Saturday, 17 February 2018

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EGESA - All about COD eSports

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Cape Town – the magnificent city that set the scene for an electrifying event which brought gamers from all over South Africa together. That event was, of course, EGESA – Electronic and Gaming Expo South Africa – the annual delight for anyone into gaming and tech. This was an event show casing everything from Cosplay to table-top games, a massive LAN and, the proverbial sparkle in the competitive community’s eye, an eSports tournament. 

It was a weekend of hotly contested matches that put the spotlight on some of the lesser known teams. The most notable of these teams was Ventus Gaming who took down Carbon Astra (one of the strongest teams on the scene over the past few seasons) and achieved a Top Four placing overall. Other teams that competed include: Insane Gaming as well as Krypto Gaming.

After the round robin stages and a few major upsets, only four remained: Clan Hi5, Energy eSports, Ventus Gaming and Vinco Gaming. Clan Hi5 performed an impressive feat by defeating Vinco Gaming which knocked them down to the Losers’ Bracket. Vinco proceeded to knock Ventus out of the tournament (giving them fourth place) whilst Energy eSports came out with the win against Hi5 forcing them to play Vinco again in the Losers’ Bracket finals. 

Unfortunately for Clan Hi5, they failed to repeat their performance against Vinco as Vinco took the best of five series 3-0. This gave Clan Hi5 third place in the tournament as well as a cash prize.

Finally, the time for the Grand Finals had come – the culmination of hours of practice for both teams involved. The stage was set for Energy eSports, often considered the face of South African Call of Duty, to take on Vinco Gaming, the bold challengers (who had to win two best of five series due to coming through from the Losers’ Bracket).

The practice and team cohesion of the Energy eSports players shone through. The players from Vinco played excellently all weekend but just seemed unable to stand up to their counterparts from Energy eSports who took the final best of five series of the tournament 3-0.

With that win, Energy eSports secured the first place in the tournament and a hefty prize for themselves. Vinco Gaming took second place and also earned a cash prize for their efforts.

We spoke to South Africa’s very own Brad Cherry (@BradCherryZA) – Competitive Call of Duty player for Insane Gaming – about the tournament and the South African COD scene as a whole.

What did you think about EGESA and the COD tournament overall?

Brad: EGE is always a major tournament for the competitive eSports players due to the amount of participation. It’s always well organised and the mainstage for the main tournament matches adds that professionalism to the event.

What do you think happened this past weekend in terms of the lesser known teams performing so well?

Brad: The lesser known teams are full of young teenagers trying to make a name for themselves in the community. They’re trying to prove that they can play at the top South African level. This past weekend, they proved just that by defeating two top SA teams very convincingly.

What do you think contributed to the success of Energy eSports in this tournament?

Brad: The fact that the players from eN are very good friends and have been teaming together for much longer than most of the other South African COD teams. Individually, they’ve had their fair share of success with other teams in the past so they’re no strangers to winning.

Thanks for answering all of my questions. Finally, what are the plans for yourself and Insane, going forward?

Brad: It’s been tough for the Insane Gaming team with regards to roster changes on short notice but, as of now, we are looking to keep our current roster for the remainder of the year as we know we can reach major goals with our current line-up, going into the final few months of the season. 

Thanks again and good luck for the rest of the season!

A massive amount of respect must go towards the people who put these kinds of tournaments together and make them run so successfully. So, from myself and the whole of the CODZA community, I would like to thank Zombie Gamer and Zombie Dredd, HoldenZA, jimmnybillybob and all of the other organisers, casters and volunteers who had a hand in making the past weekend so successful.

Once again, EGESA proved to be an outstanding event that hosted a competition of the highest standard and I, along with every other South African gamer I am sure, cannot wait for next year’s iteration.


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