We’re big on connecting around these parts.  We particularly enjoy our teeth connecting with your braaaaaaiiiiinnnnsss.  When we’re not busy enjoying that and other mindless pursuits, we actually enjoying getting connected with other (real, living) people who are keen to get SA gaming really going.

This week we connected (alright, I’ll stop now) with Nick Holden from Clan Connection to ask about what they have planned for the future of SA console gaming.  Let’s be fair, they’ve already made a massive impact following an Xbox 360 Modern Warfare 3 tournament and the 32 team juggernaut that was the PS3 Modern Warfare 3 tournament – both of which had the finals streamed live. Not too bad for a “tool”…

You guys have been pretty busy in the last two or so months – two successful Modern Warfare 3 tournaments over two platforms – congratulations on it all.  How’s it all been for you?  

It has been very exciting to say the least!  It has been amazing to see the great response from the community, coming out in numbers and showing their support at every corner is amazing. This is what just furthers the desires of Clan Connection to get bigger so we can give more back to the community.

How long have you been planning and organising events? 

Well it all started quite early in 2007 I arrange my first tournament ever at the age of 17 for the Gears of War community (I attached a link to forum for you – thought I would be nice for you to see what a tool I was).  It was a 2v2 tournament and ended up being quite successful. Since then I have been organizing tournaments where ever I can. Then at Xboxreel , I was one of the main organizers of the events . Now at Clan Connection all that experience culminated in the past two tournaments of the respective consoles.  You never stop learning when organizing tournament and there will always be hiccups and those hiccups help you improve for the next event.

What were you hoping to achieve when you launched Clan Connection?  Have the two tournaments met your expectations?

Clan Connection’s main goal is to develop South African console competitive gaming to a level where we can stand next to the pro’s overseas and say, “WE can compete”.  The tournaments have met and surpassed expectations especially with regard to our last tournament where the PS3 guys and girls showed huge support breaking through the 16 team restriction, to having 32 teams compete in the PS3 Mw3 Clan Challenge tournament. The other aspect of our competitions is that we want to bring competitive console gaming to the public/general gamer. Via live streams and other publicity plans to make our community of console gamers make a big splash in the competitive gaming scene.

And in the future?  Are planning to expand beyond the online competitions maybe?

For sure!! It is all about ‘Connecting’ and lans are great way to do so!   Especially when it comes to bringing the PS3 community and Xbox community closer together, but at Clan Connection we don’t just do a normal lan event. Just like we don’t run normal tournaments, we expose our gamers on a bigger level.

Are you keeping yourselves to console gaming or do you think you might move into PC tournament organising?  Or is that best left to those already doing it?  

For now, we are very concentrated on console development; we have a community here that is on the starting blocks of a race to succeed. The console community has been neglected and cast in the shadows of competitive gaming in South Africa. Some of South Africans best console gamers have stopped playing due to that reason alone. We want to change that, by exploding on to the scene, guns blazing shouting,”We are here!”

In an ideal situation, how big would you like your events to get?

As big or as huge or as ginormous as possible.  In Zombie terms, we want as many participants as zombies in the mall on Dead Rising. [Er.  We only remember lots of dead zombies.  It still makes us sad.]

What’s the next tournament up your sleeves?  Or is it a top secret project (ie. You don’t know yet…)?  

Who said anything about a tournament ……. hint hint , wink wink .  

In regards to professional – or competitive gaming – what do you think needs to be done to raise the profile of South African gaming?

South African gamers NEED to play according to an international standard of rule sets. Then gamers need regular practice on those rulesets . If we keep playing to our own independent rulesets we shoot ourselves in the foot.  The next step is media attention, we are in a media driven world. We need to show international players and gamers what we can do in South Africa.

With the amount of time spent getting everything organised, doesn’t it all feel a little like a thankless task at times?  There must surely be a cost implication in hosting the events that leaves you at risk of digging in to your own pocket?

For sure, but these are the sacrifices that sometimes need to be made to ensure that console gaming grows.

What are your current game(s) of choice?

Currently it has to be according to play time so , Call of Duty MW3 , Gears of War 3 , Fifa 12 and then finally Skyrim ( Which I still haven’t finished , those butterflies are too distracting , I have the finest butterfly collection in the land)

Which clan would you most like to “connect” with? 

Ahhhhh , I see what you did there , Naughty Zombie .

Scottish or Irish?  Clans we mean.  Or even Whisk(e)y.

Scottish , they the ones that don’t wear underwear right? [Not sure why you’re asking me. *shifts uncomfortably in chair*]

If you’re keen to keeping connected (I couldn’t help myself) with all the goings on in the world of Clan Connection, feel free to stalk them by liking them on Facebook, following them on Twitter or watching them on YouTube.  One of these days they’ll have their – currently under construction – website up and running for you to enjoy too.

If you are keen to feature in this column in the future, please feel free to contact us at info@zombiegamer.co.za and we’ll think about – after you’ve sent us a sample of your braaaaaaiiiiinnnnsss.