The Telkom DGL Sapphire Proving Ground starts tonight, so we thought we’d take this opportunity to have a quick look back on the CS:GO Emerald Showdown with Marco ‘SNx’ Du Plessis, captain of the runners-up, Mythic Gaming. When we say “take this opportunity”, what we really mean is that today is the last opportunity. And we made it. (GLHF: Go team!)
When we chatted to Chris ‘Sargon’ House about the Dota Emerald Showdown last week, he had some concerns about the format the DGL had decided to use for the whole tournament. But, despite it’s overly complex nature, SNx sees some positives in it.
“It gives the lower teams the chance to compete against teams and players who are more skilled than them and learn from them. It gives lower teams the chance to see how they perform against some of the best teams in the country and even gives individual players a chance to shine and perhaps get offers from a Masters organisation.
It gives the teams who are really motivated to prove themselves in the scene something to work towards.”
So the spirit of the whole event is in the right place. And that spirit is something we can certainly get behind, but maybe next time the DGL can try simplify it to a format that can be explained without the need for an accompanying powerpoint presentation.
Overall SNx seems to have enjoyed the Emerald cup experience, but there is one thing he would like the DGL to improve on.
“I am very happy that the DGL are working towards growing the scene but they are going to need to stream and cast more games, perhaps not every game but I feel the Masters matches should be streamed and, for the lesser known teams, the Finals of the past two cups we played should’ve also been streamed by the DGL.
Shoutout to Rhys ‘Fadey’ Armstrong for streaming the final we played against Fat Cloud Gaming.”
This seems to be an ongoing issue in the local scene that really needs to be dealt with. We understand that not everyone has the technical requirements to stream. We also realise that not everyone has the personality requirements to stream. But there are people in South Africa who are great streamers and casters and they need to be supported.
And that doesn’t just mean watched by fans, but also hired by event and league organisers. These guys and girls have a talent and they provide a service. If we want them to be casting all the time then they need to be paid like it’s their job.
Part of growing the scene is growing the viewership. Put quite bluntly, the viewers are the reason why sponsors will give us money to play games, it’s how they get their money’s worth. With that in mind, surely we need to put prioritise viewership, and by association streaming, over everything else?
We could write an entire article, probably a short novel even, about the importance of viewership and streaming. What a coincidence, we did write one. Feel free to have a read, but for now we need to get back to the point of this article, great local Counter-Strike teams.
Mythic Gaming lost out to Ventus Red in the Emerald Showdown final, which makes them potentially the best CS:GO team in South Africa outside of the Masters. If you completely forget that Bravado isn’t part of the Masters anymore.
“Ventus Red improved massively since the addition of Dean “tkz” Fleming and they really just played a lot better as a team in the final. They were more prepared than us and it showed in game.
There were some communication issues on our side during the final but we had a meeting afterwards and are more motivated than ever to improve as players and as a team and to come back stronger than ever.
There is a quote that says, ‘A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing grows there’. I feel that we reached a comfort zone by going on a huge winning streak and now that it has finally ended we are forced out of our comfort zone and forced to look at things from a different perspective and grow.”
Now that is very well put. It’s possibly the most poetic quote we’ve ever got. If that’s a taste of how SNx gives his team pep talks then we’re pretty sure they’re going on to do great things.
Mythic are a team, and MGO, on the rise and by now they must be eyeing a DGL Masters spot next year. Now that they’ve qualified for the Masters Wildcard Qualifier they will get a chance to prove that’s where they belong.
That brings us nicely onto our last point: Which teams SNx thinks we should look out for in the Sapphire qualifiers.
“Well it all depends on if Bravado is going to compete in these cups.”
See, haven’t forgotten about them. The boys in blue wanting to win a blue qualifier seems like a logical conclusion to make, so we’re confident they’ll be there.
“When we looked at the bracket we knew that the Ventus Academy White and Fat Cloud games were going to be the toughest other than the final. I would say the toughest match we had up until the final was the Fat Cloud match, although we beat them 2-0. They have a lot of very skilled individual players and with more time together they will be a force to be reckoned with.
I think teams to watch out for are the Ventus Academy teams and Ventus Black, ALG, Fat Cloud Gaming, WRG.Academy and The Gucci Boyz. Any of these teams are capable of making it to the final and even winning the cup.”
The Emerald cups produced some quality CS:GO from teams hoping to show that, although they’re not in the Masters league, they are certainly masters of their craft. And according to SNx, there are going to be even more sides to look out for in the Sapphire cups. Plus a few lucky (read: unlucky) teams will get the chance to show their worth against Bravado Gaming.
The Sapphire Proving Ground kicks off this evening, be sure to check it out. If you can find a stream. Telkom DGL we’re looking at you.