Mettlestate was very mysterious for a long time. They had us looking at every link they posted, desperate to try and find out what they were all about. We even watched an entire Tech Girl video about CS:GO observers because we were tricked into believing she’d tell us what Mettlestate was. She did not. Sam, we’re not mad. We’re just disappointed.
A lot of you probably tuned into the Mettlestate launch, so you’ve got some idea what it’s all about. If you didn’t here’s what the kids would describe as the 411 from their site:
“Mettlestate is a multi-gaming and esports organisation in South Africa. We offer a platform for online and live LAN League Tournaments and short-term gaming competitions, with the aim of catering to all skill sets within SA.
Mettlestate has a state of the art studio purpose built to broadcast esports tournaments. We proudly boast broadcasting quality equipment and dedicated shoutcasting, observer and production stations.”
You can see said studio above. It’s sexy.
But that’s the stuff anyone can find. We wanted to dig deeper, so we got in touch with the man who started Mettlestate and recently described himself as not bad looking and not in possession of a basement, Barry ‘Anthrax’ Louzada. Let’s start with the question all kids learn at the age of four: Why?
“Why? Well because for the last 15 years of my esports career I have felt that there is something I can do here, there is value that can be added to this. My vision, coming from a competitive background, is to increase the awareness of esports for the teams and the players. People outside of this community need to see this and perhaps even love this sport as much as I do.
The idea is to up the level of production and prize money, for a start. I want to make esports more professional by creating a professional environment in South Africa for both gamers and talent alike.”
Fifteen years in an industry that hasn’t paid much at all so far, certainly not in the earlier days, is a hell of a good effort. He’s put in his time. Done his bit to grow the South African esports scene. So had Barry decided to call it quits and move on to a more established, better paying, secure career path, well that would have been just fine. But Barry’s not about fine. He wants the best. And he wants to give us all the best too.
We mentioned the Mettlestate launch a few paragraphs north of here. We were impressed with it and here’s why: They didn’t overcomplicate things. They had a nice pre-show, very reminiscent of a Premier League football pre-game show, with a host and two expert guests. They gave us some good info in the build up to the game itself. And then they got on with the games nice and speedy like.
But that’s just our humble opinion. How did Barry think it went?
“I thought the launch was pretty successful, ultimately we have some things we need to look at and tweak but mainly it went down pretty smoothly. The last round not being played was not ideal but those issues have already been resolved. I guess I’d always want everything to go perfectly, but not even ESL manages to always pull that off at this point.
Obviously the idea is to have hundreds and thousands of viewers tuning in but at the moment we know that that in itself is going to be something that is going to take some hard work, along with consistently putting out a top quality, entertaining and educational production.”
Like we said, he wants the best.
If you happened to catch the end of the launch, or have been on the South African gaming parts of the internet at all since then, you’ll know they then dropped the million rand CS:GO tournament bomb. It was a bit light on details, but don’t you worry, we’ve got them for you.
“There will be an online round robin and qualifier that will start from the 13th of March 2017 and ends on the 24th of April 2017. We will have a LAN final in Johannesburg which will be from the 5th of May 2017 to the 7th of May 2017. Spectators will be able to purchase tickets to come and watch.”
Well we’ve got some more details for you, not all of them.
With such a large prize pool there are going to be some people out there desperate to get their hands on it. People have robbed banks for less money. Maybe not banks, but stores for sure. In the international scene cheating has been a big issue of late. We asked Mettlestate if they had a plan to deal with this?
“Yeah we have a way of dealing with it, cache me outside how bow dat?”
Ah, that’s a firm “No, thank you”. Have you seen Barry? He’s not the kind of guy you want to catch outside. Sorry, cache outside.
“There are ways and means and if people are caught cheating they will be dealt with accordingly. The same I suppose is true for any organiser out there running tournaments. It is just something we have to be aware of and deal with if and when it happens.
We also have a fairly robust ruleset, so cheaters will be dealt with. It’s also not something the community wants in their midst, so I recommend that everyone play clean.”
We do too. Seriously, you don’t want Barry coming after you. He has tattoos.
So, the question everyone who doesn’t play CS:GO is waiting for: Will Mettlestate be hosting events for other titles? We’ve got good news for you boys and girls.
“There are most definitely other games in the pipeline. We really want to solidify our knowledge and learnings from the CS:GO tournament before we launch other games.”
As your mother always tells you, patience is a virtue. Your time will come. But for now, make sure you support all 24 teams hoping to win big at South Africa’s second ever million rand tournament.
How crazy is that? A few weeks ago we had no idea what Mettlestate was and Barry was just a commentator slash panel host. Now he’s a million rand tournament host. Pat yourself on the back man. We’d do it for you but, you know, you’re in Jozi and we’re in Cape Town.
We’ll wrap things up with the final thing we wanted to know about Mettlestate: How did Barry come up with the name?
“Mettlestate most definitely has a special meaning for me. ‘Mettle’ refers to a person’s ability to cope well with difficulties, and it relates directly to spirit and resilience. We’re inviting players to show us their mettle.
‘State’ refers to the condition or ‘way of being’ that a person is in at any given time. Since I’ve learnt what my optimal state is, it has deeper meaning for me personally, but definitely alludes to the state of mind that players and teams are in, when they’re giving their all in their practices and matches. Or not, as the case may be.”
P.S. If any federal or governmental agencies are reading this article, we know there are references to anthrax, bombshells and robbing of things. It’s not what it sounds like, we promise.