This past Saturday (13 September), Red Bull South Africa made a low key entry into the waters of South African console eSports with a four team invitational event at their offices in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront.
The tournament was quietly put together in what appears to be Red Bull’s attempt to gain a broader understanding of the operations and support needed to get more fully involved in a scene crying out for major international support at local level.
We were (dare we say, of course) there to help them realise their early goal, and based on feedback from all involved, the event (and venue) was positively received.
So what went down between the four teams invited on the day? As usual, F34R Adept, Xero Fracture, Vinco Gaming and Team Paragon Elite did not disappoint with plenty of matches being tense affairs, especially the showdown between the F34R team and Xero Fracture.
The tournament was a round-robin event in which each team played each other once in a best of three match, with the modes being Domination, Blitz and Search and Destroy.
The first match of the day was between the red and yellow teams of SA gaming. F34R faced the Vinco team with Domination on Freight hitting the halfway point with a slender one point lead to F34R. F34R held firm in the second half and took the mode 159-147 to head into Blitz on Warhawk. Once again, Vinco pushed F34R, but could not close the three point difference until F34R took the map 17-14 and the match 2-0.
Team Paragon Elite and Xero Fracture faced off next. The Paragon team was – to be fair on them – not their full team and they did struggle with communication and team chemistry, but they were not a team that would lie down and be walked over. They went down 196-126 in Domination on Freight and 15-9 in Blitz on Warhawk,, with Xero Fracture only had a two point lead at half-time.
Paragon headed straight into their second match, with their opponents being the Vinco team for Domination on Octane. Vinco ran out winners by 172-129 and then followed up with a 20-14 win on Freight with Blitz to secure their first win of the day.
The match of the day – due to how close the two teams went and the fact that it proved to be the decider – featured F34R Adept and Xero Fracture. Domination on Octane stood at 90-58 at the switch, with a few being surprised that the lead was held by the Xero Fracture team. They didn’t let go of their initiative and finished the map 184-111. With a lead going into the Blitz round on Freight, Xero Fracture were clearly confident, but a resurgent F34R team ensured a comprehensive 24-14 win to tie things up.
Search and Destroy on Sovereign was starting to shape up as the round that would decide the champions of the day, and when Xero Fracture romped to a 4-0 lead, it was starting to look like their day. However, F34R fought back and eventually it reached a nail-biting 5-5 situation. Now the very last round of the match would decide things (unless of course results in the last two matches surprised). It was a cautious round for all playing but it was down to a final kill from the F34R team that decided the match and placed them top of the leaderboard with two wins.
The match featuring Paragon and F34R was not completely irrelevant, as a number of permutations existed should Paragon surprise their more fancied opponents. However, it was to be a three match winning streak on the day for F34R who took Domination on Strikezone 172-124 and Blitz on Octane 24-12.
Vinco Gaming and Xero Fracture had second spot to play for, and for Vinco, both rounds really proved to be a tale of two halves. In Domination on Strikezone, they were only nine points in arrears, but Xero Fracture turned things around to secure the map 161-139. On Octane (Blitz) Vinco went into the second half 6-4 up, but again, the Xero Fracture guys turned it around and took the mode 13-10 to secure second spot overall.
You can use the embedded tournament bracket below to view the standings, results and more. The bracket is powered by Toornament.com. Our congratulations to the F34R Adept for taking the win (and bagging an Xbox One for the team). A big shoutout to the other three teams and the spectators that did attend. And a thanks to Red Bull for inviting the scene into their office.
While many may question the lack of promotion, marketing and even a livestream of the event, it seems that for Red Bull the plan is to do things at their own pace to ensure that when the time is right, they will unleash the event many wish for, and that they feel deserves the Red Bull branding. We suggest you stay tuned, as we think there’s more to come in the future.
More photos from the event can be found here.