Code Red, an agency started by esports host Paul “ReDeYe” Challoner, has shown an interest in South Africa since his introduction to our scene last year. Challoner attended the launch of the then Digital Gaming League Masters (now VS Gaming) and the Championships which took place at the rAge expo in October last year. Challoner appeared as a guest host, but it was there that he met the lineup of talent which would soon join his roster on their platform.
Paul “ReDeYe” Challoner and the Masters team owners at the launch of the Masters program.
The purpose of a casting agency is to allow prospective tournament hosts the opportunity to pick from their roster and hire casters accordingly. Upon launch Code Red announced three South African personalities who had joined their organization. They were Sam “Tech Girl” Wright, Barry “Anthrax” Louzada and Chanel “Succubus” Van Der Merwe. Last week Code Red announced six new additions to the team after a number of successful events on our shores.
- Jack “KimJongJack” Mostert (CS:GO)
- haun “Profeci” Murrell (CS:GO)
- Matthew “Haze” Stott (CS:GO)
- Adam “Wham” Postepski (CS:GO)
- Dylan “Dib” Brown (Hearthstone)
- Andrew “PenguinZA” Hodkinson (Hearthstone)
Dib (left) and PenguinZA at the Hearthstone Fireside Gathering which took place at the Rush Esports Expo.
“Code Red is already hugely active in promoting and providing opportunities for South African esports talent, and I’m very happy to be able to add even more future stars to our roster” explained Managing Director Paul Chaloner. “With our strong connections and history in ZA esports, we’re now firmly positioned to be an integral part of the development of the industry. Esports is currently a volatile sector to work in but, for these new signings, we are a stable hand to guide them through all the ups and downs they may encounter in their careers.”
All of the above mentioned broadcasters have been part of the ESL Africa program for both Hearthstone and CS:GO, and the importance of the agency is to create a simple platform for companies to select broadcasters from. Absent from the list is Nathaneal “BurningRed” Slabbert, who is the desk host for ESL Africa CS:GO, who moved across from NavTV when Kwese TV came on board with esports.
Being part of a casting agency has its benefit internationally, but locally I’ve never really seen an importance. South Africa esports is still in its infancy, and our select few broadcasters work on recommendations rather than organisations. Sometimes for smaller tournament hosts (which we’re still dealing with) working through an agency can deter them from seeking out talent for their broadcasts teams. Sometimes these agencies don’t allow their partners to work in their own capacity which could see them being disregarded when it comes to certain competitions. It’s unclear whether Code Red allows their casters to still remain “free agents,” or insist that all booking goes through them.
In South Africa the casting community has come a long way from the early days of fighting for tournaments, and what we’ve built is an extremely close knit community who are adamant in working together and providing opportunities for all. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being part of an organization, but I feel it’s still a little bit too early to really warrant the assistance of an agency. The major plus, of course, is if any of these nine broadcasters who are a part of Code Red are offered the chance to work for an international organisation. That’s the real plus side to these signings.
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Last Updated: August 1, 2017