The grudge match proved an entertaining one and saw Energy eSports run out the 2-1 winners of the R50,000 cash up for grabs after coming back from a 1-0 deficit against the team in blue.
Of course, the R50,000 was just the icebreaker and MettleState went on to announce that a total of 24 teams will be able to compete for a R1 million prize pool – South Africa’s largest for a single title. The ‘Galaxy CS:GO Tournament’ (also called the MettleState|Samsung CS:GGO Tournament) will see 12 invited teams and 12 ‘public’ teams who will be added on a “first come, first served basis” when they register via www.mettlestate.com. As it stands at the time of writing, it doesn’t appear as if registration has opened (or at least I couldn’t see the registration link).
Registrations are due to close on 10 March 2017 with the online component kicking off on 13 March 2017. The tournament culminates in a LAN final scheduled for 4 to 7 May 2017 at an undisclosed venue.
The format of the tournament have not been revealed as yet, but the 12 invited teams are:
Money being shot into the arm of the local scene is great, but the underlying question remains whether it can in itself draw more viewers to local esports streams. In the time I was watching the grudge match stream, the number peaked at around 500 concurrent viewers. That’s pretty good in a local context but certainly not earth shattering. That being said, IEM was drawing in viewers so perhaps that affected things.
The one thing that concerns me tremendously is the “first come, first served” opportunity for ‘public’ teams. Surely, this would have been an opportunity to have a qualifying tournament with an uncapped entry number to really draw in a variety of teams across all skill levels with the top 12 joining the invited teams? The new Telkom DGL wildcard qualification system may be confusing but at least any interested team has an (outside) chance of getting a shot in the main event – not just the team with the most observant members when registration opens. Yes, it would extend the tournament period but given the sponsorship amount, I’m pretty sure the sponsors would not have said no.
Either way, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the ride South African esports – your time has come.