Up and coming: Veneration eSports

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Veneration eSports

When MGO’s (Multi Gaming Organisations) were all the rage in the good old days, it was pretty much just clans with more than one team claiming the title,  but not really living up to what an MGO was supposed to be. Most were fly-by-nighters and others just disappeared. But 2013 is the year of the eSports Organisation and now gamers are doing it right, for real. Veneration eSports is one of the clans or communities taking on the task of creating a real MGO and making good progress.

We had a chat with Veneration eSports’ owner, CEO, CO, main man Alex “XaXas” van der Merwe to find out more about this up and coming gaming organisation. Why Veneration eSports? Well, this MGO has over 80 members and teams competing in seven titles in the Do Gaming League, rather  successfully so. They run a tight ship and prove not to be one of those dormant clans boasting high numbers but low activity. Here’s what van der Merwe had to say.

How has Veneration eSports gone from two small clans merging, to 83 members and teams competing across seven titles in the DGL?

Well it was no easy task, Veneration grew from LOA-Legion of Anubis and SCG-Spartan Company Gaming, and both clans played on separate disciplines. LOA was mainly doing Call of Duty, and Dota and SCG was concentrating on StarCraft 2 and Battlefield 3. I was the co-owner of LOA and from an LOA perspective we’ve tried expanding the team into an MGO multiple times without much success, reason being that we didn’t know much about StarCraft 2 or other disciplines.

So without that knowledge it was hard to find dedicated players to manage that. The same can be said from an SCG perspective, they wanted to expand into a more competitive scene, since they were mainly a casual StarCraft 2 community, rather than a clan. The owner of SCG, Steve “Perdition” French enjoyed his FPS games as much as his RTS games, and in Black Ops 1 he started looking into competitive play and joined the LOA team where he captained the first Veritas team where as I captained Aequitas, this was the first time we met.

Later in the Black Ops NGL season I had to go to the UK for work related experience and during this time Perdition and his wife had their daughter,  so gaming was put on hold for the Veritas team as well as for Perdition, where Aequitas kept going. Modern Warfare 3 saw a new era for LOA and we started a new Veritas team. The Modern Warfare 3 season was very fruitful for LOA where as SCG concentrated on the casual relationship building aspect of SCG, they also entered members into the DGL for a more competitive feel for those members willing.

Later that year (2012) Perdition got back online and approached me, we formed the first team between LOA and SCG members that played Call of Duty 4 under the SCG banner, and things expanded from there, instead of playing under one of the two banners we formed a new VnR MGO.

All of the Veneration eSports teams and individual players perform above average in the games they compete in, how do you get so many dedicated gamers into one MGO?

This really is one of the hardest parts when forming a new unknown team. The Black Ops 2 teams are the same Modern Warfare 3 teams that went over to Black Ops 2. This is mainly players that have been playing together since Black Ops 1, or have been playing in the same community. Same can be said from the StarCraft 2 side, SCG was one of the first, if not only StarCraft 2 communities where players can actually improve their own game and bond with like minded players.

They hosted numerous competitions and events to keep the players interested and willing, so it’s safe to say all the StarCraft 2 players are still proud SCG players. The other titles are still a work in progress and needs a lot of dedication from the admins, we’ve assigned loyal and dedicated members to manage the other titles. They pay a finer detail to each player and team, this helps with relationship building between the admins and players.

At the end of the day all that’s needed is one dedicated captain, our Dota 2 Alpha team is a perfect example. Cookie has invested a lot of time into his team and his players, the whole Alpha team now consists of dedicated players, all who play in the SECS and give as much time to Dota as possible. Another approach we have is that we look for dedicated teams and recruit the whole team instead of building a new team from scratch; this was a technique we used on the Battlefield 3 team as well as Counter-Strike team. These individual teams already have the dedicated players and they’re aimed at winning Do Gaming Championships or at least trying. Having sponsors like Afrihost and Volt Energy Drinks definitely helps a lot as well.

Many up and coming clans fold within the first couple of months, what has been keeping Veneration eSports going?

Multiple factors I’d say, its not necessarily the combination of them all, but if one factor is there then any clan can keep it going. Firstly all our players are dedicated, so even if one stops playing, the rest of the team will get a replacement and continue as normal. Another factor is passion; our admins are a passionate bunch even if I was to step down as leader then another will take my spot.

The admins also need the freedom to do things as they’d like, sure they ask for input but a bit of rope is never a bad thing. 🙂 Even if the admin isn’t involved in gaming itself he’s still a vital aspect if he has the drive to manage teams or competitions. Third factor is that we’re a proud bunch, we want to be seen as one of the top three MGO’s, if not even the best MGO, its this goal that keeps us going, if you want to be the best you’ll have to put in the effort and patience to get there.

What does it take to keep that many clan members organised and dedicated?

Organised captains and organised admins. Also a plus point, 2 of my admins, me included, are perfectionists, which helps a lot! 😛
We literally do daily discussions on Skype about tasks we plan to do, how to do them, when to do them as well as past tasks and where we can improve the next time. It’s a constant relationship building exercise. We don’t have contracts yet, we do however have documents that outline our goals as well as what is expected from each member, be it a normal player, a captain, discipline manager or admin.

What is the expected outcome for Veneration eSports after the Summer Leg Playoffs?

Premier Division teams in the big titles; the minimum requirement for a team to exist is First Division or Premier Division. We’re hoping that our success, not only in the Summer Leg but also late this year will attract more sponsors. At this stage we expect both Black Ops 2 teams to do really well in the Summer Leg Playoffs, Aequitas aims to be top three in Premier Division while bow aims to make Premier Division.

With our StarCraft 2 discipline we’re aiming at getting those new faces into Premier Division. I can single out a lot of StarCraft 2 players from the Titans team but at the end of the day all the VnR StarCraft 2 members are experienced and skilled players able to make First Division or higher.

With the Dota playoffs we’re hoping and positive that Alpha can retain their Premier Division spot, Battlefield 3 team Fusion is looking at getting into First Division. Our FIFA players are already dominating the fields, so all in all our teams that got a spot in the playoffs has the potential to get a higher rank and move a division up, at the end of the year we reckon all our teams will be in Premier Division. 

Who are currently Veneration eSports’ biggest rivals in the DGL?

Our biggest rivals are Bravado and Energy eSports, both MGO’s boast premier teams in all the titles we compete in and their teams are without a doubt top three material in every title. There is however smaller rivals within each title, but on the overall DGL scene it has to be these two.

Is Veneration eSports recruiting?

Yes, we’re always looking for skilled players. Most teams might already be stable teams and not need an extra player. However we’re looking at recruiting a CS: GO team and we’re always on the lookout for StarCraft 2 players ranked high platinum and up, even though we take any StarCraft 2 player willing to learn and put in the effort. We never recruit more than two teams in one title though.

If some one wanted to join the MGO, how would they go about doing so?

They can go through any of our communication mediums, we check them daily and they’re all linked to our personal accounts, so as soon as they spam us we’ll know about it. They can message or post on our Facebook page, email us via our website or send us a tweet via twitter (@VenerationSA).

What are your plans for the future?

Well, by the end of this year we’d like to be known as one of the top MGO’s in the country. With teams in premier division on all titles, if not even having those teams in top three spots.
We’d like to give our teams and players more International exposure as well as gain a hardware/peripheral sponsorship. We’re already associated with the MSSA which opens up a lot of doors for our players, so we’re looking at using that door to its fullest potential.

For a look at Veneration eSports’ members list and teams, check out their Do Gaming League clan page.

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Last Updated: April 5, 2013

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