Here at Good Luck Have Fun we’re all about growing local esports and theory crafting about how to take the next step as a scene. One of the best ways to do that is to look outwardly at what the other more established scenes are doing and flat out just copy them. When you do that, one thing that stands out internationally is that teams have far more than just one big tournament to look forward to every year.
As a growing industry, it stands to reason that South Africa hasn’t had multiple million rand tournaments yet, but we’ve reached a point where the local scene is desperate for more. Interest in gaming and esports isn’t going to disappear or even decrease any time soon.
It’s almost becoming a necessity to have an additional major tournament in this country; there is too much happening around rAge and not enough during the rest of the year. The hype train needs some earlier stops and with the DGL finals usually happening around October, there is almost an entire year of dates for brands to pick to try and upstage them.
While we should acknowledge and be grateful for the fact that the DGL Masters exists at all, like a young buck entering our awkward teenage years, we need to be aware that the scene is changing. Things are growing, we’re getting increasingly embarrassed by our overbearing parents, but our opportunities to do new and exciting things are also increasing by the day and we need to embrace that.
Someone who might sometimes be confused for an overbearing parent, but is actually more of a cool uncle, is nAvTV and MSI’s Miles Regenass. Here’s what he’s got to say on the matter.
“What we need to do in SA is what the Europeans and the Americans do: There’s no one single event. Unfortunately [in South Africa] careers are built and made around October and what happens at rAge with Masters and Telkom. And that’s historically always been like that.
But with the rise of Mega8 and the continuation of Orena and nAv, we’re going to see events this year for Counter-Strike and Dota 2 that are just as big as Masters in terms of how they’re presented.
So the teams need to change the thought process of, ‘We’re working on this long road to this big final event at the end of the year.’
No, you’re not. You’re trying to do as well as you can at every single event that you show up at. And every single event you show up at is just as important as the one you were just at or the one you’re going to go to after.
That attitude needs to change in the teams. Because I think a lot of guys will lose an event, like the Vodafest Mall, they’ll place 3rd and they’ll just be like, ‘Well we got some money and we placed 3rd, but if we keep working this way then we can win at Masters.’”
For those of you that follow international esports, you’ll be well aware of the hype-fest that precedes most tournaments. They don’t all have million dollar plus prize pools, but they’re all treated like they’re a big deal. It’s almost impossible to keep track of everything that’s going on, almost, but it’s damn exciting all the same.
“If you look at the international teams, they’re going from Masters to Masters. ‘This is the one we have to win’, and then they lose it and go back to the drawing board and they work out what it is. And they go to the next thing and they’re like, ‘Okay we’ve got to win this, this is how we’re going to win it’.
We see in South Africa this massive move of players right after Masters, and a couple of the teams did a few player moves throughout the year, but consistently in South Africa, October happens and then all the teams go back to the drawing board on their rosters and stuff. And what we need to see is more thought put towards rosters throughout the year.”
While it’s all well and good talking about how nice it would be to have more big events every year, it’d be a pretty pointless exercise in hot air blowing if nothing was actually being done about it, but we’ve got some good news on that front too.
“I think it’s a fair warning to everybody, if you’re going to want to be part of esports in 2017 and you’re not hanging up your esports gloves, it’s going to be really, really busy. There is going to be a lot of work to do. There are going to be some tough decisions to make, because I think there are going to be more events than some of these teams can actually attend.”
And that is a good thing, because if teams need to pick and choose events then tournament organisers are going to have to think of new and creative ways of making their event unmissable, which will lead to better tournaments for players, fans and sponsors.