SA Gaming News Wrap

Yes, we were a little off the radar for a week or two. It’s not something we’re particularly proud of, but we were busy zombies over the period, and so was the South African scene. rAge, MAG Cup, Telkom DGL and a host of other activities happened, and now that we’ve hit the final quarter of 2016, there’s still plenty on the agenda.

One of the highlights of the past few weeks was how often SA eSports made international and national news. MAG Cup featured on BBC, Mashable, MLG, Dexerto and more, while Telkom DGL made it onto Carte Blanche – as a TV segment and on their website.


Upcoming Events

Quiet weekend ahead, but next week sees action start on Tuesday already.

  • Canal Walk Gaming Expo returns for a second year. Not much has been confirmed as yet, but there will be cosplay and the Kwesé Sports FIFA tournament (see below). We will be there too, assisting with the FIFA 17 media challenge. Expect more to be revealed still, but entry is free to the event, so why not head over between 25 to 30 October and check out the expo. Keep up to date with details here.

Remember to keep these days open for some upcoming action a little further in the future:


Competitions & Giveaways


rage-expo-2016-1rAge 2016

Let’s be pretty frank, rAge 2016 was a success by all accounts, and if you were there (and we were), you would know that the Ticketpro Dome bulged at the seams (again). The event set new attendance records, as well as all sorts of other impressive numbers.

Over 34,000 people cast their eyes over 124 exhibitors spread over 19,411 square metres of floor space while some eSports sorts battled for over R2,2 million in cash. But don’t take our word for it, read the press release for all the details.

Show Press Release: »

JOHANNESBURG rAge 2016 SEES RECORD-BREAKING ATTENDANCE

19,411 square metres of floor space, 124 exhibitors and 34,693 visitors aren’t the only things that made rAge 2016 the best one yet.  With more than 11 locally developed games on display in the dedicated home_ coded area, the very latest (including unreleased) games and tech, a brand-new section of floor space dedicated solely to the flea market stands, Artists Alley and cosplay stage area, and over R2.2 million in cash and prizes given away at the four eSports events, rAge 2016 was steaming hot!

“eSports was massive at this year’s expo with major tournaments being played, international shoutcasters and hosts in attendance, and the introduction of Africa’s first ever eSports Branding Summit. This is the start of something big in South Africa. In addition, the construction of the new Blue Wing Conference Centre at the Ticketpro Dome afforded us the opportunity to create a special space for artists, entrepreneurs and cosplayers to display their talents and to chill. The vibe in the main arena was electric – with major games being showcased, next-generation consoles and games on show, great cosplay demonstrated, an impressive amount of VR and AR tech for visitors to try out and 2,330 people enjoying the LAN – giving visitors a real glimpse into the future.” says Lauren Das Neves, Marketing Manager of rAge.

2017 promises to be an even bigger year for rAge and its partners. Dates for rAge Expo in Johannesburg are confirmed for 6-8 October 2017 at The Ticketpro Dome at Northgate.

For more information visit www.rageexpo.co.za


kwese-sport_ace_02Kwesé Sports

Kwesé Sports have been busy bees since they revealed themselves. At rAge, their FIFA 17 tournament attracted a “staggering” 200 players, while they used the hype of the weekend to reveal their ESL partnership.

Following on from the Johannesburg leg of the African Championship eSports (ACE) FIFA 17 tournament, Cape Town is next at the Canal Walk Gaming Expo. Over 28 to 30 October, pre-registered players will battle for the Sunday finals slot and their share of R20,000 in cash. Interested players need to have registered by 26 October, so don’t delay.

As for the ESL partnership, according to the press release (below) Kwesé Sports will “use and distribute ESL content and host events across Africa.” What exactly that means in terms of titles, platforms and events is unclear, but we will monitor the progress and keep you informed.

Show FIFA 17 Tournament Press Release: »

Kwesé Sports brings African Championship eSports Xbox FIFA17 tournament to Cape Town

Press Release 18 October – The search for South Africa’s champion FIFA17 player continues next week when emerging African premium sports media platform, Kwesé Sports – in partnership with Xbox, Canal Walk and BT Games – brings the Cape Town leg of African Championship eSports (ACE) to the Canal Walk Gaming Expo powered by BT Games and GHFM.

The Cape Town leg of the tournament will see contestants battling it out through qualifying rounds on 28/29 October, with the finals taking place on Sunday, 30 October. The four Cape Town finalists will play against the Johannesburg winners in the South African finals in November.

Kwesé Sports launched their first African Championship eSports (ACE) gaming tournament in partnership with Xbox recently at the Johannesburg rAge Expo. This leg of the tournament was a huge success with over 200 registered players taking part in the weekend-long tournament.

Four players stood victorious on Sunday afternoon following a grueling series of knock-out finals. Vin Mushwana took fourth place and walked away with R2 000, Kevin Tembo took home R3 000 for third place, Uwais Patel won second place and received R5 000 while the first place R10 000 grand prize went to Babalo Manqele.

Participants in Johannesburg showcased unparalleled skill in FIFA 17 and this game will remain the official tournament game for Cape Town and the overall finals. Various giveaways will be up for grabs in the lead up to the Cape Town tournament. Details for these prizes and how to enter can be found on http://ace.kwesesports.com/. Entries will close on 26 October and only registered users will be able to compete.

“We are overwhelmed by the support we received at the inaugural ACE tournament. We had a staggering 200 players take part in the tournament, with thousands of fans watching them play throughout the weekend. I would like to congratulate the Johannesburg winners, they were remarkable and provided an impressive competitive edge”, said Jason Probert, Chief Digital Officer of Econet Media.

“The competitive spirit and fan support shown at rAge Expo 2016 was overwhelming. We look forward to the Cape Town leg of the tournament and hope the competitors and supporters bring the same levels of skills and excitement we saw at rAge Expo 2016”, added Joe Kruger, Microsoft South Africa’s Senior Retail Service Executive.

“Capetonians surprised us with a huge turnout at our football tournament at Canal Walk’s expo last year, so we are thrilled to expand on this competition through partnering with Kwesé Sports this time around. We are convinced that Cape Town gamers will come out in full force to enter and have loads of fun – not just to win the cash but to try hard to secure the win later in the year at the final. The Canal Walk Gaming expo, powered by BT Games and Good Hope FM, will be a great week of gaming, competitions and fun activities, bigger and better than last year.  So if you are keen to be crowned SA’s star footballer, register soon to take part”, concluded Karl Klopfer

Canal Walk is proud to present the gaming expo for a second consecutive year. Marketing Manager Vanessa Herbst says, “We are particularly excited about the added experience the Kwese Sports Championship will bring to shoppers.”

Come out and represent Cape Town in the gaming scene, we look forward to seeing you there!

To register: http://ace.kwesesports.com/
To visit Kwesé Sports: http://www.kwesesports.com/
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/ZVnslSSV0aM

Show ESL Press Release: »

Kwesé Sports partners with ESL to bring the world’s largest esports tournaments to Africa

7 October, 2016: Kwesé Sports, Econet Media’s premium sports content platform, has an exclusive, five-year deal with the world’s largest esports company and the global industry leader ESL. The agreement gives Kwesé rights to use and distribute ESL content and host events across Africa. This is ESL’s first partnership with a TV broadcaster in the African continent, further cementing the company’s commitment to geographical expansion and bringing esports to the living rooms of millions of people worldwide. Through this partnership, Kwesé and ESL will bring the first ever continental esports championship to Africa. In addition to bringing live events to the continent, Kwesé will also be launching the continent’s first 24/7 esports channel in the coming months.

Enthusiasts from all over the continent are already taking part in international tournaments which draw record crowds and online viewership to signature events in the Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL Pro League circuits.  This partnership creates an opportunity for African esports fans to witness live events as well as experience the action online.

This follows hot-on-the-heels of Kwesé’s announcement of its inaugural African Challenge Esport (ACE) gaming tournament currently underway at the rAge Expo in Johannesburg South Africa.

“We are committed to making our platforms the home for esports and gaming in Africa. This partnership with ESL is an important development for the nascent African esports market which continues to grow in popularity. We look forward to realising the full potential of this partnership in future” says Joseph Hundah, Chief Executive Officer| Econet Media

On choosing Kwesé and the potential of African esports, ESL’s Managing Director and Head of esports at Modern Times Group Malte Barth said “We are extremely excited to have partnered with Kwesé. We chose them because their ambitions for this market mirror ours and their focus around the esports community in their markets. We have seen the increasing viewership and community engagement across the continent, especially in South Africa and we know that we can grow and better serve the esports community through tailored events and local content based on our globally leading eSports footprint”

For more on Kwesé Sports visit: www.kwesesports.com


Gaming Battle Ground_02Gaming Battle Ground

A number of local gamers have already experienced new tournament platform Gaming Battle Ground, and it seems the platform is spreading its wings to the rest of the world. It’s being shown off at the EIG Expo, where it is up against other “gaming startups”.

What exactly is up for grabs is unclear from the press release, but it’s at least an opportunity for South Africa to show itself against the rest of the world a little.

Show Press Release: »

SA’s own tournament platform for gamers by gamers launches to global gaming heavyweights today

18 October 2016, Cape Town – A new and award-winning online gaming platform designed to give South African gamers and eSport athletes unprecedented power to organise their own tournaments is launching to the world’s top gaming experts today.

Global recognition

Gaming Battle Ground (GBG) is one of only five new gaming platforms in the world, and the only South African one, to be pitched on stage at the prestigious EIG Expo Startup Launch Pad in Berlin, Germany, to an influential audience of global gaming industry experts, enthusiasts and investors alike.

The five competing gaming startups will be judged by a panel of respected industry experts, including panel chair Melissa Blau, Director of iGaming Capital and Jon Bradford, the ex-MD of Techstars.

The GBG platform allows players to earn rewards through competing in eight games including Starcraft 2, DOTA 2, League of Legends and CS:GO. Players pick their own dates and games to set tournaments in motion.

Not new to the competition space, GBG was the winning startup in a recent Croatian gaming startup accelerator programme, and its online platform www.https://www.gamingbattleground.co.za/ has been lauded by local gaming experts such as Gareth Woods, professional Dota2 player, Masters Series Champion Travis Waters and professional CS:GO player Trevor Morley.

Legitimising eSports in SA

Woods, who was one of the first people to test the platform, commented on why he reckoned GBG was good news for SA gamers and the local eSports scene: “I believe that for eSports to really become a self-sustained ecosystem there must be leagues and competitions for all skill levels. Whilst the big million rand tournaments (arranged mainly by large corporates) cater to the top teams, sites like GBG allow everyone to find an entry point into eSports and climb the ranks, with their ambitions being their only limit.”

It is the first platform of its kind – sporting its very own messaging platform, crypto-currency and national leaderboards – to empower the local gaming community to bring more amateur gamers into the professional leagues and ultimately help legitimise the growing eSports market in SA.

The platform allows gamers, brands and tournament organisers in SA to arrange their own tournaments, or find and join, or watch tournaments that earn competitors money, reward points or prizes. Players can earn points by participating as individuals or team players, and by inviting friends and setting up 5v5 teams. Once a game has been selected, GBG generates check-in reminders, creates brackets 10 minutes before each game starts, and pays winning participants directly after they complete a tournament.

“We’re very proud of the platform we are presenting to the gaming world today. Not only are we telling the gaming world that our local gaming community is taking control of the SA tournament scene, we are also positioning South Africa as a booming gaming market on the world stage. We are very excited about the future of competitive eSports in SA and we hope that platforms like GBG will take the local scene to the next level,” South African founder Greg Hamilton Stevens said from Germany today.

The tech entrepreneur and avid gamer spent more than a decade working in the gaming startup scene in the US including Silicon Valley and recently returned to SA to focus on GBG after spending the past two years developing the platform with his Croatian business partner and a team of developers.

The EIG Expo, on from 18-20 October in Berlin, is widely regarded as the most authoritative gaming expo in the world and attracts delegates from more than 80 countries. Winners of the startup competition will be announced later this week.


You can find out about even more events happening in South Africa in our events calendar. If you want all the news about goings on in South Africa, simply click on the SA flag to be whisked to the most comprehensive coverage of South African gaming that you will find on the internet. You may just be surprised by how much is happening around the country.

Know of anything gaming related happening or happened in South Africa? Drop us an email at info@zombiegamer.co.za and we will do our best to cover it.

About Zombie Dredd

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