Last year Telkom announced their new Masters program which saw eight of South Africa’s top MGOs put into a R1 million program which would see support from the Telkom DGL and some major tournaments throughout the year. The DGL ran the CS:GO leg at Cape Town rAge and the Dota 2 leg later in the year at a cinema rigged out for esports. The year culminated with the Masters tournament at rAge in Joburg where the teams competed live in front of an audience at the Dome.
This year quite a bit has changed as the DGL increased the number of teams, increased the prize pool, and added FIFA to the Masters program. There will also be a wildcard playing for each respective title, which gives a chance to one of the team not in the program to make it via a tournament process.
The DGL updated the public on their upcoming changes via yesterday’s press release:
Following the success of last year’s DGL Masters, DGL is thrilled to announce that the total cash prize pool for the 2017 Masters Program will be close to R1,5 Million. This means that each title (CSGO and Dota 2) Final will have a prize pool of R550,000.
This figure does not include the two Masters Cups planned for earlier in the year, with each tournament to offer an incredible R110,000 respectively.
After tremendous feedback, we’ve decided to reach out to the console community and take the Masters to the next level with FIFA 17! The two FIFA tournaments will have a combined prize pool of R120,000.
The tournament is open to all FIFA players in South Africa who will be able to attend either-of-two planned Masters events for the year and compete in-front of a live audience for the mantle of Masters champion.
With this added investment, the DGL is determined to support the online gaming community across all spheres; casual, semi-professional and professional gaming. We look forward to another incredible year of DGL Masters action.
The addition of FIFA was met with some widespread criticism, especially from the CS:GO and Dota 2 players. They felt the inclusion of an esport which is nowhere near as popular as the other two esports is only taking away the financial benefit and growth of the respective titles. However, the inclusion of FIFA is great for the end goal of South African esports. FIFA is a recognizable game amongst gamers across the country; everyone knows what FIFA is whether it’s the actual organization or the game. Everyone knows football, and the player base for FIFA is much more diverse compared to other esports titles. When looking at growth, the inclusion of a game like FIFA will bring in an entire new market of gamers to the competitive side of gaming, a market which has up till now competed on their couch against friends.
While the inclusion of FIFA in the Masters does seem like a big leap, some still feel the DGL should have put emphasis on FIFA through the Championship circuit before joining the Masters. FIFA has existed in the Championship for a year, but last year the success of Kwese’s FIFA tournament proved that it could be worthwhile.