I’m loving all the attention eSport is getting lately. The International saw some impressive growth, and even got some love from ESPN. Our local scene is also constantly on the rise, with more sponsors hopping on board and more tournaments being hosted.
The NAG Gaming League (NGL) have announced the Aorus Corsair Dota 2 Clash. The tournament has a prize pool sitting at a whopping R275 000, which includes all sorts of hardware goodness sponsored by Aorus and Corsair. It will kick off with some online qualifiers, where the top teams will then go on to play in the main event held at the rAge Expo this October.
I’m all for growing the eSport scene in this country, but I can’t help feeling that the timing isn’t the best. The NGL tournament is going to clash directly with the Dota 2 Do Gaming Championship (DGC), which is also set to be held at the rAge Expo over that weekend. The DGC takes the top teams from the Do Gaming League, and puts them up against each other to determine who is the best. Their prize pool sits at R160 000, which is sponsored by ASUS and SteelSeries.
From what I have read and heard from the community, there are some mixed responses. Will the NGL not be taking away viewership from the DGC and vice versa? I have no official schedules for either tournament, but I’d imagine that it would be near impossible for a team to take part in both. The prize pool for the NGL is also larger, meaning that some teams may choose to drop from the DGC just to have a shot at a bigger reward.
A positive I can see from this is that it actually gives teams a better chance at winning something, because there is a much larger overall prize pool when both tournaments are combined. Still, I do think that it will inevitably split the community this year instead of bringing it together for one ultimate final.
NavTV Provide Comment
I had a chat with Miles Regenass, the Marketing Manager from NavTV. They will be providing casters for both the DGC and NGL. Miles explained more to me, giving me some understanding as to why both tournaments running simultaneously isn’t such a bad thing.
We have had discussions about the NGL happening at rAge this year and to be honest are very excited about it. As of right now DGL has not confirmed they will host the DGC at rAge, but for arguments sake let’s presume they are. They are such different events. DGC is a league that runs for 8 months, so there is a huge build up to the event. Teams are placed in divisions, they know where they stand.
Now it can be said that one will detract from the other, however our point of view is this; we have a huge competitive scene in South Africa right now. There are many skilled teams across many different platforms. What we are lacking in is supporters. So if NGL is situated on the main floor of the rAge expo and can draw in more supporters and viewers for local eSports, it’s a win win.
I can understand that from a spectator point of view. I was extremely disappointed last year when I realised the DGC was open only to a limited audience. I had a media pass, so I was guaranteed to get in, but what about average Joe/Josephina Soap? Not so easy in their case. I did ask Miles about the inevitable clash, and what it means for DGL.
If anything this might lead the DGL to host their own event/finals at another location and time next year, and it allows NAG to test the waters and maybe also host more events in future. I can see DGL moving from rAge and being a huge success. If NAG keep hosting NGL events with the support of the community, it will be better for all of us.
Now this isn’t to be misunderstood as NAG trying to kick the DGL out, it is their expo after all. If anything, It would be really awesome if the DGC took place in an environment that provides a much larger area for spectators. Imagine something along the lines of The International, but with all the local teams playing their relevant game. I would pay good money to attend that.
NAG Provide Comment
Seeing as NAG are the big name behind rAge, I reached out to them for comment too. I got a response from Lauren Das Neves, the Project Manager of the NGL.
The Aorus Corsair Dota 2 Clash tournament has two primary objectives: the first one is to showcase competitive gaming to the general public at rAge on the expo floor. This second is to provide additional opportunities and experience for Dota 2 teams to compete at a major event such as rAge. Given that there is only this one big gaming expo in SA, it is the ideal platform to host a competitive tournament. Having this event at rAge on the show floor will create awareness amongst the general public and expose them to eSports. We’re not expecting current DGL Dota 2 teams who will be competing at DGC in rAge to sign up for this tournament. We’re looking to encourage all the other 180 odd teams who didn’t make it through and have been playing in the DGL league for the past 8 months to enter our online qualifiers and try and secure a spot for themselves at rAge, so we don’t see this as splitting the quality of the tournaments. Our original goal when we launched NGL was to foster and help to grow competitive gaming communities, and we feel that this event at rAge is perfectly aligned with that vision.
I can understand that reasoning. Smaller teams are often left in the dust of the much larger teams, with very little recognition or reward for their efforts.
Still, you are the community, and it’s up to you to decide what is best. What do you think? Will these two tournaments result in an overall larger community involvement? Or will they take away from each other, resulting in a split community?