaming showed off some mad skills during their visit to the states, impressing massive influential figures in the scene such as Sam “DaZeD” Marine and proving that the African scene is a growing ocean filled with pearls in the form of players such as Aran “Sonic” Groesbeek, who can match or even surpass the skill level of players from across the seas.
With more and more local tournaments and events being held and started in South Africa, and Africa as a whole, it’s about time that international event organizers dip their toes into the waters. ESL (Electronic Sport League), is without a doubt the most well-known organizer of such gaming leagues and tournaments, boasting countless events in practically all popular Esports titles. They describe themselves as being an organizer which hosts tournaments world-wide, however, that statement has been false… until now!
On April 3rd, ESL announced that they will venture into the African continent, by hosting a tournament featuring Counter Strike: Global Offensive, as well as Hearthstone. The event boasts a staggering R2 million prize pool. The championship will consist of two series, with the first running from April to June and the second from July till October. We are fortunate enough to be the centre of attention, as the LAN finals will be taking place at the annual rAge-Expo in Johannesburg, accommodating four of the best CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) and Hearthstone teams from across Africa.
Bravado Gaming will be taking part in the CS:GO tournament, and I’m certain many of the other top South African teams will be partaking as well. South Africa definitely has some of the best players and teams on the continent, so it will be an interesting journey for all of us indeed. Personally, I cannot wait to see the reactions of our buddies overseas to the sheer raw talent and ability of our players…
What does this really mean?
Now that all sounds good and well, but in the long run, what will ESL bringing this championship to Africa do for the communities and players across the continent? Well, let’s get right into it!
The first result of this championship will be other event organizers taking an interest in Africa as a whole, and thus creating a domino effect, in which the major event organizers will eventually start hosting events across the continent, something which prior to this event, was never done. We would be looking at Dreamhack, PGL, Starladder, the list is endless here ladies and gents.
Now, if that doesn’t make you excited, maybe some green will… Due to the increase of interest and tournaments in Africa, there will be large investments, think of arenas, team houses and faster, more stable internet. We are getting friends, friends with deep pockets, and an even deeper understanding of the game.
Let’s hear what Bravado Gaming CEO, Andreas Hadjipaschali had to say about this effect
First and foremost, I would finally like to welcome Turtle Entertainment (ESL) to our country and continent as ESL Africa with open arms. For the last few years, myself along with a number of other individuals have been pushing hard to get this gaming giant involved in our continent. As we can now see, Africa is one of the last continents on Earth to be satisfied (from a business and investment opportunity regarding e-sports) and with this being said, the rat-race has begun!
With ESL finally entering our scene, this will (as mentioned previously by Anneksiy) start a domino effect. I could go on and on forever, but to keep it simple: this will attract the likes of many other event hosting giants such as Dreamhack, PGL, Starladder, CWL and so on, and so forth… in return it will allow for further collaboration between local suppliers with the likes of these international giants.
The more event hosts that enter our market, will allow for more content, which in return will allow for more exposure of e-sports onto channels like Supersport. In return this will attract corporate and private investors into all parts of the market (teams, events, content, production, etc…) and eventually creating an uncontrollable snowball effect.
Although this announcement of ESL entering the market may be of no significance to some, trust me, it’s the beginning of a huge chain of events. We fully support ESL as Bravado Gaming, its players, management and staff is on a mission to represent as the Face of Africa and finally put our continent on the international map.
ESL has taken a bold move by organizing this event, but I think we can all agree, African gaming has a story to tell. We have dodgy internet connections (but they’re improving), small prize pools (in comparison to international events), but what keeps our players playing? Passion. The passion, the drive, the will to win, to be the best you can be and push on even further, that is Africa’s story, that is OUR story, so let’s show it to the world!