Not too long ago the Telkom DGL announced that there would be two additional multi-gaming organisations in the Masters league next year. Cue “Oohs”, “Aahs” and much excitement all round. But that leaves us with a question that needs answering: Who are those two MGOs going to be?
To make some educated guesses, we consulted one of South Africa’s most knowledgeable and, personal feelings not at all aside, likeable esports personalities, Devin ‘HellbirD’ Rigotti.
“For me it’s a three horse race. Firstly I think Ventus deserves it most. They’ve been around for a really long time, they’ve had competitive teams in quite a few titles and I don’t think Telkom want to become a two trick pony, with just Dota 2 and CS:GO.
Ventus are definitely the type of organisation that has shown they can manage a whole string of teams. They have more teams across more titles than anyone else I can think of. They’ve clearly shown an aptitude for being able to manage that sort of thing. In that regard I think it would be almost a mistake not to include Ventus.”
If you take a look at their Digital Gaming League clan page you’ll see they’ve currently got seven teams competing across five titles. They seem like a very solid choice for the DGL. In fact, they were probably a solid choice for this year’s DGL too. So why were they left out?
“The one thing working against Ventus is that they had a bit of a controversy at DGC 2015 where their League of Legends team used an illegal player who pretended he was somebody else so that he could play.”
Well that is awkward.
“Obviously that is something that DGL would frown upon quite heavily. I think the greater community would as well. It’s almost contrary to the fact that Ventus can run all these teams. In my opinion they can, but I would understand if somebody argued that they couldn’t based on that result.”
Whether the Ventus management knew about the infraction or not is irrelevant, because either way it reflects badly on the organisation and puts the DGL in a difficult position when considering them for selection.
But being left out of the 2016 Masters league could be considered a year long ban for the MGO. Is that enough to consider them suitably punished and allow them to join in 2017? HellbirD has them has his number one pick for joining the Masters league next year, so he clearly thinks so.
One down, two to go. Who’s next on HellbirD’s list of potential candidates?
“Other than that there are two interesting ones that stick out for me. The first one is puLse, who I think are on the right track. They have an interesting approach which is to pick up existing teams instead of trying to build them up, which is not necessarily the friendliest of concepts.
But obviously they’re doing something right and that’s attracting players to be involved in that environment. So it’s an organisation that has fairly strong sides and is keeping their players happy, which is always a good thing.”
You might remember we spoke to Chris Cousins, owner of puLse Gaming, earlier in the year when we were just a bunch of scrappy nobodies harassing esports personalities for interviews. As opposed to now when we’re a bunch of scrappy not very well-known bodies harassing esports personalities for interviews.
When he spoke to us Chris made his goal for puLse very clear: To have his teams competing in the Premier Division of their respective titles so that the MGO would be considered for Masters selection.
Well they’re on HellbirD’s list, so pat yourself on the back for a job well done, Chris.
According to their DGL profile page they have eight teams competing across five different titles, which is even more than Ventus, who are a much older and more established MGO. Clearly Chris and the guys at puLse are ambitious.
And that leaves just one.
“Lastly, and probably one that I think would be a tragic loss if they weren’t involved, is eXdee. Although I feel like they are really just hanging onto the reins of their Dota team and how good their Dota team is. It’s a side that just lost to White Rabbit Gaming, the Masters champions, 2-1. They were actually able to take a game off them and have three competitive matches. So just not having them in that event takes away from it.
Where would teams like Aperture and Bravado have placed if a side like this was capable of going 2-1 against the team that eventually won? That’s a question that I think a lot of people will be asking. And one Telkom can easily answer by bringing eXdee in.
But that does ask the question, what are eXdee doing about their CS:GO side? Because as a brand new MGO without a wealth of experience building up these teams and/or getting new sides, you may find that by allowing eXdee into the Masters you end up with another weak CS:GO side.”
eXdee’s Dota team, which looks a lot like the old Energy Dota side we profiled a while back, proved again over the weekend that they have what it takes to compete amongst the best, knocking both Flipsid3 and Bravado into the lower bracket and finishing third in the Mega8 invitational.
With the Bravado Dota team disbanding at the end of this year they’re going to be on the lookout for some players, or a whole new team, to fill the pretty darn big shoes left behind by their departing players. eXdee’s Dota boys could be a nice Christmas present for Bravado owner Andreas Hadjipaschali. And can anyone, besides White Rabbit Gaming, turn down the honour of playing for the rampantly victorious Bravado Dota team?
Now that is some wild speculation on our part. But at the same time it does seem to fit together quite nicely.
As Jeremy Clarkson would say if he were a gamer, “And on that bombshell, good luck have fun”.