Bravado Gaming is one of the oldest eSports Organizations in the country and has created more than just a clan for gamers to be a part of, but a brand name aiming to actively grow eSports in South Africa.
While many claim to be doing so, few actually do things to help bring our dream of earning a living in gaming closer to a reality. This organisation started up in 2002 with a Counter-Strike team and has grown to have six top competing teams in various competitive titles. These include Call of Duty 4 the team of which is now competing in an international tournament, Starcraft 2, Battlefield 3, Modern warfare 3, Dota 2 and Quake Live. Bravado’s CoD4, BF3 and MW3 teams are all currently ranked top of the Do Gaming Champions Cups.
This organisation has and is still competing at the top level in the country online and at LAN. They are currently sponsored by PLUGG, Roccat and IS Gaming and regularly host give-aways of awesome gaming merchandise and even games.
Bravado’s success however isn’t a thing of the present, they have enjoyed years of being on top and working hard to keep it that way. The thing that impresses me most about this organisation however is their recent initiative to create opportunities for aspiring eSports journalists to be paid for their writing. Instead of just expecting gamers to give their time and efforts for free, Bravado proceeds to change the way we view this kind of work in our country and add value to it.
Just last month, the organisation advertised for three new positions in their team, all of which are paid positions. I decided to talk to one of the owners Andreas ‘Cent’ Hadjipaschali, a well known name in our community about their website and paying journalists to be a part of the team.
Bravado has decided to pay journalists to write for its website, why did you decide to take this approach?
Bravado Gaming wants to be a professional computer gaming brand (following) for competitive gamers in South Africa. In order to do this we require commitment and dedication. The dedication is always there between writers and staff but the question is, is it consistent?
I think there’s a fine line between dedication towards what you love doing and consistency (even though they may sound/mean the same, just think about it ;))
In order to keep people motivated and consistent it’s important that you show these people that you can do something for them and not just expect the world from them. Bravado Gaming started with a small compensation system for writers and staff and I can tell you, every time we gain the opportunity to grow, we grow the compensation as well.
Working for free vs. paid services
Do you think it’s fair for eSports organisations to expect gamers to cover their competitive field for free?
Yes and No. Yes because it’s really hard to start a gaming organization (ask me about it) to maintain it and to grow it. Money doesn’t fall off trees and neither do products but its something you need to work hard for in the beginning to be able to grow it into something that will be able to offer something back to those people. And those people need to understand this.
Considering that there isn’t much training for young journalists that are interested in this kind of thing, do you think it’s worth paying them with their limited experience?
Yes. Grammar and Spelling can be fixed. What cannot be bought is the gaming experience and knowledge that someone has gathered of, over the past ten years. There’s a saying that goes something like this “you can’t buy happiness”.
Many local clans or eSports organisations struggle to direct traffic to their websites. What has been the response to Bravado’s site?
The response has been amazing: tens of thousands of unique visitors, millions of hits crazy search results and lots of sources. So far so good and its not stopping anytime soon. At least, not until we reach our objectives (and that never ends because we like to keep innovating).
What have been some of the most recent challenges in running a successful eSports organisation and website?
I don’t know where to start. Spitting blood, emotions, stress and the list goes on…
To put everything into perspective, you need to grab A, you need to grab C and give them a reason to follow B. I can write a whole essay on each of those points.
What are the most immediate future goals for Bravado?
To expand the gaming brand and possibly move into a few more ventures.
For the short term we are concentrating on trying to get our players on the international scale, offer more offers and sponsorships, more compensation and setting an example and reason to the South African gaming market on why its so cool to become a professional e-gamer.
Included with these is our profit side of things, which will aid our growth and help us move from strength-to-strength. This includes our specialized gaming e-store which will offer a variety of products (some which cannot even be found in South Africa) and a bunch of bravado gear (you’ll just wait and see).
Another venture we are concentrating on is innovative tournaments as well as creating partnerships with some suppliers of the market to offer some awesome events (Wait and see).
There are a few more things in planning, if become, will set the standard for RSA Gamers…forever. I can’t say anything until things are confirmed (As I never like to spill any beans before something is 101% confirmed.).
Any last words?
I would like to give a big shout out to the Bravado Gaming team members (you can view the whole team on our website) all the staff, my partners (Dimitri and Andrew) and most importantly all our followers who have helped us throughout the years to become what we have become.
A big thank you goes to Roccat and PLuGG. Roccat for supplying all our travel expenses, accommodation, servers and peripherals. PLuGG for supplying the whole organization with unshaped bandwidth.
In all the time that I’ve been a part of and known of the local eSports scene I’ve always noticed gamers complaining about how it’ll never take off in S.A and how there aren’t any opportunities, but few of them ever got up and did something about it.
Growing our scene and making it something we can do for a living, whether it is writing or competing is our responsibility. We need to show sponsors that we are worth giving money too and innovate where we can. It is organisations like Bravado that has taken the lead and is a great inspiration and role model for all of us who are serious about eSports. Should people start to follow in their footsteps, it is plausible and possible for our local scene to get where we want it to be.
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Last Updated: May 4, 2017