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VS Gaming Hosts South Africa’s Richest FIFA Event Yet
  • VS Gaming Hosts South Africa’s Richest FIFA Event Yet

    Admin 0 0 126 Date: 27 Jul 2017
  • This weekend, VS Gaming hosted a South African tournament with the country’s highest prize-pool yet, with the winner becoming the highest-earning South African esports competitor overnight.

    VS Gaming put on the VS Gaming Festival, a FIFA 17 competition with a prize pool of R1.5 million, or just over $115,000 USD. The amount was contested by over one thousand entrants, with Zuhair “zaZe” Ebrahim taking home the top prize of over R500,000 ($38,500 USD).

    CEO of VS Gaming Cambridge Mokanyane provided a statement on the event:

    “We couldn’t be prouder of what took place this weekend. As the first of its kind we put on a spectacular show and brought esports to the everyday South African. Our aim as VS Gaming has always been to make esports more inclusive and open it up to a wider audience. We did that this weekend. The VS Gaming Festival is the start of something great.”

    Efforts to broaden the scope of the event’s reach included the participation of local celebrities such as television personalities Lalla Hirayama and Somizi Mhlongo, and the choice of FIFA 17 for the competition in a country in which football is among the most popular sporting interests. The event also featured performances from local musicians.

    Domestic sports broadcaster SuperSport presented the VS Gaming Festival on South African television, making it the latest in a string of recent televised esports events across the globe.

    Ebrahim’s win instantly made him the highest-earning competitor in South Africa’s esports history. That distinction was previously held by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player Dimitri “Detrony” Hadjipaschali, who along with Bravado Gaming teammates Aran “Sonic” Groesbeek and Ruan “Elusive” van Wyk stood far apart from the nearest best earners. The trio have played together since 2015 and were victorious in May at South Africa’s MettleState Samsung Galaxy Championship, in which a prize pool of R1 million was contested.

    The decision to feature FIFA 17 rather than Counter-Strike in a nation with some tradition in the latter may have irked some local esports fans, but was likely intended to better appeal to consumers outside of the already established esports audience.

    Ebrahim and the rest of the top ten placing competitors at the event may have further opportunities on the horizon, as it was simultaneously announced that all ten players have been signed to contracts to represent Orlando Pirates – one of the country’s premier football clubs in it’s top tier of play. The players will compose the football club’s new esports division.

    Article by Jared Wynne for The Esport Observer

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