Following a report by the South China Morning Post, Chinese conglomerate Alibaba are turning to local tournament organizers for assistance in their upcoming World Electronic Cyber Games after a disclosed amount of $22 million being spent on the first competition.
Alisports, a division of Alibaba, hosted the inaugural WESG last year which saw five South African teams qualifying and competing in Dubai with both Bravado Gaming teams heading to China in January to compete in the finals. The regional qualifiers, which took place in Dubai, was an all expenses paid trip for the five teams who attended including a stay in a lavish hotel where the tournament took place. Regional Qualifiers took place all around the world, with Starladder being the tournament host. It’s no surprise that the bill came to $22 million – the prize pool alone was $5.5 million for CS:GO and Dota 2. Alisports have announced that they will be opening up qualifiers for hosts within cities/countries for their second iteration and costs will be shared.
Bravado Gaming CS:GO taking a break at the WESG finals in China.
This opens up a world of opportunity for local tournament hosts as Africa (South Africa) will most likely attend or host their own qualifiers once again. Organisations such as Orena have been heavily involved in international qualifiers, including this weekend’s upcoming ESWC Qualifiers at the Rush Esports Expo. There is a rational fear which has recently been brought to my attention following a Tweet from Zombiegamer writer and esports commentator Chris “Sargon” House who pointed out an email from Mind Sports South Africa lambasting Bravado’s involvement and performance at the previous WESG tournament.
— @SargonDotA2 (@SargonDotA2) July 20, 2017
If Alisports do seek assistance in South Africa, there’s a strong chance that the MSSA will pull rank, like they’ve done with previous competitions who in the end barred South Africa’s involvement after politics and community backlash deterred interest in our region. All we can do it hope and pray that a company like Orena or Mettlestate get the upper hand and secure the qualifiers before our representation is left up to the MSSA.
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Last Updated: July 20, 2017