This year rAge (the really Awesome gaming expo) celebrates its 15th anniversary. From (presumably) humble beginnings it is now the premier South African gaming expo attended by tens of thousands of gamers and other fans of geeky goodness, and rAge 2017 really promises more than ever before alongside the usual familiar fare.

If you’re still only considering heading to the Ticketpro Dome on 6 to 8 October these tasty morsels should be the final push off the fence you’re teetering on.

Games, games, games

Games confirmed for this year include GT Sport and a behind-closed-doors screening the new God of War on the PlayStation stand. There will be some pre-release code of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, as well as Middle-earth: Shadow of War which will be playable on the Xbox Stand.

Xbox South Africa have Forza Motorsport 7 which will be shown off on an Xbox One X. Yes, you can get your hands on the new ‘most powerful console in the world. Ever’ at rAge.

Megarom Interactive and their brands will be out in full force with Call of Duty: WWII on PlayStation 4. It is however the Ubisoft contingent that is most exciting with Assassin’s Creed Origins (shown off on the Xbox One X), Far Cry 5, The Crew 2, and South Park: The Fractured but Whole. There will also be the Nintendo Switch game, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.

Local developers get to show off their wares at the home_coded stand, and this year there is plenty to get excited about. Codex Knights, Jengo and The Adventures of Sam Carlisle: The Hunt for the Lost Treasure are just some of the games you can check out. Local developer stalwarts Celestial Games will be doing “live game development” on their stand with visitors encouraged to join in.

Attending rAge 2017 ? Then check out all the awesome titles you will be able to get you hands on at the show.

Posted by Megarom Games on Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Esports (or eSports or e-sports)

rAge 2017 sees esports take a pretty big floor footprint (albeit slightly foolishly hosting two major CS:GO tournaments).

The VS Gaming CS:GO Masters Finals will culminate as eight teams battle for a R550,000 prize pool. The action kicks off on Friday 6 October at 10:00, and will continue until only one team walks away with the R220,000 first prize on Sunday. If you can’t make it to rAge, you will be able to catch the action live via stream here.

Sticking with VS Gaming, the Digital Gaming Championships (or DGC for those that hate tongue twisters) takes place in the basement of the Dome. Spectator spots are like hen’s teeth so you will probably need to wait for the winners to be announced on social media after the eight titles being contested are completed. The titles being featured at DGC this year are Counter-Strike:Global Offensive, League of Legends, Dota 2, Rocket League, Hearthstone, Call of Duty:Infinite Warfare, Battlefield 4, and Overwatch. According to the blurb, there are 400 competitive gamers participating for their share of the R215,000 total prize pool.

The other CS:GO tournament is the ESL Africa Grand Finals which pits the top two North African teams against the top two South African teams for a piece of the R2,000,000 up for grabs. ESL Africa will also bring their Hearthstone Grand Finals played out at rAge with the top four Hearthstone players in Africa facing off. The 500sqm stand also houses the Kwesé Hearthstone Fireside Gathering on 7 October from 10:00 until 18:00, an opportunity to purchase imported ESL merchandise and two international casters in Moses and Pansy.

Our local CS:GO guru, Axtremes had a look at the upcoming tournaments and his insight can be found here for the VS Gaming Masters and here for the ESL tournament.

If you’re keen on some virtual punching and kicking, then ACGL is lending a hand at the Justice League stand where Injustice 2 will be the order of the day to celebrate the imminent release of the DC film.

Fans of Bravado Gaming can catch them Saturday at the Incredible Connection stand from 12:00 to 13:00 to snap a pic or grab an autograph. The first 500 visitors will also bag exclusive signed Alienware gifts.

Competitions, giveaways and swag

There is plenty of giveaways and competitions happening at rAge this year. Considering they’re celebrating their 15th birthday, that’s not a surprise at all.

  • The rAge Cosplay Competition will be on 8 October from 14:00 to 16:00 on the cosplay stage.
  • Set a fastest lap with GINX Esports TV, DStv and Supersport (stand 10), and you can win prizes that include a PS4, DStv Explora 2 Decoder, GINX Esports Gaming Chair,  Kaizer Chiefs Replica Football Jersey, FIFA 18 , GINX Snapbacks and GINX T-Shirts.
  • The VUMA stand will be running a VR racing game fastest lap competition. Top lap every day will win a R500 Steam voucher, with the best lap time of the weekend bagging another R500. There will also be a cosplay competition – take a picture at the stand, post it on Instagram (using the hashtag #VUMArAge), and you’re in a draw for another R500 Steam voucher.
  • Another fastest lap opportunity, this time to win a Logitech G29 Racing set. Head to the Matrix Warehouse stand and try your luck. There is also a selfie wall, where posting on Instagram with the hashtags #matrix #rage2017 will stand you in line to win the best picture prize. On top of that spend over R200 at the stand and you could win a PC.
  • More selfie action on the Incredible Connection stand. Snap a pic in the Alienware frame (we can only assume someone will have to take the photo for you) on the stand and post it using #ALIENWAREGAMEFACE and @DellEMCSADC and stand a chance to win one of a number of Alienware prizes on offer. The prizes include an Alienware Vindicator 2.0 Backpack, Alienware TactX Headset with Adaptor, Alienware Vindicator 2.0 Messenger Bag and Alienware hampers.
  • Kwesé Gamer are hosting a number of giveaways and prizes, but for details you will need to monitor their social media.
  • ABSA will be giving away a grand prize of R20,000 in their three-day virtual reality gaming competition. Get freaked out by their facial detection and recognition software, and realise how scary you actually look. Also available on their stand will be a hacker games website hosting an hourly cipher challenge and a vulnerable virtual machine. Rage against the (virtual) machine and you could win prizes that include Digispark ATTINY85’s, Raspberry Pi’s and an ASUS tinker board.
  • Highbury Media and Frontosa have a Logitech G230 Headset up for grabs. Head to their stand to find out how.
  • Syntech has R60,000 in cash to giveaway over the weekend. Six different winners will win R10,000 each with R20,000 is given away per day. For details on how to stand a chance to win, head here.
  • Giveaways will be held at the Apex Interactive stand as well as via a number of ‘influencers’ and brand ambassadors including Chani_ZAConstantine104 and Tech Girl.
  • TFG Tech are offering a variety of giveaways and competitions. Prizes include drones, phones and various other tech products, and there is also a ‘Subscribe and Win’ competition. [If you subscribe you will get a monthly dose of Zombie Dredd in printed format. Don’t let that stop you though. – Undead Ed]
  • Eurasian Entertainment will be giving away an arcade console via competitions being run throughout the weekend.
  • Plantronics and Pulse Gaming are hosting RIG wars at their stand every day. Play against one of the Pulse professionals and stand inline to win prizes.
  • If you’re into scavenger hunting, then Mattador Starfish will have you throughout the weekend.
  • WestudioGames will be giving away R1,000 every day of rAge to celebrate their game Tapp ITT.
  • Central City Comics has discounts and prizes if you prove yourself worthy of lifting Thor’s Mjolnir. You can also potentially bag rAge exclusive badges.
  • Airsoft HQ has a tactical pistol shooting range outside Entrance 1. Set the highest score and shortest time and win a WE Beretta 92 airsoft pistol. Entries are R20.
  • Spend over R1,000 at Codation and get entered into a random draw for a custom water-cooled Mini-ITXPC valued at R25,000.
  • Silver Spire will run two raffles to in which you can win hand-crafted sterling silver jewelry.

If that’s not enough, there’s also a host of prizes up for grabs on the NAG website.

Sale stuff. Cheap stuff

Sales. There are always sales at rAge. BT Games (specials are available here) and CNA are likely to lead the charge but we’re pretty sure there will be others selling slightly more hidden gems too. Distributor Apex Interactive will be offering a variety of their product range at discounted prices via their retail partners. Razer and Turtle Beach items will be available via Incredible Connection, BT Games, Titan-Ice and Matrix Warehouse. Buy yourself a promoted Razer product and you will also receive a free mousepad or Razer Leet pack.

Incredible Connection are selling the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 laptop at an R8,000 discount for R14,999. Only 50 units will be available and the offer is limited to only one per customer.

If you find a good deal for consoles and, well, just about anything, let a zombie know though because we’re a little skint and need all the help we can get these days.

Tech and other coveted goods

HP will showing off the latest OMEN products, while Codation will have custom water-cooled PCs and other respective components.

Peripherals are covered by Pixel Customs (hand-painted PS4 and Xbox One controllers), Skullcandy (the new Skullcandy Crusher wireless headset) and Global Gaming Pads (custom-made mouse pads).

Apex Interactive will reveal the new Tactical range by Gioteck, showing off the full range of PC accessories by Nacon,and an extensive variety of PDP products. Razer will also feature for both console and PC and the latest Turtle Beach (the Stealth 600 Series) will be available for the first time in South Africa.

The new 800 Gaming Series headsets by Plantronics will be shown off with the product only launching in 2018. Astrum Peripherals will have a variety of their key products available which include Bluetooth stereo headsets, ultra-slim Bluetooth speakers, high definition webcams with Wi-Fi and built-in microphones, flexible, portable LED table lamps, and USB3.0 Type-C universal docking systems.

On the mobile side of things, Young Pioneer will have a host of smartphone and computer accessories, as well as gaming accessories. If you’re in the market for a media player then Kwesé will feature the Kwesé Play device.

That’s not likely to be the only items available or on display as you can expect ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI and a whole lot more to be making use of the weekend to engage with the masses.

The same but more

Geek culture. Lots of geek culture at rAge this year. It’s possibly the main reason many attend. Cosplay (workshops and competitions), animation, course opportunities, Artists Alley, comics, collectibles and more are all making their usual appearance at the expo.

The now cult-like NAG LAN with it’s around 2,000 seats will be present and correct as always and you will be able to gawk at the unwashed multitudes from the other side of the chain-link fence. We mean that in the nicest way possible – have you ever smelt a zombie for instance? If you are one of the LAN attendees, then you should sign up for the Orena PUBG tournament.

rAge Roxy Cosplay
by Pippa Tshabalala

The All-important Details

  • Dates: 6 – 8 October 2017
  • Times: Friday: 10:00-18:00 | Saturday: 09:00-18:00 | Sunday: 09:00-16:00
  • Venue: Ticketpro Dome, Northgate
  • Tickets: R120 per person (Day Pass) | R300 per person (Weekend Pass) | Kids under 6 are Free

And that’s it. Plenty to see and do. You’ll catch a zombie or two and some of the ACGL crew around the venue, so that should make the decision to go even easier. If you do see one of these tireless workers, give them a hug and tell them you appreciate them. Not me. I won’t be there, but those that deserve to be are, so be nice and they won’t bite.

Information sourced via NAG and a bit of other research.

Coverage Elsewhere: