rAge was South Africa’s most important esports event to date

6 min read
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This was weekend was the annual rAge expo, a gaming event which sees South Africa’s biggest gaming companies head to the Ticket-Pro Dome in South Africa to showcase the latest games, technology, gadgets, and more over the entire weekend. Over the past few years, rAge has slowly become the place for South Africa’s top esports events including the long-running Digital Gaming Champions (now VS Gaming) and other, newer, additions.

For the past nine years, the Digital Gaming Championships have run downstairs where over 400 of South Africa’s up and coming esports stars end their competitive year in the online league. As far back as 2014, esports began making its way up from the basement on to the expo floor finding spots at specific booths for the finals of big competitions. In 2016 VS Gaming (then the Digital Gaming League) built their first big stage on the expo floor which saw the championships for the both the Dota 2 and CS:GO Masters Series. The Call of Duty World League endorsed championships by ACGL also offered a stage, and this was just the beginning. Now that esports had laid the groundwork, 2017 brought a whole new world of esports to the rAge expo making it the most exciting esports event thus far in our short history.

Kwese Gamer

Kwese Gamer, one of South Africa’s newest tournament hosts, brought Hearthstone, Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to  the expo floor this year with the ESL African Championships occupying most of the weekend’s events. The ESL African Championships had an impressive main stage where the CS:GO action took place, connected to a Hearthstone Fireside Gathering setting for their own championships.

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energy

Two teams from North Africa and two from South Africa took center stage on Friday and Saturday for the ESL Africa Championships. Bravado Gaming and Energy Esports took comfortable wins over their North African counterparts on the Friday earning themselves a spot in Saturday’s grand final. We’d been here before, an Energy and Bravado final, but this time Energy Esports shocked CS:GO fans as they completely tore through Bravado taking home one of the largest prize pools in local CS:GO history. Energy Esports, who had consistently lost to Bravado Gaming throughout the year, gave the boys in blue a taste of their own medicine as they took the grand final 3-0 making them the Champions of Africa.

The ESL main stage was an impressive feat, showing off the best of esports at the rAge expo. Despite a few technical difficulties on day one, the ESL Africa Championship was a massive success, one that will set the pace for future live tournaments.

VS Gaming

This year marked the 9th consecutive year that the VS Gaming appeared at the rAge expo. 2017 was their second showing on the main expo floor, and welcomed eight of South Africa’s top CS:GO teams to compete for R550,000. After a successful championship at EGE in July, the CS:GO Masters Championship was one of VS Gaming most successful events to date. What was most exciting about the CS:GO Championship was that neither Bravado Gaming or Energy Esports attended, meaning a new champion would be made. Many knew, coming into the competition, that it would Damage Control’s turn to shine, and they did not disappoint. Damage Control ran straight through every single team on an incredible unbeaten streak to take the Grand Final 3-0 against Veneration Esports. Damage Control is one of South Africa’s oldest MGOs and it has been several years since they took a championship at rAge.

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dc
Damage Control lift the VS Gaming Masters Trophy – VS Gaming

The overall event was a huge success as it ran flawlessly from start to finish. Their main stage, like ESL, was a spectacle at the rAge expo making the decision for CS:GO fans tough when choosing which main stage to spend their time at. Luckily, despite conflicting venues, the VS Gaming Masters ran until the Sunday where the final began at 10:00AM, meaning fans of local CS:GO could sit and enjoy a final day of esports action.

The events which took place this past weekend have already set the pace for 2018, meaning rAge 2018 will undoubtedly be an even bigger esports spectacle. It was rather unfortunate that scheduling conflicts meant all our top CS:GO teams couldn’t attend the same competition, but the action delivered at both stages was special in many ways and the silver lining is that we now look forward to an extremely jam-packed 2018 calendar which will undoubtedly culminate at the rAge expo once again.

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Last Updated: October 10, 2017

Kyle Wolmarans

Critical Hit’s esports guy. I talk about esports and drink whiskey. I also write and cast for elsewhere – but my work here is independent of that.

  • I can’t imagine both of these companies existing in 12 months to be honest. So much money being spent with such a small audience.

    • Frik van der Hewerskink

      Probably have some beefy sponsors

    • Magoo

      It’s also streamed to a few thousand.

      • it really isn’t. I generally watch and it rarely if ever breaks 400

        Nevermind that budgets in the R20m+ need a lot more than a FEW thousand to justify them.

        • Magoo

          Why do you have to go and bring logic into this >.>

          • because apparently the esports people locally can’t figure this out?

        • But but but, Telkom saw the money train CHOOOOO CHOOOOOO 😉

    • Craig “CrAiGiSh” Dodd

      Investing into the future?

    • Trevor Morley

      the stats from Kwese about the total ESL viewership is pretty impressive

  • The CS:GO finals was pretty good with Energy esport making Bravado sweat. The stage was looking fabulous as well. Even though my butt was numb from camping a chair for 2 hours just to get a seat, the experience will not be forgotten xD

  • Jacques Van Zyl

    I enjoyed watching these stages over the weekend, and there really is a lot of money being thrown into these tournaments… But where are the fighting games at? Not even Orena did anything for the FCG at rAge, instead opting to host a PUBG tournament.

    Where is the love?

    • There was an Injustice Tournament at rage.. kinda hiding around the corner but it was there

      • Jacques Van Zyl

        Completely missed that. 😐 Here’s hoping the next event will have a bit more visible presence.

  • Edward Baum

    This was awesome! Glad I invested into Unikoingold where I can use that to bet on players on Unikrn.

    http://www.esportsinsider.com/2017/10/unikoingold-becomes-largest-ever-gaming-esports-token/

  • noice.

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