Forging And Raising The South African Esports Bar

Forging And Raising The South African Esports Bar

May 10, 2017
in Category: Articles, CS:GO
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Forging And Raising The South African Esports Bar

Last weekend, while most South Africans were going about their daily routines, Barry ‘Anthrax’ Louzada and the rest of the MettleState team were forging the new bar for local esports.

The average Joe and Josephine walking the streets of Sandton would have had no idea that three levels above them the Samsung Galaxy CS:GO Championship finished with a bang as Bravado’s Detrony put a Tec-9 bullet into the head of Energy’s kaNibalistic and eight of South Africa’s top Counter-Strike teams each walked away with a share of R1million.

We say it was three levels above them, we assume this because the place was called Level Three. Unfortunately we weren’t actually there in the flesh, or IRL as us gamers would say, because for some reason esports organisations insist on having events in Joburg, even though Cape Town has been voted the greatest city in the entire world numerous times by us at Good Luck Have Fun.

We’ll forgive them this time around, it was their first event after all. So let’s move inside and talk about the actual event. Elements of the MettleState LAN setup looked decidedly international, which is probably the highest praise for local esports at the moment. Our personal (GLHF: Website-al? Medial? Newsal? How do you personify a website?) favourite were the screens in front of the players. Mmmmm! With an exclamation mark even, and we don’t throw those around lightly.

Speaking of the players, you may recall an interview we did with Miles Regenass at the start of the year where we talked about some things to get right in 2017. Top of the list was taking care of the players. Providing flights, accommodation, feeding them, watering them and basically just giving them an environment where they don’t have to worry about anything but playing their best. MettleState are the first ones in South Africa to get all of that right. And according to Miles, that’s even more important than the prize pool.

It certainly didn’t go unnoticed by the teams.


Or the players.

MS Detrony

MS Schizzy

Or 5fm DJ Rob Forbes, who has undoubtedly been to hundreds of events and can probably tell a good one from a dud. Probably.

MS Rob Forbes

Having Rob host the event was a great strategic idea, viewership wise, because it gets word out about local esports, and the Samsung Galaxy CS:GO Championship in particular, to a massive audience who know very little about the South African esports scene. Or esports in general.

But as nice as Rob’s tweet was, he was paid to be there, so we’re going to have to look elsewhere to get some thoughts that aren’t tainted by money. Luckily for us, we found someone who is also a veteran of attending events, particularly esports events, James ‘zerOchaNce’ Wijnberg from Flipsid3 Tactics. Previously of Aperture Gaming, Energy eSports and Pixel Massaker.


“The event was really awesome. The most professional setup I’ve competed at locally.


Small things [can be improved]: I think the chairs could have had armrests and the observer, from a spectator point of view, could have been a lot better, many key moments were missed in my opinion after watching VODs.


But the vibe was awesome, they looked after us really well. If Barry and the crew continue in the direction they are going, I can only see more success and better tournaments. Really was impressive to witness what they achieved this weekend. Hats off to them.”

While the event was undeniably a success, not everyone enjoyed Anthrax and Vudulew’s casting of games, but if we posted a picture of the Facebook thread here you’d be scrolling down until you hit Antarctica. So we’ll give you the brief version. Someone thinks their casting should be more professional and less childish. Other people think it’s great. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. The end.

Personally, we enjoy the creative wordplay and relaxed approached Anthrax and Vudulew employ in their casting, it adds entertainment to the experience over and above the CS:GO on show. For people who are new to CS:GO, or esports in general, this style probably eases them into it a bit more than a heavily analytical or detail oriented cast. But again, that’s just another opinion.

The one thing we didn’t love from the weekend was the analyst area. Not the analysts themselves, but the space they were in. It just felt like they were shoved off to the side a bit and not part of the action. It certainly didn’t look as good as their space in the MettleState studio. And if you’re going to have windows behind them, then you should definitely be having your events in Cape Town where the view is so much better. Please come to Cape Town. Please?

But enough of our thoughts, let’s hear what the the boss man himself, el hefe Anthrax, thought about the weekend’s goings on.


“I really felt, and not only during this weekend but throughout the entire tournament, that all the teams involved really stepped up their game. They really started to feel like they were being treated like professional teams and that is how it should be in my opinion.


Every single person involved was there for the passion of esports, not just the players but the talent and people behind the scenes. If this weekend was our first attempt as to what we can do, I get goosies at the thought of what we are going to be doing next.


There will always be things to improve on and my personal list is long and detailed, but it is nothing that anyone will notice from the outside. We need a bigger venue though.”

Being the hard-hitting journalists that we are, we dug a little deeper into the next MettleState event and we are very excited to tell you that Anthrax is:

“Working on some things.”

Sorry, we did try. Guess we’re all going to have to wait and see what’s next. We have no doubt it will only get bigger (GLHF: Because Anthrax said so.) and better. And chairs will have armrests.


P.S. Sorry Ventus broke your hearts Geemax and Tiny.

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