Our most talked about South African eSports team, Bravado Gaming, kicked off 2017 with a back-to-back round trip from the USA to China competing in the ESEA Mountain Dew League and WESG respectively. Bravado won both the South African qualifiers for ESEA but were unable to attend the previous season in Poland due to visa issues. Instead, Bravado continued their dominant streak in 2016 to win the second qualifier and earn their spot and a trip to Los Angeles to play against the pros. They arrived in LA last week, and after a weekend of CS:GO they packed up last night and are ready to make their way to China.
Near the end of 2016 Bravado Gaming had begun to receive international attention after their performance at ESWC in Paris. The team managed to narrowly lose to LDLC, who went on to come second at the games. This gave them all the confidence they needed when they entered their first match on Friday evening versus Team SoloMid, a team of established North American players.
TSM have undergone a number of changes in the past few months which left the opportunity for Bravado Gaming to show them up in their opening match of the tournament. Best of ones are often unpredictable, but we all knew what was going to happen.
The first match on Friday evening against TSM was a highly-anticipated matchup as it would be Bravado’s opening match on North American soil. What happened next was somewhat expected, but unexpected at the same time. Bravado played a perfect game taking down a shaky TSM 16-8. Later that evening Bravado Gaming went on to face LDLC, remembering their performance from ESWC. Bravado, hot off their big win against TSM, went on to face a strong French side who were not going to give Bravado Gaming room like they did at ESWC. LDLC took the match convincingly and now Bravado would have to face Rogue the next day.
Their final game on Saturday was a best of three against Rogue. Bravado were unfortunately outplayed by the team who went on to win the entire tournament losing 2-0 in their elimination match. Nonetheless, Bravado are edging their closer win by win to finally make it onto the international stage for major tournaments.
Off to WESG
It was at the WESG African and Middle Eastern Qualifiers in Dubai where Bravado Gaming initially showed their international strength placing second in the tournament. They were joined by a number of South African teams including their Dota 2 team who qualified for the Global Finals. Bravado were not alone as Edwin “Drager” Williams placed second for Starcraft II, and TheJok3r who placed first in the Hearthstone Qualifiers.
Bravado Gaming will face off against GODSENT in their opening match, arguably one of the strongest teams in the entire competition. Their first game will be at 11:30 AM (GMT+8) on the 12th of January, and you can view the full schedule here.
Bravado Dota 2 also start their campaign on the 12th up against Team DileCom from Peru, a relatively unknown matchup for the team. The Bravado Dota 2 is making use of two players from White Rabbit Gaming to complete their roster, two players who competed alongside Bravado at the Dubai Qualifiers. The full Dota 2 schedule can be found here.
Drager will take on iGXY from China at 16:30 (GMT+8) in the Starcraft II championship, while TheJok3r goes up against CLHuang, also from China, in his opening Hearthstone match on the 13th at 12:30 (GMT+8).
We will update you with the live stream once more information has been released. This is an great start to the 2017 esports calendar and it’s only going to get bigger from here.