Esports all the rage this weekend

05 October 2017 - 13:14 By Scott Peter Smith
Dimitri Hadjipaschali from Bravado Gaming's CS:GO team prepares before a match at Rage Cape Town, 2016.
Dimitri Hadjipaschali from Bravado Gaming's CS:GO team prepares before a match at Rage Cape Town, 2016.
Image: Scott Peter Smith

In what is a growing highlight at the annual Rage Expo in Johannesburg, esports is due for an even bigger presence at the expo this weekend. 

While the regular revelers would have noticed a fresh esports move onto the main exhibition floor at the TicketPro Dome with esports last year with the then called, Telkom Masters CS:GO and Dota2 tournaments, this year sees a new addition and international interest with the ESL African Championship. 

Originally the Electronic Sports League, this esports company organises competitions worldwide and has recently set its sights on Africa. 

The ESL arena will host the ESL African finals, where the top two teams from the South African and North African group stages will battle it out to be crowned Africa’s ESL CS:GO champion.

An esports CS:GO player prepares before a match.
An esports CS:GO player prepares before a match.
Image: Scott Peter Smith

With seating for many eager South African esports fans, visitors will be able to watch all the live action on big screens in front of the stage.

Kwesé will also be bringing two well-known international casters to Rage: Lauren ‘Pansy’ Scott and Jason ‘Moses’ O’Toole. World-renowned in the international esports scene, the two will lend their casting abilities and trademark style to the talent deck of the grand finale, alongside a host of local commentators, panelists and analysts.

‘Pansy’ is a 27-year-old British nationalist, contracted to ESL, who has been involved in esports for over 10 years, while ‘Moses’ started his professional career at the very young age of 16, playing for United 5 in North America. Their attendance at Rage is much-anticipated and shows just how successfully esports is taking off in South Africa.

The Telkom Masters tournament, now run as VS Gaming will still be holding their CS:GO Masters Championship in the main arena. 

The organisers of Rage created a breakaway esports event earlier this year in Sandton in what Lauren Das Neves‚ marketing manager for Rush‚ NAG and Rage called an, "experiment".

Rage, brought to you by VS Gaming, is South Africa’s biggest annual video gaming, computer, technology and geek culture exhibition. This year it takes place between 6 and 8 October. Over the course of the weekend tens of thousands of enthusiastic fans descend on the venue for three days of gaming, technology, gadgets, and geek lifestyle entertainment.

According to the Newzoo Global Esports Market Report 2017‚ the global esports market is fast growing into a multimillion-dollar industry‚ with an estimated year-on-year growth of 43 percent in 2017 to US$696-million‚ and an estimated audience of 385 million people.