A couple of weeks ago we received a Facebook message from Fabio ‘Artdepartment’ Viveiros asking how to get a Multi-Gaming Organisation featured on Good Luck Have Fun. Our answer was: We like to profile MGOs that bring something new to the South African esports scene or give us a new perspective on the role of an MGO.
Fabio then told us about Evolution Esports, the MGO he planned to launch and the reasons he was doing it. With one sentence he won us over.
“I just want to make a space where people can come and get coaching and scrims and boot camps (when feasible) to increase their skills and help them make a name for themselves in the different scenes.”
More specifically, he wants to create said space for younger gamers who currently aren’t being exposed to the wider South African esports scene.
Evolution Esports isn’t Fabio wanting to make a name for himself and become an esports superstar whose actions per minute bring all the boys, or girls, to the yard. It isn’t vanity disguised as a hollow promise to help the local esports scene grow.
He’s spent time coaching high school Dota and he’s recognised there is a real need for someone to step in and bridge the gap between those players and the rest of South African esports. So that’s what he’s going to do.
The message we received on Facebook was a raw, straight-from-the-heart kind of dream. Since then Evolution have honed their plan and now, they’ve got a mission.
“To bring a greater awareness to the SA esports scene and to give players a platform to practice, learn and grow in whichever title and platform they choose.
The youth are everything. In any aspect in life if you want something to grow, get the youth interested in it. If we just keep trying to grow esports from the top it won’t grow much in the future. Get the youth involved and interested to help bring new talent to the scene. Maybe some unknown kid who could be the next Castaway could join your team, you never know.”
How great is it that he referenced a local esports player instead of an international one? We’ll tell you: It’s so great.
When we asked Fabio if he thought the current state of local esports was supporting the transition of players from school to the broader esports scene in South Africa, he said:
“No, it’s sad really. After my Dota team’s first loss this year I told them to watch the upcoming White Rabbit Gaming’s Masters game and every one of them responded with: ‘Who’s that?’ They have been playing in the MSSA for a whole year before I started coaching them, but they haven’t heard of WRG? *whatface*”
Sometimes a facial expression says what words can’t, we totally get it.
“I don’t really blame the kids or the MSSA for this. I blame the organisation owners and tournament hosts for not going out of their way to go to schools and introduce themselves or advertise what they do or even promote their events at schools.
It will probably never happen due to there being no return for them, but honestly I think the ‘big’ organisations should go to schools or hold events for scholars to attend that can spread this awareness. No one can learn about something or even discover something if we (the community) don’t create awareness for it.
In the future this will become something that Evolution deals with, spreading awareness and introducing potential players into the scene.”
Imagine Mettlestate’s recent Dota 2 #JoinTheLegion event skinned for high school students only. And in a range of esports titles.
ACGL (or Zombiegamer) already hosts school events, imagine they could get the top MGOs to attend and engage with the kids.
It’s in everyone’s interest to grow the playerbase and fanbase of esports in South Africa, so why wouldn’t MGOs want to get involved in events like these? Why wouldn’t event hosts want to host them?
Evolution Esports isn’t waiting around, they know what needs to be done and they’ve already got some goals they’re working towards.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to host a youth team with an age restriction to force players to move on to better things, while offering those in the team coaching, competition and leagues with the top teams in SA. And just provide exposure to esports and into the very competitive and serious side of it.
A personal mission of mine since joining the high school Dota 2 leagues is to hold workshops in high schools around SA with South Africa’s top players from different gaming titles by 2019. I want them to come with us to introduce the kids at the schools to esports and to help them learn about and improve in the games.”
With all this talk of schools and esports your minds are undoubtedly drifting towards South Africa’s esports elephant in the room. That’s not a comment about how big the MSSA is or isn’t, it’s just a simple idiom.
It’s no secret that there is bad blood between the MSSA and the larger (GLHF: Please don’t sue us.) esports scene. This feud isn’t just utterly unconstructive to the growth of South African esports, it’s actively hindering the development of our younger gamers. And that’s not okay.
But Fabio believes the MSSA, as an organisation, isn’t as bad as their press releases and blog posts make them appear.
“[The MSSA] do an okay job of it, I mean communication between them and school teams could be better but that’s a little bump that can be ironed out easily. The only problem with the MSSA is they do not want to believe that they are no longer the biggest contributor to SA esports, they try hold that to their name like it means something (which it doesn’t) when they could collaborate with the likes of Mega8, VS Gaming, Mettlestate or ACGL.
The problem is not the MSSA or the SA Gaming community. It is one, maybe two rotten apples in the MSSA’s basket that will keep this divide going for a long time, and until the unnamed person has left the organisation I doubt MGO’s in SA will want to be affiliated with them.
I don’t know where they have gone wrong but in a year of working in the MSSA and after two years of dealing with the MSSA all I can say is they have to sort out their internal issues before they will be able to win the community back.”
2017 has seen so many good, nay, incredible things happen in the local esports scene. But if we’re honest, we’ve neglected younger gamers because we just don’t want to deal with the admin and the resulting fights that come with playing near the MSSA.
Thankfully, Fabio has had enough. And like he did with the start of Evolution Esports, it’s time we put on our big boy, or girl, pants and get proactive about our solutions. For the kids.
Evolution will start out competing in Dota, because that’s Fabio’s jam, and FIFA, because everyone loves FIFA. No doubt they’ll be on the lookout for more teams and players to join their ranks in the coming months. So don’t hide yo kids, tell them about Evolution Esports.