Alpha Star Gaming merges with HiVe Gaming | Picks up a DotA2 Roster

Alpha Star Gaming is a relatively new MGO in the South African market, founded as recently as the 3rd of August 2017. The MGO has high hopes for their newly established organization, “It took two weeks for the newly formed team to create a vision and start a venture of what will be the greatest company to shape and capture Esports in South Africa with the goal of being the best worldwide.” But within a month they have a CSGO team short just two players and an Overwatch team in the works. Recently I’ve also heard rumours they were in talks to snap up Premier Division DotA2 tryhards HiVe Gaming. So we chatted to the Alpha Star Gaming management team to get some information. You can learn more about Alpha Star Gaming via their Facebook, Twitter, or their website.

SargonDotA2: Hey guys. Thanks for meeting up with me to chat about Alpha Star Gaming.

Alpha Star Gaming: No, thank you. 

To get started can you tell me a little bit about Alpha Star Gaming? 

The reason why we started is because esports is here. You know it’s real. It’s not considered what it was back in the day, people playing games and your parents will tell that you’re wasting your life. Now that esports is real competitive gaming can be a career choice for a lot of people. All of us in this organization love games and we’re passionate about it. We’re also highly competitive people, which helps.

So you’re new to South African esports, how do you hope to make an impact?

Some of us have been around the world to conduct business and we’ve experienced esports overseas as well. In our core management team we have individuals who have extensive business background, with some of us owning a number of very successful businesses between us. We’re running this organization as a business with an eye on longevity. We’ve got vision, we’ve got quarter-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. Sustainability wise we think we’re doing things a lot better than what we currently have in South Africa, we’ll deal with companies like sponsors on a lot more professional level and we know exactly what they need as a result. They want to make revenue so we show them exactly how we can achieve that. 

What would you say your core mission is?

To improve esports in South Africa. The main focus of Alpha Star Gaming is very different from any other MGO that is currently in South Africa. The main reason I can say this is that we want to set the standard for esports in South Africa and actually grow the industry. A lot of organizations say they want to make their mark, or grow the industry, but we’re actively trying to do that together with the entire gaming community.

Anything that you’re doing that differentiates you from the rest of the pack?

One of our goals is to not just cater for the few individuals that get into a team. We want to make gaming more accessible, and more specifically competitive gaming, tournaments, events, competitions for every single gamer in South Africa. We don’t think this is being provided for at the moment. Another point is publicity, that doesn’t have justice done to our gamers in South Africa. This is whether they’re part of a team or not. We have experience with recording labels and studios in South Africa and some other countries. We know all about the artist publicity industry and how important this aspect is.

To sum you on what I’ve heard so far: Your management team has a lot of experience in multiple industries that are going to fill what you perceive to be gaps in South African esports. You’re going to fill these gaps in interesting ways, both at a grassroots level concerned with development, but also at mainstream competitive level? 

That’s correct, yes. 

So why did you guys get into esports and start Alpha Star Gaming?

Our motto for Alpha Star Gaming is setting the standard. Why esports? Because we love esports. I’ve never been a fanatic of traditional sports itself so this is something I really enjoy. A few of the management team have always been gamers who have competed at various levels. We care about people in this scene and their growth, so we want to help improve the scene.

You have to admit, we’ve heard a lot of this before from multiple people and organizations over the years. Anything that makes you stand out right now?

I appreciate you being blunt. We’ve seen a lot of stories like this which start and fall. To be honest with you, that’s what happens. What makes this whole a lot different is that as I mentioned we’re running it as a business. That’s step one, and we’ve got immense experience in running business. We’ve started recently, but in such a short space of time we’ve done more than what some other organizations took years to achieve. We aren’t just selecting five or six players for each team. We want to create a massive community of games that are actively engaged with our organization through our Affiliate Academy program. We also want to move beyond South Africa, partnering with organizations overseas. 

Could you briefly elaborate on the Affiliate Academy you just mentioned? 

Sure. One thing about this program is that even though we’re doing it, it’s not just about Alpha Star Gaming. It’s not just us growing these players and do their publicity so they can join our teams. What it is essentially is that we want to give gamers a platform. It’s an opportunity for all up and coming players where they can actually get treated as a player, where we help them along the way to build an esports career. It’s not an exclusive platform, it’ll help other organizations to get better players out there. In some games there’s only a short list of players that are good enough at the moment to compete. The Affiliate Program is out reaching out to all gamers saying, “This is here. We’ll help build an esports career for you. We’ll help you get some publicity out there.”

Let’s switch gears. Tell me about your CS:GO team.  

I’m extremely confident about the esports players we currently have. We have a CSGO team and we’ve just signed a DotA2 team. We also are looking at an Overwatch team. Our current CS:GO players are Jesse “EuphonY” Dixon, Migael “Hauser” Dannhauser, and Peter “FuzioN” Sven.

You only have three players in your CS:GO team currently?

Since we’ve launched in the offseason, it’s either you’ve got a team to go to rAge or you don’t have a team and you’re sitting in practice mode. Originally we had a five man team, but due to some personal issues two players couldn’t continue. For the time being we have three players and are still searching for the two other spots. We’re looking for players that can work well with the team and who are also good players. 

Any interest in console titles like FIFA or Injustice 2?

 Yes, we are definitely planning to get players for those titles. We’re also interested in titles like PUBG. We’re planning to get these titles to the level of normal competitive gaming titles we have in South Africa already. If the community gets involved in the titles, we can make any game competitive. 

Now let’s talk about the DotA2 team. Why the move from HiVe to Alpha Star Gaming?

We set up a meeting with Brandon “Syipres” Addison and after about two hours we realized we were all on the same page about what we wanted for South African esports. What was really important from these meetings is that we could give them the support they needed. With HiVe the DotA2 team had gotten to the point where the progress they were able to make had plateaued. We all felt that a merger between HiVe and Alpha Star Gaming would also massively benefit the DotA2 team specifically. 

What is your current roster?

The roster is Brandon “Syipres” Addison, Jake “stunt” Alfred, Luke “Snoops” Davis, Daniel “Jeric” Comer, and Dylan “Malinky” Ainsworth.

The DotA2 team has grown from strength to strength over the years. You’re now a permanent Premier level team. What do you hope to achieve at  the VS Gaming Championships (or DGC as it used to be known) at rAge this year? 

We want a top four finish at DGC. I say that realistically, and we’re not trying to be arrogant at all, but from our track record in recent months shows that we’re doing really well. In recent scrims we’re performed really well against fellow competitors who will be attending DGC. Recent scrim results have gone very well and we’re looking really strong. Teams that we see being hugely competitive are Sinister5 because that team is looking quite scary at the moment. FoJ are looking pretty decent as well. We’re optimistic about DGC, we think we can do exceptionally well. A lot of other teams that were strong even a few months ago haven’t improved to the extent that we have. 

What is Alpha Star Gaming looking to achieve with this DotA2 team going forward?

When we met with the DotA2 team, we could see their vision and passion. They’re young, but they have a ton of potential and consistently grow. We want them to play their hearts out, enjoy the competition as much as they can, and look for the win overall at DGC. We won’t be disappointed or anything like that if anything goes wrong, since we have tons of faith in this team for the future. They’re all passionate and that counts for so much.

Well we wish you guys the best of luck at DGC and in the future! Thanks for chatting to me.

No, thank you!