Home Gaming Why eSports coverage in South Africa sucks

Why eSports coverage in South Africa sucks

4 min read

this sucks

eSports coverage in South Africa has never really been top tier. By that I mean that if it didn’t come from Do Gaming, it didn’t happen right, or didn’t happen at all. Any other tournaments apart from the Do Gaming leagues hardly ever get coverage and there are some good reasons for it. I started writing about eSports in 2010 and it’s never really been the easiest thing to do; there are many things that journalists struggle with; not to mention the appalling support gamers have shown.

Details, there are none

One of the things that stand in the way of awesome eSports coverage is the fact that tournament organizers give little to no information about their tournaments or the results. Mostly, results are posted in a format that only the players themselves will understand or gamers who compete in that particular title. Now even though, if you want to be an eSports journalist, you’ll have to understand things like that, it’s hard to keep track of every title’s result formats. So now, it’s a matter of decoding what the hell is posted and then trying to make sense of it and then reporting on it and explaining something you don’t fully understand yourself. Once you have the results, that’s really all you have. Team/player A beat team/player B and now what? What happened in the match? Was it intense, were there disputes? No one except the players knows.

People also don’t use full names, so trying to tell readers who it was that won is near impossible. Using various aliases instead of one also makes journalists lose track of who you are.


Most competitive gamers are really hard to reach and a lot of the time, they simply just ignore journalists and refuse to respond at all. If we’re supposed to talk to the players who played in the above mentioned tournaments to find out what happened, how are we supposed to do that if you blatantly ignore us? I’ve had to, on numerous occasions, bug players over and over for responses. This goes for tournament organizers as well, there are very few of them who actually care to let you in on what’s been happening or respond to any questions you might have or even just respond to one question.

So what now?

Not being able to reach players or organizers despite your efforts leaves you with another option; spectating matches IF THEY ARE STREAMED and if it is allowed. Apart from the obvious fact that we as eSports journalists have lives too, it’s not possible to spectate that many games across that many titles. Our jobs like every one else’s takes place during office hours, and being there for all these matches after hours is not only unfair to expect but not even always possible.

Community support

While I’m really grateful for the hand full of Lazygamer readers who make an effort to show support for eSports coverage, I’m really quite disgusted with the competitive community. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, or how hard you try to notify them of the coverage, they just don’t give a rat’s ass. Most of the time, if you’ve had an interview with a player or even feature them on your site, they don’t even bother to comment.

Loyalty to Do Gaming is something  I respect, but if you don’t support other websites as well doing coverage of what you are doing, then how do you expect it to grow? All you have to do is drop a comment, show people that you’ve seen it, like it or dislike it. Something that won’t even take five minutes of your time.

eSports coverage from an outside point of view, and by outside I mean “not part of Do Gaming”, whether it’s playing in the league yourself or being involved with it or working for them, is a really difficult job to do. We really want to hype up the local scene and show our support, but lack of interest from the competitive community and lack of information is making that job suck. I’ve seen many gamers say “but local media should do more coverage”, but how are we supposed to do that if nobody cares to respond or react to it?

There are a couple of sites trying their best to do coverage and to show gamers, pro or not that they are important and there are some organizers who bother to contact the media, but it’s so incredibly minimal, that it just feels pointless. If this is ever going to change, then the community will have to shape up and start showing some real support.

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Last Updated: March 6, 2013


  1. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    March 6, 2013 at 15:37

    Don’t do it little sketched man. All you need in life is some extra color!

    On a more related note: What is the solution then? Does the South African gaming scene really have a solid platform to stand on to allow a more widespread “availability” ?


    • Yolanda Green

      March 7, 2013 at 09:05

      I think the first step is really just to get gamers to be proactive, people have tried setting up platforms and then others just don’t contribute.


      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        March 7, 2013 at 09:24

        I guess. But how do we as gamers be more proactive? That’s the question. What would really work? Showing more enthusiasm for events could help sure. But then you get the problem of no proper platform for reporting on again….


        • Yolanda Green

          March 7, 2013 at 09:51

          Gamers, the competitive community in particular, can start by just commenting on articles. It’s a simple start, but very important 🙂


          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            March 7, 2013 at 09:52

            Guess that’s one way. Mmmm….

      • jGLZA

        March 7, 2013 at 13:22

        I also think that one of the reasons for the slow growth is the number of platforms out there. There are Do Gaming, Main Gaming, Clan Connection, NAG, etc all trying to do the same thing – get competitive gaming off the ground.

        But with so many out there they are splitting not only sponsors (and resources) but players and teams too. Even worse the structures and rules on each platform are different which makes participating in more than one very difficult.

        They share the same interest and goal but are kind of working against each other. 🙁


  2. Sir Captain Rincethis

    March 6, 2013 at 15:42

    Are you meaning to tell me there is no formal main repository of information, and when I say that I don’t mean 1-99 to ROGZIDY, 9-0 to Zorgsplag, for journalists to pull information from? Why bother having events like this it the organizers are not going to release press kits etc? Don’t the sponsors have any clauses in the contracts that ask for widespread dissemination? Because if I was working for Red Bull I’d bloody expect something back from the 1. Player, they are the ones making the money/having fun, 2 the organizers they are making money, only a few do it for the love, and 3 the readers, who need the above to form a connection and a ‘I give a shit’ attitude. Sorry, I think your frustration rubbed off on me…


    • Yolanda Green

      March 7, 2013 at 08:56

      Robert Hart kicked off a South African eSports wiki to collect all the info we can, any one can contribute. It’s just getting people to do so that’s the problem 🙁 Press kits? what’s that? The only people who bother with those are the MSSA.


      • Sir Captain Rincethis

        March 7, 2013 at 09:01

        I would have to say that the organizers are more to blame than gamers like myself. If we can’t access information in an easy manner we won’t, too much out there to have to fight to get it if you know what I mean? I cannot believe they wouldn’t have something as simple as a press release, with images etc to send out.


        • Yolanda Green

          March 7, 2013 at 09:11

          Yeah I get that. Do Gaming for example have their website and you can find info to a certain extent there. But it’s hard to find info from a journo and spectator point of view for other tournaments or events. Access to information is one thing, but if the information isn’t out there at all… makes life hard for every one.


          • Sir Captain Rincethis

            March 7, 2013 at 09:27

            Agreed. How about this, you convince Gavin to pay me the annual income of a small dictatorship, and I’ll follow all these events! I’ll take pictures, record games, and write pithy articles! What say ye?!

  3. Edwin le Roux

    March 6, 2013 at 16:00

    Well that sucks.

    Been lately watching some pro sc2 replays on youtube.
    It is so fun to watch. I so wished that it was a bit more organized.

    The only way I find out anything is through Day9 tv and that’s because he is actually a commentator on big events.

    Other than that, it feels if you weren’t there then tuff for you.


  4. Matt Merks

    March 6, 2013 at 16:02

    It really is a difficult and frustrating thing to get coverage, both from a media point of view and a host point of view. You make a very valid point on the DoGaming Loyalty topic and that is very hard to overcome, seeing 8-16 players enter a tournament(with 5-12 actually pitching) is very disheartening when you know what the scope of the community is actually out there.

    That is why we have seen so many hosts come and go over the last couple of years; the community is sometimes hard to get a hold of. It is very hard to maintain anything if you are not part of a larger entity or are not willing to give up on earning an actual living.

    Monetizing any of this is the hardest part of this whole industry(eSports) and getting what you want as media. Often asking people to work for free is a great option, but it is not something that is sustainable at any level. It is just hard. 🙂 Went off track here, but I understand your plight 😛


  5. Robert Infy Hart

    March 6, 2013 at 16:05

    I see the Do Gaming journalists are not alone in their frustration.

    We have tried so many things in the past to try and fish more info from teams and players, dating back to when you still worked for Do Gaming Yolanda. Unfortunately very few teams or players take part in these initiatives.


    • Yolanda Green

      March 6, 2013 at 16:24

      Yeah, I remember even then it was difficult. The only way we can/could really write something with insight is if we competed in the various tournaments ourselves. Was great to start the community blog though, people seemed to give more feedback.


  6. Estian Jaco Hough

    March 6, 2013 at 16:14

    Hey there Yolanda.
    During the past few months I’ve been in a continuous effort trying to start the Tuks Gaming Club.
    Unfortunately this endeavor takes more time than I had expected it to.
    However, I feel happy to say that when the time comes, and the club is open – I want Lazygamer to report on it as much as it can. You’ve in fact already written 2 articles about it (GamersXtreme).

    Well it’s still there, and it’s still on the way – it’d be an honor to the club if you think something is worth an article – or media coverage.
    I can definitely say that once the club is open – you’ll have plenty to write about ^^.


    • Yolanda Green

      March 7, 2013 at 08:53

      You know where to find me 😀

      You’re welcome to message me anytime!


    • jGLZA

      March 7, 2013 at 13:15

      I know that feel bro.
      Best of luck with the club.


  7. Alessandro Nicol

    March 6, 2013 at 16:34

    Brilliantly said


  8. Verrayne

    March 6, 2013 at 16:35

    Hi Yolanda,

    I’m a very passionate gamer and realise your frustrations and wish to help you in any way shape or form possible.

    What is there that we can do to make things better? A new league with strict rules? Sponsor players on certain grounds?


    • Yolanda Green

      March 7, 2013 at 08:42

      Hey Verrayne 🙂

      Structure is something much needed. The local scene can always do with more leagues/tournaments that are professionally run and able to provide the media with enough information and keep an open line of communication. If you are interested in sponsoring something, drop me an email yolanda@lazygamer.net and I can point you in the right direction.

      Any help or support, of any kind, even if it is just commenting on articles is really appreciated.


  9. Hendrik Ruhe

    March 6, 2013 at 16:41

    I’m actually reading stuff here even though I live in Germany just because I really like your wording and stuff. I also work in eSports professionally (eSports Agency). Somehow, South-Africa really hasn’t any relevance in eSports so far. Eastern Europe developed so amazingly in the past years but one is waiting for the eSports hype to really kick in when it comes to ZA


  10. MrJack

    March 6, 2013 at 16:42

    Its not really fair to be angry at the community. We aren’t all assholes. I play in the Battlefield DGL league, and quite a number of us have setup streams due to the lack of a spectator feature. We have leaderboards for the current legs to show who is in the lead (This doesnt reflect what scores were for a particular game, but the DGL league site has pretty much every players name as well as their alias, and if you have a connection to the game (read: Own the game), you can probably track down a captain of a team and ask them for updates/info.)

    I don’t expect you to watch my stream. I share it, so that if someone in the BF community is keen to see some local fights go down, they can. They are also available to watch for a short while after being recorded via the twitch site.

    Also we are internet fairing folk with bad social skills. Not people in marketing or the media. We didn’t study english as a major in University, so that we can write up a detailed overview of one of our games. We focus on the game at hand, and then go on with our day and lack of sun. There are some (NSD is a good example) who do write reviews, which are shared via their site/ facebook and on the DGL forums.

    If this is something you would like from us. (I can only speak from my perspective)Then I would like to request that you put out your message to those communities and ask them for more details, so that coverage from a journalism point of view can start to grow. If you don’t ask, it wont happen.

    One last thing I would like to point out regarding your article, is that you say we are loyal to one entity only. And that we dont care to respond to other peoples coverage, because they are from another company. Well, let’s look at the Team RSA Nationscup articles flying around. Every. Single. Site. That covered the first article regarding the team announcement, cop/ pasted it from another site. Each and every one of those articles had the same spelling mistakes and none of those articles were written by multiple journalists.


    • Yolanda Green

      March 7, 2013 at 08:35

      I understand what you’re saying, and you are right. And yes, the Do Gaming database is awesome. I’ve used it to track down team captains before. The frustration is that after contacting them, they never bothered to respond.

      I don’t expect gamers to write up press releases on their games, just that they speak to us. Respond to us when we ask what happened, just have a conversation 🙂 And if there’s something new happening that we don’t know about, or won’t know about unless we have a personal interest in it, tell us. I always invite gamers to email me or contact me about anything regarding eSports. You are welcome to do so as well, at any time. If you have streams you would like to invite people to watch, just drop me a mail at yolanda@lazygamer.net and have a chat with me. You can also tweet to me https://twitter.com/Lolita_za or message me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lolitaZA.

      I remember the article you are talking about very well. In fact I can’t forget how stupid I felt after it. We all received the same press release, which had the spelling errors of names and nicks in it. And was contacted afterward by the team captain afterward to correct them. For the most part,we write in our own words what the press release was about but I have seen some journos just copy/paste the entire press release as an article… not on, of you ask me.


  11. Stanley Watson

    March 6, 2013 at 16:48

    Well said!

    I really want eSports to take off in South Africa. The very people that should want that the most of all – the organisers and the players (who stand to benefit the very most $ wise) – don’t give a rat’s ass?

    That’s horrible.

    That’s STUPID.


    • Estian Jaco Hough

      March 6, 2013 at 16:50

      A thing I want to help change ^^


    • Robert Infy Hart

      March 6, 2013 at 16:56

      Well the organisers definitely do care a LOT. For example, Do Gaming puts up almost 50 articles about its Do Gaming League per week. Just take a look at all the eSport related news published today alone: http://gaming.do.co.za/


      • jGLZA

        March 7, 2013 at 13:11

        Not to bicker as DO Gaming do do a great job but from having visited the sit on a regular basis for the last year I find the large amount of content shared on your site to pertain to only a small portion of the leagues that you offer. Predominantly being BF3 & SC2 with a smattering of Dota or LoL in between. It’s understandable that this is because these have the largest following but what about the other leagues? FIFA articles are far and few between (usually at the start and end of legs) and I can’t even remember when last I saw a Forza or GT article go up.

        I assume that most of your content is community generated and I think that is the point that Yolanda is trying to make. There are some (handful) dedicated and helpful community members (I certainly met a few during my time on the AGASA committee) but the rest don’t bother which is probably why we don’t see extensive coverage.

        She is not even asking them to do much, just respond to an email every now and then. How difficult is that?


  12. Colin Webster

    March 6, 2013 at 20:19

    About time that this was said!


  13. SolitudeSA

    March 7, 2013 at 06:55

    MyGaming is holding the Dota 2 SECS and it was my first look into eSports. I was disappointed and annoyed. There’s nothing for a spectator. I even started a General Discussion thread but nobody bothered to reply.

    I wanted to watch the games as they happen. I wanted to know what’s going on. I wanted discussions like the way we talk about rugby. In the end I wanted too much. I couldn’t find a way to watch the games live with the Dota 2 client. The games just started somewhere without anyone saying who was play who and when. There was no way to find the games in Dota 2 that I could find and when I asked for help, no help was given.

    There was a live stream but that sucks when you’ve got the actual client running. The live stream on the first day only started half an hour into the whole process and by then there was just no indication of what a spectator was supposed to do.

    For now I will watch rugby. It’s professional and organized. Until the gamers actually make it easy for us, the supporters to log in, find the game and watch it at a specified time, I’m out. Maybe Do Gaming is better but my first experience was an iffy one and I love watching and talking sport. I also love gaming. As a spectator I do however not like eSports so far.

    May it get easier to get into and may it grow.


    • Yolanda Green

      March 7, 2013 at 08:19

      Getting to spectate games as some one who loves to watch them as they do sports is a difficult thing. And it shouldn’t be. Thank you for making this comment 🙂 It gives some insight on something that should be improved on.


      • SolitudeSA

        March 7, 2013 at 08:56

        Thanks for reading the comment Yolanda. I enjoy your articles. My comment wasn’t entirely on the same topic as your article but I’ve been wanting to tell someone in the know for a while now. Keep up the good work!


    • Valshen

      March 7, 2013 at 10:03

      I totally agree, being able to spectate would really help, as would some shoutcasting. I bought a premier league pass (something I never thought I would do) and I love watching and learning more.


  14. caponeil

    March 7, 2013 at 08:16

    Hi Yolanda. Yep I feel the same way. I won’t go a rant like this but there are options available to show how it is done! Take the lead and set up your own regular coverage. Yes, the gaming community should step up as well and if we can find a regular way of a highlights packages even in youtube, that will be great!


  15. Edwin le Roux

    March 7, 2013 at 09:19

    Ok, so I have been looking around about SA and eSports.
    And you can see it is slowly growing which is good; more sponsors coming on board and players joining the tournament.

    But what can the rest do to help this grow? I’m not really good enough with any games to play on any leagues. So for someone who just enjoys to watch. What can we do to help?


  16. Paul Fouche

    March 7, 2013 at 15:10

    i would follow esports more.. or even get involved,…. but i normally find out about tournaments ( apart from DGL ) about 2 days before they are launched.


  17. Cooler Master SA

    March 7, 2013 at 22:43

    Hello gaming enthusiasts!

    The Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm launch event hosted by Megarom, Blizzrd, Activision and MSSA is right around the corner and the stage is set for it to be HUGE.
    To mark the release of Blizzard’s latest expansion to their best-selling Starcraft platform, our very own professional Starcraft II player, Robert ”CMStormPandaTank” Botha, will be facing up against a world-renowned Romanian player: Silviu “NightEnd” Lazar!
    This is sure to be a battle of EPIC proportions, and will be the first time ever that a match of this calibre will be played on South African soil.
    The release of SCII: Heart of the swarm is sure to open up countless opportunities for competitive gamers to forge a name for themselves on the new SCII arena and Robert needs the support of the SA gaming community as he proves to the watchful eyes of the world that he is worthy to compete on the highest tier.

    Let’s make this event massive and show the world what SA gaming is all about!

    Take 5 mins to register and you’re in 😉


  18. VnR.XaXas

    March 14, 2013 at 15:21

    Great read as always! And I couldnt agree more, clans always need more exposure, just having the common decency to actually post on the article they’re mentioned in shows a lot. Some teams think too small, DGL and thats it, but with guys like Colin Webster,Infy,Yolanda,zombiegamer, you guys are the bond behind the driving force of eSports in SA.


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