This past Saturday saw a first for Cape Town – and essentially South Africa too. Cape Town hosted the MSSA Black Ops 2 Regional Tournament on Xbox 360, with City of Cape Town colours up for grabs.
In some ways, this was a test bed, and new found impetus, to get console gaming and gamers more aware of the MSSA and the opportunities being registered with the organisation would represent. It was also just a darn good excuse to watch some of the best players in Cape Town play Black Ops 2 competitively in a four against four tournament.
The venue was Games On Gaming Lounge in Rondebosch and as 10am rolled around, the members of the eight participating teams started to fill the venue. Any event in Cape Town would not be complete without some form of delay, and the late arrival of players, the no-show of one team and some odd glitches on one of the networks meant the fighting got off to a slow start. Thankfully, a ninth (unregistered) team was hanging about hoping to find an opportunity to compete, and thanks to the aforementioned no-show, they were quickly assimilated into the event.
Colin Webster of the MSSA and Desmond Kurz from Mweb welcomed the participants and attended to the draw for the first round matches. The event – as is the majority of MSSA events – was run using the Swiss tournament system, which is based on the principle of matches being played for points against opponents of a similar skill level. I am zombie enough to admit ignorance – and a general resistance to the system – but seeing it in action, I am almost a full convert to its value in tournaments of this sort. Each team on the day played four matches (rulesets and maps were based on the Mweb Ladders system), which meant no team was knocked out, but every match counted to placings. Two points were awarded for every win, with zero going to the defeated.
The first round probably went pretty true to form with Adios La Vida, XtaZ and EPiC taking their first points 2-0 each. F34R and BoSA was probably the big match of the first round, and it was an exciting affair with BoSA taking the CTF decider to take the match up 2-1. This meant that the top four winning teams would face each other in the next round with the four losing teams facing off against each other. ALV and BoSA were up first, and BoSA grabbed an early lead by taking Hardpoint on Yemen. However, ALV mounted and amazing comeback by clawing back from 4-0 down in SnD to grab it 6-4 and then follow it up 5-3 on CTF. This match also saw the two 55″ screens in the venue eventually up and operating, allowing the resting players and spectators a comfortable viewing platform to enjoy the matches on. The other matches went the way of the team most likely considered the favourite in their repsective match. F34R grabbed their first win, while XtaZ took their streak on to two against EPiC.
By the time the third round got underway, there was an immense buzz and general excitement in the venue. The live stream had been sorted out, with an Elgato supplied by Gaming Cartel, and one of the big match ups of the day was up next – ALV against XtaZ. XtaZ took the match 2-0, but it was closer than that score makes it sound, however, XtaZ was now three wins on the trot and with one round to play, it would need a pretty hefty defeat to knock them off the top of the leader board. Meanwhile, F34R and SYFG were making up points and also closing the gap on XtaZ. The fourth and final round of games had around five of the eight teams in a position to grab the title, with much depending on the game of the round – XtaZ against F34R.
Aptly, what had amounted to the equivalent of a final (at least in terms of where teams would place) was the last game of the day. Streamed live to a small, but supportive Twitch audience (which included CoD Championship CoDcaster GoldenBoyFTW) and a full house at the venue, the game didn’t go F34R’s way. XtaZ turned on the class, and grabbed the match 2-0 to remain undefeated all day, and ensuring that they won the sponsored prizes up for grabs, as well as the honour of Cape Town colours.
The team must now prepare for another console first – a match against the Gauteng Provincial team which is scheduled for 28 June, and will be a spectator event run at two venues. Details will be forthcoming, but the day should be a rather special one in the SA eSport calendar.
|3||BoSA||6||(Third due to losing to ALV)|
It would be remiss of me not to mention the valuable contributions made by the team involved behind the scenes who made this day all possible. Colin Webster (MSSA), Desmond Kurz (MWEB), Nick Holden, Richard van Wyk (Games On) and Glenn Alexander. We can tell you all, that this is just the start, with more to come. Watch. This. Space.
For more pictures from the tournament, please check out our Facebook Album.
To find out more about the MSSA registration and some of the benefits of being a member, head here.
A thanks to Gaming Cartel for the Elgato device used for the live stream, as well as RozierQ for facilitating the live stream, and LeVeLzz and Nick Holden for shoutcasting some of the matches. The community input is really what drives these events.