At the beginning of July, local PC hardware retailer, and potential sponsor of Good Luck Have Fun’s graphics cards, Evetech announced the launch of their new venture, the Evetech Champions League. Now, you may be tempted to think that this is ‘just another CS:GO tournament’, but you would be horribly wrong. And, with the help of Imran Sorathia, Evetech’s Managing Director, we’re about to explain why.
First off, educate yo’self. Have a look at the first official launch trailer for the ECL, if you haven’t already. And if you haven’t seen it yet, why the hell not? If that doesn’t pique your interest, maybe the promise of money and entertainment will.
“We wanted to ensure a massive cash prize pool and high production value. We weren’t willing to sacrifice one for the other. We want to reach more people and get them interested in gaming, while at the same time offering them the best deals and services.”
The deets are simple: the ECL is a six-team, R150 000 CS:GO LAN tournament being held from 26 to 28 August in Centurion. Let us repeat that for you: R150k prize pool. One more time: one hundred and fifty thousand rand.
Apart from the money, you may have noticed that “LAN” word right there, and gotten a tad excited. That’s right, the ECL is being held at a totally top-secret Evetech eSports studio.
“Evetech has invested funds into providing a dedicated eSports lounge for our tournament, where we are planning on holding exclusive events throughout the year as things progress. We are setting up this space with the same look and feel you would expect from an international venture, something that has not yet been seen in South Africa. We are planning on going ALL OUT.”
We don’t normally like using all-caps in our articles, but if Imran replied with them, you must know something truly massive is in the works.
“I think the broadcast studio setting will be unique to this country. It will allow for spectators to come and view the games live, while also giving the teams a professional environment to compete in. We will supply the best environment and hardware required for the players to compete at the highest level possible.
The space is permanent, so this is not a once off thing. We want to make each event bigger and better, and there are still many ways for us to do this.”
Well, we know it’s in Centurion. Evetech’s offices are in Centurion. Are you picking up what we’re putting down? So, where exactly is it, right? What does it look like? Is there free beer?
“We promise it’s going to look great. Sorry we can’t give you the scoop, but our media and PR team would kill us if we shared any of the design pictures.”
We get it, if you told us, someone would have to kill you.
“Honestly we are very excited to finish the build of the studio, the player area, chill out zone, and panellist desk. The designs look impressive!”
A real life panel desk, not a play-play one? Now that’s production value.
Six teams may seem like an odd number to have at a tournament, but it’s very clear that this entire ECL is very well thought out.
“For this event we wanted to do something different, make some noise, and get people talking. Because so much effort has gone into the building of the studio we didn’t want to do something stock standard, and also we wanted to manage the time.
Eight teams is what you typically get at the semis and finals of most events, but they tend to run really long. We wanted to have shorter days so teams are fresh and not exhausted from playing twelve hours. We also wanted to make sure that the best teams in the country get recognition for what they have done to help the scene grow.
The structure will definitely pull lots of attention as some of the biggest South African teams will fight it out to see who will be the Evetech Champion. This alone will bring in a heightened sense of competition, and all eyes will be focused on the action. This can only be done with a tight structure like what we have chosen to go for.”
Interestingly, Evetech has chosen to invite four teams (Aperture, Bravado, Carbon and eNergy), and has left two spots open for qualification, which is happening right now up until August 15th.
“The chosen teams are four of the biggest names in South African eSports at the moment. These are the perfect choices to go for to start off our tournament, as the competition between these teams is fierce and we can definitely expect big things and some jaw dropping action from these matches. And the remaining two teams will be the cream of the crop from lesser known and new teams, selected from the ECL qualifier matches.”
You may be wondering a few things right now. Why CS:GO and not Dota 2? Why does a hardware retailer even care about hosting a premier tournament? If I watch the livestream is there a chance they’ll send me a new graphics card?
“Anyone can watch CS:GO and understand it after about five minutes. It appeals to casual gamers who may not be fans of eSports. There are plans to do events for other games. We are currently watching the Overwatch scene, and obviously Dota 2 has a huge following in the region so that might be our next choice.
We will do more, the space is permanent so we plan to use it many more times. As for the future and using bigger and better venues, only time will tell. We really just want to focus on this launch, regroup, work out how to do better and then get another one on the go.
The main focus of the ECL tournament is to give back to the community that has helped us grow to where we are today. Secondly, our business is totally focused on hardware for gaming so it was natural that we do something in eSports.”
We didn’t get an answer on that graphics card question, but we’re hopeful.
It’s clear that Evetech are dedicated to the growth of the eSports community in South Africa, from increasing the number of viewers, to connecting with new media partners and encouraging fresh teams to keep working.
We’ll leave you with a few words from Aperture Gaming’s Richard ‘deviaNt’ Groves.
“I’m looking forward to playing at an event with as much prestige and exclusivity as ECL. Looking forward to stamping our dominance on the competition. Competing at events that cater for the level of professionalism the game deserves is always special.
I believe the format is a great one and it only increases the prestige and adds to the exclusivity of the event. You have to be the best of the best in order to play here, simple as that.
From my perspective, it is another opportunity to prove my team is the best in the country.”
Them’s fighting words.
The Evetech Champions League is going to be incredible. The best CS:GO in the country, all on LAN, all out. 26 to 28 August. Put it in your diary and get pumped, it promises to be massive.