Profiled: Team Astra [SA Gaming Clan]

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Team Astra are a team that seem to have been around for ages. That being said, surviving two years in the South African competitive console scene is an age anyway, but over the time they’ve been around, they have consistently performed well in tournaments for Modern Warfare 3 through to Advanced Warfare.

So we thought it might be time to catch up with the team as the new season starts to get under full swing.

We caught up with Astra back in 2013. What’s changed since then?

Team Astra has exploded media wise and has accomplished many CoD Titles from MW3 up to AW! We only have one core team now known as Astra Infinite. Our Youtube channel has 1.7k subscribers and over 70+ videos. Definitely SA’s best gaming YT channel for CoD esports.

Who are the members of the clan now?

As it stands our team consists of: Astra Lithium, Astra Viper, Astra Vadex, Astra Cypher and our newest member Astra Ozone (previously known as Remedy xF).

What is the clan’s organisational structure, and each of the player’s roles in the team?

Astra Viper – Leader and Founder of Team Astra. Objective Player.
Astra Lithium – Co-Leader of Team Astra. Slayer/Anchor.
Astra Ozone – Member of Team Astra. Objective Player.
Astra Cypher – Member of Team Astra. Slayer.
Astra Vadex – Member of Team Astra. Slayer.

Has the clan decided to try and localise itself a little?

Our clan solely consists of South African players three of which are Cape Town based and the other two in Jhb. Having all our players located within these two regions makes attending LAN tournaments a little easier with regards to accommodation and travel.

You’ve been busy in a number of tournaments recently. What do you think still needs to be done with regards to continuing the growth of console eSports in SA?

There is still much to be done with regards to growing SA esports. I think our first focus needs to be building our numbers on the Xbox One because the more participants there are, the more attractive tournaments become for sponsors and tournament organisers alike. I also believe more teams need to help support emerging tournament organisers. The more tournaments we have the better.

Do you think there has been much growth in the last year or so?

It is a bit difficult to say. In terms of tournaments and prizes I believe the growth in Ghosts was phenomenal. Unfortunately Ghosts proved to be a bit stale and as a result the numbers shrunk compared to Black Ops 2 where many stayed behind in anticipation for the next title in the series.

Is attending LANs important to the clan and its members?

LANs are very important to us as a team as it provides an environment to not only play alongside your team, but it also brings the community together.

It’s still tough for (especially) console clans to get sponsorship deals.  Does Astra have any plans to really push themselves and their marketability to appeal to sponsors?

We are looking to represent another brand internationally or locally. We have not yet pushed for sponsors but we definitely will be! We have one current sponsor being Digicodes.

What is it that most clans actually expect sponsors these days?  Private jets and limos?

For now I think teams and players in SA simply strive to have their travel expenses sponsored. Even that in itself is an ambitious goal. However, hopefully in time as console esports in SA grows we will be able to be presented with more sponsorship opportunities.

What do you guys think the sponsor expects in return from the clans?  The danger is that many clans can’t stick around or change players too regularly.  Surely that makes any sponsor nervous?

Sponsors require exposure to achieve a return on investment. In order for sponsors to get their investment worth they need their brand to be seen. They also require a certain level of professionalism in order to uphold their brand image. I believe a “pro points” system like what MLG has in place can help prevent teams from breaking up so frequently. It would also encourage teams to actively participate in as many tournaments as possible. These points can in turn be used for seeding placements as well as an indicator to sponsors as to which teams are there to stay and are less likely to break up.

What are you hoping to achieve in the future as a clan?

We would like to stick together as a team for future CoD [titles] and keep building chemistry. We are also a clan expected to be placing top 3 in all tournaments and we would definitely like to come out of the MWEB and DGL LAN with a win! We would also like to keep growing our Youtube channel and hopefully one day reach an international level.

Thanks for your time. Is there anything you would like to add?

From experience, any players out there who are reading this and are new to competitive or looking to get in to it, when you want to join/find/create a team, make sure you get along with all the members. Make sure you have respectful towards one another. This is competitive, and all teams go through their winning and losing stages, but sticking together and playing with perseverance will only lead to success! The more practise, the better you get. Play as a team and not for yourself. Whatever equipment you may have, do not use that as an excuse, make the best of what you have and believe in yourself and your team! Excuses get you nowhere. Another thing to vouch for when teaming up is looking for loyalty and trust or you will not go far!

Contact Information:

Twitter | Twitter | YouTube Channel | Email: teamastracpt@gmail.com

If you are keen to feature in this column in the future (as a gamer, clan or industry person or company), 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.

About Zombie Dredd

Wannabe gaming journalist. Wannabe zombie. And sometimes clan leader of OAP. Clint O'Shea when in his human disguise.