Is NAG competing with the DGC? 
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Gavin Mannion
August 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm

DON'T MAKE ME CHOOSE

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.

Overview

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.

Your Thoughts?

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?

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  • Sith JJ

    Doesn’t NAG stand for New Age Gaming? So it’s New Age Gaming Gaming League?

    • Admiral Chief Dovahkiin

      XD

    • Jeff

      I think its more like, ‘New Age Gaming’s Gaming League’

      • Sith JJ

        Ah, So it’s N’sGL
        ;)

      • sean

        jeff pls go

    • Spathi

      It did stand for New Age Gaming, but they changed the name to NAG only, as some parents were upset by the New Age part. That’s what I read somewhere I think. Trust me at your own peril!

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wesley-Fick/184346154999538 Wesley Fick

      I’ve been wondering this myself. I know people who don’t even know what NAG stands for!

  • Sith JJ

    Doesn’t NAG stand for New Age Gaming or something? So it’s New Age Gaming Gaming League?

    • Admiral Chief Dovahkiin

      XD

    • Jeff

      I think its more like, ‘New Age Gaming’s Gaming League’

      • Sith JJ

        Ah, So it’s N’sGL
        ;)

      • sean

        jeff pls go

    • Spathi

      It did stand for New Age Gaming, but they changed the name to NAG only, as some parents were upset by the New Age part. That’s what I read somewhere I think. Trust me at your own peril!

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wesley-Fick/184346154999538 Wesley Fick

      I’ve been wondering this myself. I know people who don’t even know what NAG stands for!

  • DeWet Lombard-Bovéy

    Nice article guys

    • Willem Van Wyk

      Lol DeWet you are every where!

      • DeWet Lombard-Bovéy

        Hehe….. Well its time I become more involved in the Community isnt it. haha
        :D

  • DeWet Lombard-Bovéy

    Nice article guys

    • Willem Van Wyk

      Lol DeWet you are every where!

      • DeWet Lombard-Bovéy

        Hehe….. Well its time I become more involved in the Community isnt it. haha
        :D

  • Shase

    2 Massive dota tournaments at Rage, great but now there is an overlap for Dota 2 while SC2 is completely neglected, what a sad day for South African RTS.

    • Willem Van Wyk

      What is SC2?

      • Admiral Chief Dovahkiin

        Starcraft 2

        :P

        • Sith JJ

          Rubbish.
          It’s Stealth Cabbage 2.
          You’re slipping Admiral.

          • Viking Of Science

            you’re both wrong it’s Space Chaos 2

          • Admiral Chief Dovahkiin

            Super Cabbage The Second

            Get with the times JJ

        • Willem Van Wyk

          Never heard of it…

          • Admiral Chief Dovahkiin

            Some say, many APMs are had amongst the SC2tonians

    • Rags

      Yeah man its all done to improve esports don’t you know? lulz.

  • Shase

    2 Massive dota tournaments at Rage, great but now there is an overlap for Dota 2 while SC2 is completely neglected, what a sad day for South African RTS.

    • Willem Van Wyk

      What is SC2?

      • Admiral Chief Dovahkiin

        Starcraft 2

        :P

        • Sith JJ

          Rubbish.
          It’s Stealth Cabbage 2.
          You’re slipping Admiral.

          • Viking Of Science

            you’re both wrong it’s Space Chaos 2

          • Admiral Chief Dovahkiin

            Super Cabbage The Second

            Get with the times JJ

        • Willem Van Wyk

          Never heard of it…

          • Admiral Chief Dovahkiin

            Some say, many APMs are had amongst the SC2tonians

    • Rags

      Yeah man its all done to improve esports don’t you know? lulz.

    • http://www.deviationgaming.com/ Logan

      Unfortunately Shase, StarCraft 2 does not have the massive amount of support it had in the past. When HotS was released the DGL had a HUGE influx of gamers to take part, sadly that mass did not stay around. So it was decided on which would offer more spectator view and which would have the most interest.
      It’s not gone, just taking a break.

  • Guild

    Damn I need to start playing Dota2. With prizes like these I want in.

    • Admiral Chief Dovahkiin

      Agreed. Lets start with the practice ASAP

  • Guild

    Damn I need to start playing Dota2. With prizes like these I want in.

    • Admiral Chief Dovahkiin

      Agreed. Lets start with the practice ASAP

  • Rags

    kak dom.

  • Rags

    kak dom.

  • noxville

    So, I’m a person who’s followed a lot of Dota, both locally and abroad. I’ve been following competitive gaming, specifically CS (1.6 and more recently GO) and Dota (1 & 2). In all my time watching Dota 2, there’s been only one situation where two significant offline events clashed in the past (MLG & ESL earlier this year) which led to MLG dropping Dota 2 to not clash (as this was in the interest of the players and the viewers). An article on this is here: http://www.ongamers.com/articles/mlg-announces-that-dota-2-will-not-be-at-the-championship-in-anaheim/1100-1038/ . The reason that (despite there being lots and lots of events happening both on- and off-line throughout the year) we don’t see clashes is because the event organizers are acutely aware of what is better for the community, because . Every large offline tournament: Dreamhack(s), The International, ESL events, WPC, MLG; they all optimize their schedules so that the best players can attend their events because this is better for the community, better for the spectators and better for them. Even Riot (the guys who make League of Legends, the biggest title in the (some part of me hates using this word, urghh) MOBA genre moved their LCS Qualifier event so it wouldn’t clash with TI3.

    So this takes us to the second point: discussing some of the claims made in in the article. Let’s start with Lauren Das Neves.

    “The first one is to showcase competitive gaming to the general public at rAge on the expo floor.”. This is really not a reason to host an event. If NAG wanted to showcase competitive gaming on the expo floor, they could ask the finals (or even just some of the games) of DGC to be on the expo floor. I can guarantee that DGL will be okay with that (I mean, in the last 6 years they haven’t let DGL have any floor space on the upper level), so I’m a bit surprised that instead of asking them to come have some exposure on the top floor (instead of being in the basement where, due to fire reasons there are limits on the number of spectators that can get in), they decided to host their own tournament. Just doesn’t add up.

    “Provide additional opportunities and experience for Dota 2 teams to compete at a major event such as rAge”. Last year, there were 20 teams invited to DGC (all of Premier Division, some from First Division, and a few from Open Division). I think it was 10 of these that accepted the invite, so DGL sent out more invites to the other First Division teams and some more Open Division teams. The total number then went up to 15. DGL then extended the invitation once more to any Open Division team, and finally 20 teams had agreed to come (the target). So, any team could have got the opportunity and experience out of a large event “such as rAge” could have attended the event “such as rAge”.

    The third point made is “We’re not expecting current DGL Dota 2 teams who will be competing at DGC in rAge to sign up for this tournament.”. This is just a complete lie, or an indication of stupidity. If NAG asked any single top team in the community (actually, you could probably ask even random neutral people in the community – they’d probably say the same thing) “what would happen if you made a competition at rAge with ~R30k laptops as the first prize?”, they’d all tell you exactly what’s going to happen: the top teams are just going to split up amongst the two tournaments and win everything.

    The final point I’ll look at of Lauren’s is “so we don’t see this as splitting the quality of the tournaments”. Well, it’s quite clear that this event *is* going to split the quality of the tournament, and now that you know that are you going to do anything about it? Probably not right, because this is just another PR bullshit line thrown into the mix.

    The only point of Mile’s worth talking about is “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.”. This is pretty much a situation similar to Lauren’s first point I discussed: If you want to get a new car, you don’t build a car factory to produce it. The simplest way to get supporters involved in eSports (which is the claim made by both Miles and Lauren) would be to give DGC exposure, the second easiest way would be to host competitions that are completely different times of the year to existing tournaments so that players can play when there’s no DGL/Orena/MWEB/LibertyLAN/MSSA, and so on.

    It’s quite funny that when the MSSA decided to host an event last year during rAge, the entire community united and told the MSSA it was really fucking retarded to host a tournament at the same time as DGC; but now some people have decided it’s suddenly okay? Strangely, all the people suggesting it’s a good idea are the people who benefit directly from it.

    People are always asking me “what do you want to achieve by discussing this?”. It’s quite simple – one of the tournaments should move. DGC moving their Dota 2 event makes more sense as it is NAG’s expo, but it’s also completely unreasonable that NAG has given them ~2 months notice to move such a large competition that sponsors have signed off on, and contracts have been made. If NAG were just reasonable about this, there’d be no screwup.

    Even if none of the events move, it’s great that people who make these (???) decisions realise that this decision is stupid for future events; and even if they don’t it’d still be great if NAG actually just said “you know, you’re right. We didn’t tell DGL about this until now because it’s too late for them to move. We’re going to claim that all of this is in the interest of the gamers and spectators, but really it’s in *our* interests that we’re doing this”. I’m not holding thumbs though waiting for that.

    • Willem Van Wyk

      tl;dr

    • caponeil

      I think I are confused now!

    • DeWet Lombard-Bovéy
      • noxville

        Linking an example (only the 2nd in nearly 4 years) in which the entire community (everyone: players, casters, spectators, coaches) quite clearly agrees it’s a shit idea and pleads with both organizers to try make a plan to avoid the clash doesn’t support your claim. This represents < 0.1% of all offline events, and in the significant other clash the events fixed the issue.

        Wait, unless you're trying to highlight why two events is worse?

        • DeWet Lombard-Bovéy

          Nothing meant by it. Just saying “It happens….. ” Thats about it

          • noxville

            It happens very rarely, and when it does everyone in the world says it’s bad (not one significant person has said it’s a good thing).

          • noxville

            (what you doing is something like “terrorist attacks do occur, and so we should be okay with them happening because they do happen”).

          • http://www.deviationgaming.com/ Logan

            nox, you seem to be getting a little too worked up over this.
            Unfortunately, the timing is not right, its up to both DGC and NAG to come to a compromise (which would be something of a surprise in this country) and work together. I am not saying you are wrong, you have a very good point, but it is something that we cannot fix and getting worked up over it is really pointless at this time.

            However, all I can see is that there is nearly half a million rand in prizes for ONE game this year locally for us in South Africa, and that is pretty damn big in my opinion. Maybe we should be looking at that.

          • noxville

            It’s something that possibly *can* be fixed, but unless the community calls out people making bad decisions, most of the time the people making the decisions won’t realise how dumb the decisions are. In this case, I ended up speaking to the guy running the rAge Expo (M. James) and he had no idea what a clusterfuck this was.

            Nobody is complaining about there being more money, it’s about how the prizes are going to be split in a way which doesn’t really allow all the top teams to compete with each other.

  • noxville

    So, I’m a person who’s followed a lot of Dota, both locally and abroad. I’ve been following competitive gaming, specifically CS (1.6 and more recently GO) and Dota (1 & 2). In all my time watching Dota 2, there’s been only one situation where two significant offline events clashed in the past (MLG & ESL earlier this year) which led to MLG dropping Dota 2 to not clash (as this was in the interest of the players and the viewers). An article on this is here: http://www.ongamers.com/articles/mlg-announces-that-dota-2-will-not-be-at-the-championship-in-anaheim/1100-1038/ . The reason that (despite there being lots and lots of events happening both on- and off-line throughout the year) we don’t see clashes is because the event organizers are acutely aware of what is better for the community, because . Every large offline tournament: Dreamhack(s), The International, ESL events, WPC, MLG; they all optimize their schedules so that the best players can attend their events because this is better for the community, better for the spectators and better for them. Even Riot (the guys who make League of Legends, the biggest title in the (some part of me hates using this word, urghh) MOBA genre moved their LCS Qualifier event so it wouldn’t clash with TI3.

    So this takes us to the second point: discussing some of the claims made in in the article. Let’s start with Lauren Das Neves.

    “The first one is to showcase competitive gaming to the general public at rAge on the expo floor.”. This is really not a reason to host an event. If NAG wanted to showcase competitive gaming on the expo floor, they could ask the finals (or even just some of the games) of DGC to be on the expo floor. I can guarantee that DGL will be okay with that (I mean, in the last 6 years they haven’t let DGL have any floor space on the upper level), so I’m a bit surprised that instead of asking them to come have some exposure on the top floor (instead of being in the basement where, due to fire reasons there are limits on the number of spectators that can get in), they decided to host their own tournament. Just doesn’t add up.

    “Provide additional opportunities and experience for Dota 2 teams to compete at a major event such as rAge”. Last year, there were 20 teams invited to DGC (all of Premier Division, some from First Division, and a few from Open Division). I think it was 10 of these that accepted the invite, so DGL sent out more invites to the other First Division teams and some more Open Division teams. The total number then went up to 15. DGL then extended the invitation once more to any Open Division team, and finally 20 teams had agreed to come (the target). So, any team could have got the opportunity and experience out of a large event “such as rAge” could have attended the event “such as rAge”.

    The third point made is “We’re not expecting current DGL Dota 2 teams who will be competing at DGC in rAge to sign up for this tournament.”. This is just a complete lie, or an indication of stupidity. If NAG asked any single top team in the community (actually, you could probably ask even random neutral people in the community – they’d probably say the same thing) “what would happen if you made a competition at rAge with ~R30k laptops as the first prize?”, they’d all tell you exactly what’s going to happen: the top teams are just going to split up amongst the two tournaments and win everything.

    The final point I’ll look at of Lauren’s is “so we don’t see this as splitting the quality of the tournaments”. Well, it’s quite clear that this event *is* going to split the quality of the tournament, and now that you know that are you going to do anything about it? Probably not right, because this is just another PR bullshit line thrown into the mix.

    The only point of Mile’s worth talking about is “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.”. This is pretty much a situation similar to Lauren’s first point I discussed: If you want to get a new car, you don’t build a car factory to produce it. The simplest way to get supporters involved in eSports (which is the claim made by both Miles and Lauren) would be to give DGC exposure, the second easiest way would be to host competitions that are completely different times of the year to existing tournaments so that players can play when there’s no DGL/Orena/MWEB/LibertyLAN/MSSA, and so on.

    It’s quite funny that when the MSSA decided to host an event last year during rAge, the entire community united and told the MSSA it was really fucking retarded to host a tournament at the same time as DGC; but now some people have decided it’s suddenly okay? Strangely, all the people suggesting it’s a good idea are the people who benefit directly from it.

    People are always asking me “what do you want to achieve by discussing this?”. It’s quite simple – one of the tournaments should move. DGC moving their Dota 2 event makes more sense as it is NAG’s expo, but it’s also completely unreasonable that NAG has given them ~2 months notice to move such a large competition that sponsors have signed off on, and contracts have been made. If NAG were just reasonable about this, there’d be no screwup.

    Even if none of the events move, it’s great that people who make these (???) decisions realise that this decision is stupid for future events; and even if they don’t it’d still be great if NAG actually just said “you know, you’re right. We didn’t tell DGL about this until now because it’s too late for them to move. We’re going to claim that all of this is in the interest of the gamers and spectators, but really it’s in *our* interests that we’re doing this”. I’m not holding thumbs though waiting for that.

    • Willem Van Wyk

      tl;dr

    • caponeil

      I think I are confused now!

    • DeWet Lombard-Bovéy
      • noxville

        Linking an example (only the 2nd in nearly 4 years) in which the entire community (everyone: players, casters, spectators, coaches) quite clearly agrees it’s a shit idea and pleads with both organizers to try make a plan to avoid the clash doesn’t support your claim. This represents < 0.1% of all offline events, and in the significant other clash the events fixed the issue.

        Wait, unless you're trying to highlight why two events is worse?

        • DeWet Lombard-Bovéy

          Nothing meant by it. Just saying “It happens….. ” Thats about it

          • noxville

            It happens very rarely, and when it does everyone in the world says it’s bad (not one significant person has said it’s a good thing).

  • VaguEh

    Well in 2012 I did partake in the LoL NGL tournament at rAge, and it was horrible tbh. We didn’t get our prizes that we won, and after months and months of asking the admins, making forum posts etc, we gave up.

    Also during the tournament the internet also went down constantly and one of the switches exploded in our row, causing my one teammate to lose his PSU. Had to buy a new one at rAge (and they aren’t cheap). Although I know this is hardware problems and it can happen at any LAN/tournament.

    Just a headsup for teams.

  • VaguEh

    Well in 2012 I did partake in the LoL NGL tournament at rAge, and it was horrible tbh. We didn’t get our prizes that we won, and after months and months of asking the admins, making forum posts etc, we gave up.

    Also during the tournament the internet also went down constantly and one of the switches exploded in our row, causing my one teammate to lose his PSU. Had to buy a new one at rAge (and they aren’t cheap). Although I know this is hardware problems and it can happen at any LAN/tournament.

    Just a headsup for teams.

  • Lothy

    The 2 comps should just combine into one, making it the biggest gaming event to date (if memory serves correct). Here is a perfect opportunity to take SA competitive gaming to a whole new level, the only thing hindering this is egos.

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  • http://www.deviationgaming.com/ Logan

    Again nox, you are correct in what you are saying. I think there have been so many people who have banged their fists against these walls that we actually get tired of it. The biggest problem is that people in general, and I mean mainly South Africans here, do not like being told they are wrong and they generally start turning a blind eye to someone pointing out their mistakes. At some point in time we have to let them actually fail. Only when that happens will they actually say – “Ok, what do we do wrong and how do we fix it.”
    I honestly share your frustrations, but my hands are too sore to keep beating on that wall.