Lets start first by congratulating Ghost Squad Alpha on what most people are calling a “surprise win”, all the games played were very close and on any given day it could have gone either way, but the circumstances in which the finals were played were far from perfect.
As a competitor in what is essentially South Africa’s highest form of console gaming competition and these being the finals held at the largest gaming expo we have here, you wouldn’t be insane for expecting to see maybe a little bit of spectacle, some professionalism and a sense that there was a official presence about. Unfortunately this was not so.
I must say I was rather surprised when I eventually found the dark, dingy corner upstairs where the finals were being held. The surprise then led to disappointment when I saw the competitors were setting up all the consoles and screens themselves. As for where any kind of official Agasa personnel where at this point was a mystery.
Unfortunately the problems had only just started, firstly there were not enough consoles, or copies of the game, Minem (the man tasked with organising the final) managed to make a plan to get them organised, well he actually had to go buy them himself. Then what was probably the largest problem surfaced, none of the competitors had any sound… Yes that’s right the teams competing in the final did so with no sound what so ever. This is gears of war, sound is really important. Coupled with a host of smaller problems such as console updates and controllers going flat mid game, overall I’d say it was a bit of a disaster.
Finally the prizesâ€¦ Firstly there were no medals, why, the top 3 teams received medals last year, this is the same competition, where were the medals? First place received a R1000 Zaps voucher to share, 3months live subscription each and a copy of gears 2 on launch each, second place received a R800 rand gamexchange voucher to share and third place got well, third place got nothing, talk about winner takes all.
Overall unfortunately it was poor effort, marred by organisational issues and poor preparation.In the end the teams had fun though and a winner emerged, lets just hope next year things change for the better and that the teams in the finals are given the experience they deserve for the hard work that got them there.
The results were as follows:
First: Ghost Squad Alpha
Tied at third: “Jimmy and the Evil Alpacas”(as sponsored by Lazygamer.co.za) and Capital Punishment
Last Updated: October 6, 2008