Posted September 6, 2016 by Charlie Small in Opinion

Blissfully unaware: An afternoon learning about eSports


A few weeks ago, during a water cooler conversation with SAGamer’s resident Wookiee, Garth, I let it slip that I know nothing about eSports, and that it really doesn’t make much of a difference in my life. It was because of that he told me I need to attend the next eSports event, which happened to be the past weekend’s inaugural Evetech Champion’s League.

To be very honest, I felt a bit apprehensive about going to the event. Mostly because of my ignorance when it comes to eSports, as I generally don’t like talking about subjects I know nothing about. With this being a CS:GO eSports event I assumed that this would be the main topic at hand… and I know little about the game, so what will someone like me, who often can’t shut up, talk about?

I knew that eSports is a major thing internationally, and it is growing here in South Africa but I didn’t really know what to expect going to the event. In my eyes I was almost expecting a bunch of dudes pitching up with their PCs for an afternoon’s LAN session, and boy oh boy was I wrong!

lan party

Walking in at the venue, I was immediately shocked by the class, style and professional touch that Evetech put in the place. They invested in that area mainly for eSports events, which was another thing I was amazed at, since I didn’t realise how serious it is in this country. They had everything from a lounge area, to a dedicated studio where the action takes place. When I say ‘action’ I’m referring everything, from the players decking it out against each other to a commentary booth to an Experts panel desk for insight and analysis.

evetech ecl

Following the action was a bit jarring, since there’s a lot of information to take in, and the scene flips between players so quickly that it can be hard to follow at first. But after a while, you get the hang of it. What made attending the event even better is seeing the emotion and reactions of the crowd and especially the players when the match gets close and goes to overtime.

Later in the afternoon I went home, having met some interesting people and gaining a new found respect for eSports. I had a beer and watched Province play the Sharks, while waiting for the coals to get ready for a braai. While I still enjoyed watching more traditional sports, it surprised me that the commentary was so bland and boring compared to the stuff at the ECL. It seems the rugby okes can learn a thing or two.

I learned a lot, but I am by no means an expert on the topic. I also won’t say that I’m now an avid follower of eSports, but I might give it the attention it deserves now. It’s sad how we as society are sometimes so caught up in our own worlds, and that learning and experiencing new things sometimes don’t interest us. I want to stop doing that, and I can’t wait to see what the next interesting event or aspect this gaming thing is going to throw at me!

And yes, I watched some more of it on the live stream that evening!

watching esports

Charlie Small

Just a dude who likes games and movies and sports... You know the normal stuff!