While many of us spent the long weekend catching up on gaming backlogs and eating mountains of chocolate, some of South Africa’s best Dota 2 players were going head to head. There were two major tournaments this weekend: the Liberty LAN and the MSSA’s provincial online championships. Check out all the details.
First up, we have cool news from the Liberty LAN. Remember, this was an invitational tournament, with most of the teams coming from the DGL’s premier league. These teams play each other often, and have built up some rivalries over the years that add to the drama. Bravado Gaming brought two teams, BvD Emotion and BvD Blue, while Energy also came in strong with their Dota 2 team. Another favorite was Liberty Team.
Following a double elimination tournament style, we had a winner and loser bracket. You can see all the results thanks to the good people of the DGL who were running the event. Energy and BvD Emotion faced off early on in the winner’s bracket, resulting in Energy getting knocked down into the loser’s bracket. However, they fought back hard, beating BvD Blue and Liberty Team to earn a spot in the Grand Finals. Unfortunately, there they had to face BvD Emotion again, losing 3-1. While Bravado took the glory in the Dota 2 tournament, Energy dominated at COD: Ghosts and CS:GO, earning the top spot for both games. Both MGOs did very well for themselves, continuing to lead the way in local eSports.
I was unable to attend the event, but from what I heard it ran fairly smoothly. There were some network issues at the start, leading to a delay in the competitive gaming. This meant games ended up going on late into the evening, limiting rest for the players. Of course, that is part of the experience, as we’ve seen similar timings at the pro level on the international stage.
Meanwhile, there was another bunch of Dota 2 going down, this time among those trying to get provincial (and possibly eventually national) colors. That’s right, the MSSA was having their online championship at the same time the top teams were facing off at the Liberty LAN. So, how did their tournament go down?
According to their press release, the online championships were the last chance to qualify for the 2014 Protea Team Trials. Despite being online, and thus available to more teams, most of the true eSports athletes were taking part in the Liberty LAN. As such, it would seem that only five teams took part, of which two were from TUKS and two were high school teams. As a result, Some Random Slackers swept the tournament, winning all their matches. I’m a bit confused by the phrasing of the PR statement:
All five members of the team are from Cape Town. The team members of ‘Some Random Slackers’ are; Ion ‘NotioN’ Todd, Tim ‘Zealot’ Mostert, Jason ‘Meherim’ Bredberg, Dylan ‘Pixelpusha’ Henderson, and Saleem ‘Slimz’ Manjoo.
Nevertheless, the team seemed to work well under pressure as they demolished each and every team that they were drawn against.
[...] The team has thus too sailed through to qualify for the Protea Team Trials in which 17 other teams have also qualified to make the 2014 National Team Trials the most hotly contested trials ever. It is at such trials that the MSSA shall select the official South African National Team that shall play in a number of on-line test matches.
Not sure what the “nevertheless” is in reference to – were they not expected to work well under pressure because they’re from Cape Town, or because their team name has the work Slackers in it? Also, that last sentence, I think it means that they have now qualified for the national trials, but I’m not too sure why it is so awkwardly phrased.
For those who are wondering, Some Random Slackers are taking part in the DGL. They are in the open league – not the premier league – and they have not yet reached the point of making it through the playoffs. That’s right, they’re not yet in the running for the premier league at the DGL, but they might just end up representing South Africa for Dota 2.
When approached on Facebook about how this team can represent SA, the MSSA had the following response:
What you have to realise is that all teams have the opportunity to play in the MSSA Championships. If they do not, then that is their choice, and they thus make themselves ineligible for selection.
You may be the best cricket player in the world, but if you do not participate in CSA events, you will not be selected for the Protea Cricket Team.
It is the same with the Protea eSports Team..
More than anything, I think it just proves how irrelevant the MSSA has become. Sure, they can award provincial and national colors, and help people travel overseas for tournaments (regardless of team quality), but if high level teams don’t see the point in playing in their championships, they lose any clout that they might have once had.