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Generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of competitive sports, mostly because I was forced to play hockey in grade 8 and barely (…deliberately) made the Z team, but still had to drag myself out of bed on Saturday mornings for matches. The only real consolation was that I played goalie and got to wear all the juggernaut gear and pretend I was in a post-apocalyptic war zone instead of, huh, well, actually high school girls’ hockey fields are pretty much post-apocalyptic war zones too. To this day, I’m still not entirely sure how hockey even works, only that there’s a lot of blood and violence and pulled hair over a bit of congealed plastic, and cups of lukewarm Oros at half-time.

On Friday, MWEB’s HQ in Parow, Cape Town played host to lots of blood and violence – but the much safer, simulated kind of blood and violence, plus zero incidences of pulled hair – with the first ever official South African inter-regional eSports championship. Also, instead of a bit of congealed plastic and lukewarm Oros there were proper prizes and free shawarmas.

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FREE. SHAWARMAS.

Qualifying teams from Joburg and Cape Town played off in a series of FIFA 13 and Call of Duty: Black Ops II matches for the win, under the auspices of local eSports governing body Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) reps Glenn Alexander and Richard van Wyk, and supported by motormouth Good Hope FM DJ Carl Wastie and a mob of media VIPs and spectators buzzed up on popcorn and energy drinks.

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And these guys from 1986.

The event was also streamed live over MWEB Gamezone’s TwitchTV channel from both MWEB’s MCave gaming venue and The Hive in Joburg’s Monte Casino, with commentary by Francois van Schalkwyk and Nick Holden.

By the mystical powers of the mountain and the sea and the original gatsby sandwich, Cape Town came out tops in both games, winning FIFA 13 4-0 on Xbox and 3-0 on PS3, and Call of Duty: Black Ops II 3-2 on Xbox after a very close final.

Despite the serious gaming business of the night, the atmosphere in the auditorium was more like a house party than the dreary tedium of those hockey matches gone by. By the end of the night, people who’d diligently avoided eye contact and verbal engagement with everybody else at the start were high-fiving and hugging each other like BFFs, although I daresay things over in Joburg might have been a bit more sombre. CRY HARDER, NOOBS. I HEADSHOTTED UR MOM. GANK BOTTOM. ZERG RUSH. I’m totally into competitive eSports now.

The superstars:

Cape Town

Black Ops 2

  • Rory Burmeister (Xbox | Adept Hazzards)
  • Lee Michael Bransgrove (Xbox | XtaZ Eos)
  • Nicolas van Ysendyk (Xbox | Xtaz Radical)
  • Callum Stroud (Xbox | Unleashed Psyco)

FIFA 13

  • Mubeen Gaffoor (PS3)
  • Yazeed Dollie (Xbox)

Joburg

Black Ops 2

  • Ashley Sloley (Xbox | XtaZ Frostbite)
  • Alon Nitzan (Xbox | XtaZ KB)
  • Jason Terespolsky (Xbox | F34R J4S0WN)
  • Tahir Achmat (Xbox | Slamsekid)

FIFA 13

  • Jason Terespolsky (PS3)
  • Sean Terespolsky (Xbox)

Special mentions because they wanted to see their names online and asked me super nicely

  • Jason Turner
  • Jody Lewis

 

Huge thanks to MWEB’s Desmond Kurz,¬†Reinhard Rheeder-Kleist, and Brad Kirby for putting together such a brilliant event.

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