One more sleep until the Telkom DGC kicks off at rAge. It’s like the night before Christmas, except you know exactly what your presents are going to be – eSports and gaming. And those are obviously the best presents.
Speaking of presents, we got ourselves an early rAge-mas gift, an interview with the man with the most nicknames in South African CS:GO, Thulani ‘LighteRTZ’ Sishi. LighteRTZ has been around the local CS:GO scene for about ten years, so he knows a thing or two about putting in the hard yards to try and make a career out of competitive gaming.
“It’s only a matter of time until this notion becomes a recognised career. Personally I’ve committed to eSports for about a year and half now and the change/improvement from 2015 to 2016 has been big, from media, to the production of events, to prize pools and the amount of LAN events. Soon more players and those involved in eSports locally will be full time at what they do and it’s awesome to see.”
In a year packed with highlights, we asked LighteRTZ what he thought had contributed most to the growth of the local eSports scene.
“DGL masters in Cape Town set the bar for me, in terms of how it was run, prize pool and production. The leagues they have created have definitely promoted growth in eSports.
ESEA creating online leagues that pay out teams making playoffs. Orena have given the top teams more drive with ESWC qualifiers and multiple events throughout the year. Then just the amount of LANs with decent prize pools.”
The importance of decent prize pools really can’t be stressed enough. With local gamers not earning salaries yet, hopefully that will change soon, the only way for them to make some sort of living is by winning. Because if you don’t win, you don’t get paid.
It puts a hell of a lot of pressure on gamers and teams as they continuously strive to be better. Often that means having to let players go and bring in new ones as you search for the perfect team composition. For Aperture Gaming’s CS:GO side it’s been a year of trying to find the right mix, but despite all their roster changes they’ve still managed to consistently place right near the top of events.
“It’s been a progressive year for us. Consistent considering all the roster changes. All in all at the moment we feel good as a team, a lot of work has been put in by the players. We’ve been working on our identity and things are clicking together well with our pairings.”
Things couldn’t be coming together at a better time, because the stakes have never been higher than the Telkom DGL Masters finals at rAge. Walking away, or more likely skipping away from pure, ecstatic joy, with R200,000 of the R1million prize pool would be the dream for any gamer, but it’s going to be the toughest challenge the team have faced yet, because a massive prize pool means that everyone is going to be playing that much harder to win it.
“There’s a lot more effort put into the game from all players in the scene, there’s more drive from teams and preparation. There’s a lot at stake which promotes better Counter Strike.
It’s important for ourselves to prove we can win and beat the best. We are capable of it. We’re going for the win this year.”
And that means taking down Bravado. They’ve reigned supreme at events throughout the year, but the great thing about eSports is that anything can happen on the day.
In an article for Orena, Alwyn ‘zdrAg’ Kotze predicted that Carbon would win it over Bravado. LighteRTZ think Aperture can do it. We’re sure if you ask Andreas ‘Cent’ Hadjipaschali he’ll tell you Bravado will win it.
LighteRTZ reckons it’s a three horse race between those teams. The question is: How do Aperture Gaming plan to beat the others?
“Composure in the midst of battle is key and doing the basics well.”
So no taking knife tips from James ‘zerOchaNce’ Wijnberg then.
Personally, or website-ally (How does a website refer to itself?), we can’t wait to see the Counter-Strike on show over the weekend.
We’ll wrap up with LighteRTZ’s thoughts on what the DGL guys can do to improve on the spectacular show they put on at rAge in Cape Town.
“More time to warm up, noise cancelling headphones, more space for spectators as Cape Town was packed, and round highlights. Other than that there’s always room to improve.”
See you at rAge.