Esports and gaming authority Mettlestate, in partnership with Asus, RepVYBN Esportsublic of Gamers, Intel Gaming, Vodacom World and Ubisoft, hosted the Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) Invitational III Grand Finals on 26 and 27 June 2021. All the esports action was broadcast live on Mettlestate’s Twitch TV, with highlights broadcast on DStv’s GINX esports TV channel (Channel 127) at 22:00 SAST on both nights. The tournament boasted an impressive prize pool of R 100 000, of which R 50 000 went to the grand prize winning team, VYBN Esports (@vybnesports) for a hard-fought victory over all the other eager, highly-skilled contenders. VYBN Esports remained undefeated throughout the ROG Invitational lll.
The VYBN Esports team was made up of Captain @XhosaR6, @Figure_R6, @SxndeLs, @DrDropShot007, @elyk_gg, @WxstefulR6 and @Chill_R6. Bravado Gaming (@bravadogaming) took second place (25 000), Phoenix eSports ZA (@Phoenix_MGO) took third place (R15 000) and DNMK Esports (@dnmkgg) took fourth place (R10,000).
Some of the biggest names in the South African gaming community were on-hand to provide their expertise and blow-by-blow commentary. These included:
Sam Wright – @TechGirlZA (panel)
Brad Griffiths – @HangryCamel (panel)
Jayson van Kerckhoven – @JustTrinoc (caster)
Jacques Theron – @KanyeDefuse (caster)
Chloë Geraghty – @ChloGeraghty (interviewer)
Rachel Kay – @iamrachelkay (interviewer)
South Africa’s best gamers spent their weekend going head-to-head in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, the tactical team shooter from Ubisoft that has snowballed in popularity since it launched in 2015. The ROG III Invitational was a tight competition from start to finish, with teams including Bravado Gaming, Phoenix Esports ZA, DNMK Esports and winners VYBN Esports taking the South African competitive esports stage up several notches and undoubtedly laying the groundwork for similar big events in the near future.
The tournament was a fully digital, professional-level esports spectacle that delivered world-class spectator value and expert commentary, and proof that esports is fast gaining momentum across the African continent. Juan Mouton, Country Marketing Manager, Republic of Gamers, Asus, South Africa, says, “This was the third – and largest – event in the history of our partnership with Mettlestate and living proof that South African gamers have what it takes to elevate the profile of esports all over Africa. All the contenders played their hearts out over the weekend and VYBN’s win could not have been better deserved. Well done to everybody who took part. We look forward to next year”.
Barry Louzada, Managing Director and Founder of Mettlestate adds, “Congratulations to VYBN Esports for playing so well. The turnout from fans was fantastic and the support the tournament received was overwhelming. We are so excited to bring South Africa’s close-knit gaming community more events to come and it’s incredible to see how, every year, the bar keeps being raised in South African esports”.
VYBN Esports Captain, Rowan “Xhosa” Steyn says, “Our team only formed two weeks before the tournament started. Time was not on our side, so it was a very busy and hectic experience that needed more effort from us to catch up with the others.
“When the tournament first started, ATK was very dominant, but now all the teams compete convincingly – it’s a matter of a coinflip. Competition is very tight. But there were specific players per team that really stood out for us, like DNMK’s Dan Da Man, Mystic and DVN from Bravado, with a special shoutout to Shadir from Phoenix.
“In terms of advancing our gaming careers, this is massive. At the end of the day, if you want to become someone, you need networking. Now the team can add to their resumé that they won the biggest tournament in SA. This is something needed for the scene. Nothing can grow unless there’s financial incentive and support”.
The ROG III Invitational’s success is a striking example of how, unlike many other sectors, esports continues to grow and flourish during the pandemic. This entertaining blend of competitiveness and escapism is rapidly gaining more followers as a professional sport with entertainment value akin to many other major sports the South African public enjoys. Keep your consoles, PCs and mobile devices tuned in to stay up to date with the ongoing rise of esports in Africa.
Visit www.mettlestate.com or Mettlestate’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch pages to stay up-to-date news on upcoming tournaments and to engage with South Africa’s gaming and esports community.