This week we profile up-and-coming Dota 2 squad Online Godz, who have been forcing people to sit up and take notice of them with some transcendent playmaking in the Telkom Digital Gaming League.
OGz are independent and not part of a multi-gaming organisation so are therefore ineligible to take part in the Telkom DGL Masters, but that is unlikely to remain the case if they keep up the level of performance they have graced us with in recent months.
They made it to the semi-finals of the Telkom Digital Gaming Preseason Cup, where they were defeated in a tightly contested affair by For The Dream, who have since been signed by Xperts@Total.Chaos to play in the Telkom DGL Masters. The other two semi-finalist, Energy eSports eVo and Flipsid3 Tactics are also both widely acknowledged as two of the best teams in the country. OGz recently qualified for the Telkom DGL Premier Division themselves after dominating the first leg of the First Division.
Online Godz were formed from the frustration of gamers whose repeated prayers to the traditional deities for balanced teams from the Dota 2 matchmaking system fell on deaf ears. Just kidding, the team was started by Ruslynn ‘Ryperior’ Appana and Trishen ‘6god’ Moodley, who were friends at school and got inspired by Valve’s Free To Play documentary.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, you’re now banned from this website. Not really, but you should go check it out, but be prepared to get a sudden and unshakable urge to become a professional Dota 2 player.
Interestingly, for a team that is doing such a good job of consistently dominating their opponents, the team has never played at LAN or met IRL.
“We stay all across the country, however we think of each other as very close friends. We are all looking forward to the day we can meet up as a team. We recruited most of our players from the DGL forum or from our friend list in game.
We believe that friendship is an integral part of our team, as communication is very important to us, so everyone knows that any criticism given in game is purely so we can better ourselves as a team.”
One of the things we’ve found surprising, especially with the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams we’ve spoken to, is the amount of time players spend practicing individually rather than with the team.
That is certainly not the case with OGz, who can spend as much as 20 hours a week practicing together. That’s more time than we spend doing our day jobs. Not more time than we spend at the office, mind you, but definitely more time than we spend actually working. Which we get paid to do.
It definitely makes the point about them being friends all the more important. Imagine spending that much time doing stressful things with people you don’t like. Like an office job, for example.
“We practice at least four to five days a week, from 8pm until 12pm, by scrimming, playing pubs or watching professional games and replays together. In our free time we also read articles about the game, or watch professional players’ streams.
We try to play as many games as we can to determine which heroes are strong and which aren’t. From there we try to implement the strong heroes into our strats, which we practice during scrims. We also watch as many pro games as we can, to determine if our general thinking is similar to the pro’s thinking or not in terms of which heroes work in the current meta.
Our ultimate goal is to become a professional team. While previously it was quite hard to do so in South Africa, there are now a lot more opportunities for teams to get their name out there and to make money. We intend to use these opportunities to the fullest to achieve our goals.
The South African scene is still developing, so while at the moment we may not stack up to international teams, we believe that in a few years we will definitely have teams playing with the pros in big tournaments, like Starladder and ESL One.”
OGz are currently without a sponsor because all of their focus of late has been on winning, but their aim is to be picked up by an MGO in the near future and move from there.
Their performances have definitely been eye-catching and talking to websites like ours will help them increase their visibility and appeal to brands which, as Miles ‘B4d R0b0t’ Regenass told us, is crucial to finding sponsors. Or, at the very least, a graphic designer to make them a decent logo. Any takers?
“The local gaming scene is growing at a good pace with a lot of tournaments starting up. Even rAge now has a prize pool of R1million, which we personally wouldn’t have thought would be possible in South Africa two to three years ago.
More of a spotlight on gamers, we think, can always be a good thing. It gives much needed exposure and helps put South African gamers on the map. But this type of thing will happen over time with all the new tournaments coming out we might even get more African qualifiers for international events. Hopefully all these new tournaments will put more eyes on the South African scene.”
It hasn’t happened for Dota 2 yet, but the local eSports scene is definitely starting to get noticed. South African teams will be at three international Counter-Strike: Global Offensive events this year with ESEA expanding into South Africa and adding a place at their LAN finals for a local team, the ESWC qualifier set to be decided at the Electronic & Gaming Expo in Cape Town in July and E-Frag inviting a South African team to take part in their World Championships.
It’s all happening lads. Enjoy the ride.