Esports is absolutely booming around the world with tournaments frequently getting in millions of views on streams, and this December visitors to rAge expo will be able to witness the phenomenon live.
The expo, which takes place at the Gallagher Convention Centre from the 9th to the 11th of December, will see a number of South African esports organisations hosting an action-packed lineup of games including Minecraft, Rocket League, Overwatch and the CS:GO Intel Africa Masters.
RGB Gaming will be hosting a series of competitions aimed at bringing together teams from a variety of schools where esports has taken off in popularity. RGB Gaming has been working tirelessly with schools and tertiary institutions around the country to help them develop their esports programs through everything from assisting with system and environment requirements to training with teachers, general IT and even, assisting players with game/life balance and help with their posture.
According to GM for RGB Gaming Jaco Sauer there is evidence that shows esports programs within educational institutions help build a sense of belonging, promote collaboration and communication skills, and foster good sportsmanship and improved social behaviour, whilst also creating a pipeline for future STEM careers and furthering learners’ strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities.
“We at RGB Gaming believe integrating these programs in learning institutions through a sustainable and stable environment not only helps children to build their future in a technologically inclined world but also promotes the understanding of parents and teachers that this is building viable 21st-century skillsets,” said Sauer, GM.
That help has been paying off as illustrated by the fact that 14 schools are set to take part in Friday's Minecraft Speedrun tournament at rAge Expo, with six high schools taking on the Overwatch2 tournament on Saturday. Along the way, there will also be time for Minecraft Build challenges and PvP, with Minecraft coding challenges taking place on the Sunday.
Also making its debut at rAge will be the Intel Africa Masters CS:GO finals, which is the first of its kind on the continent. Four teams from the African continent have made it through the regional qualifiers and will be competing against each other to take home the title of African champions. Carly Twaddle, head of project management, at Mettlestate said the four finalists are a real testament to the talent in Africa.
“This is an important event for esports, not only in South Africa but across the continent. There is so much talent in Africa, and we wish them to luck in the finals at rAge,” said Twaddle.
Fresh from the Intel Arabian cup, Cairo City Gzzz will be arriving from Egypt, and 15averageGang are representing Algeria from the North Africa region.
Captain of Cairo Xity Gzzz, Basel ‘Hellsing’ Alaa Mahmoud Ali says his team are ready for the competition.
“It’s the first international LAN for us all. We played before, but it was just in our region, and we are really excited because we want to do something huge!” he says.
Unsurprisingly, esports has been growing exponentially in Nigeria, so local fans will no doubt be looking forward to their first live glimpse of the regional champions Outlaws who, despite being relative newcomers, left no one in doubt they were deserving winners in their home country.
Without doubt, though, the rAge crowd will be cheering for their local champions Bravado, whose team captain Aaron “SloWye” van der Walt says has the experience to win.
“It's been a tough year so far but we're happy that we were the team to represent our scene at the Intel Africa Masters finals. We will wave the Bravado Gaming flag high and will show that we have what it takes to be the best,” he insists.
Andreas Hadjipaschali, co-founder, and CEO at Bravado Gaming, perhaps encapsulated the enormity of the occasion when he explained what an honour it is to partner with Intel and compete at the first Intel Africa Masters.
“We're looking so forward to competing against the best of the best in Africa and showing the world the potential we have to put this beautiful continent on the esports map,” he said.
It doesn't end there by any means. Mamelodi Sundowns F.C. and Mettlestate are hosting an R200 000 FIFA 23 tournament with the semi-finals and finals to be held at rAge. The tournament was announced to celebrate Sundowns' inclusion in FIFA23 and has attracted a large number of gamers, all vying for one of the top 8 spots, in four live qualifiers around the country and an online event leading up to the rAge weekend.
There is another R50 000 on the line in the Incredible All Star Gaming Rocket League finals, which are also being held at rAge. Mettlestate has been presiding over the online qualifiers with playoffs taking place this week which will see the top 2 teams making their way to rAge.
And if that's not enough, the Ultimate Gaming Championships are also back at rAge 2022 with rAge Drive, their action-packed, awesome fighting game tournament. Friday 9 December will see players take on the Street Fighter 5 tournament with Tekken 7 players getting their chance on Saturday 10 December. The prize? Winners of both tournaments will qualify for the Red Bull Hit The Streets national final which is taking place in Cape Town on 17 December. Registration is now open so head here to sign up.
For those who haven't yet played in qualifiers or who are new to competitive gaming, the Predator Ultimate Gamer Challenge offers the perfect opportunity to get a few quick games in and potentially win a R130 000 Predator gaming setup as well. Those with the skills should either be at rAge on 10 December or register and qualify online for the 11 December final.
Obviously, rAge Expo wouldn’t be complete without Call of Duty. The #C3ZA Call of Duty Community Clash, hosted by ACGL and Predator, will see some of SA’s best COD: Modern Warfare 2 teams go head-to-head for a share of R40 000.
“We can’t wait for this year’s rAge Expo to kick-off, “said co-owner of the African Cyber Gaming League, Nicholas Holden, adding “The ACGL team will be out in full force assisting some amazing brands in bringing their stands to life”.
For the gamers who will be attending the #NAGLAN, Red Bull is hosting their well-established Red Bull Flick 2v2 CS:GO competition in the LAN. Registration will take place on Friday, and the games will take place on Saturday.
It's all lining up to be a weekend to remember for gamers and esports fans.
Tickets to the rAge Expo are available to buy online via Howler.
rAge Expo 2022:
Dates: 9 - 11 December 2022
Expo times: Friday: 10:00-18:00 | Saturday: 09:00-18:00 | Sunday: 09:00-16:00
Day pass: R180 per person
Weekend pass: R400 per person
Kids under 6:Free
Venue: Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, Gauteng