South Africa’s Esports Teams to Watch
South Africa’s esports scene has been exciting to watch over the years. Its evolution has been slow, but it’s growing bigger every day. We can even say that the quality of competitive esports gaming in SA is on par with international standards. Some teams consistently shine in the arena so lets have a closer look at South Africa’s esports teams.
Origins: Founded in 2012 by Kasim Ahmad, the MGO’s Managing Director
Divisions: CS:GO, Dota 2
Regular winners of local Dota 2 and CS:GO events and boasting a female CS:GO team, Energy eSports is one of the country’s best teams. They have gone from strength to strength since their inception, competing internationally as well as nationally.
The team took third place in the CS: GO event the 2018 DreamHack Mumbai Invitational held in India. They came just behind the Indian runner-up and Bravado Gaming who stole the trophy.
Origins: Bravado was initially founded as a competitive Counter-Strike team in 2002. It disbanded after a brief period. but was restored and re-formed as a competitive MGO by Andreas and Dimitri Hadjipaschali in 2006.
Divisions: Fortnite, Call of Duty, FIFA, CS:GO, CS:GO Finesse
With strong female and male divisions, Bravado Gaming has competed in just over 200 competitions and won 143 of them. They have also competed in international events both overseas and at home and won or placed second against teams from the US, India and more. In 2018, Bravado scooped first place in the DreamHack Mumbai Invitational CS: GO, proving themselves the gold standard for SA gaming.
White Rabbit Gaming
Origins: Founded in 2010 by Alwyn ‘SwiTch’ Venter, owner and Managing Director
Divisions: Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Call of Duty (console), PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), Assetto Corsa Competizione (ACC), League of Legends
One of the SA’s most prominent multi-gaming organisations, White Rabbit Gaming holds multiple trophies and participates in various game titles on a professional level.
The syndicate has been sending teams overseas and across the border to compete internationally for years. Just last year, White Rabbit sent their team to represent South Africa in Morocco in the 2019 ESWC Africa finals for League of Legends, and they progressed all the way to the Grand Finals. They came in second place after Morocco’s own team, The Black Lotus.
White Rabbit was also one of SA’s first MGOs to actively support and promote female gamers. They picked up female-focused organisation Amaryllis Gaming to create a female division of White Rabbit.
White Rabbit Amaryllis
Origins: Established in 2016 by owner Ashley “BrinkeR” Groves as Amaryllis Gaming before joining with White Rabbit Gaming in 2018.
Divisions: CS:GO, Dota 2
Amaryllis arrived on the competitive gaming scene in 2016 and is considered to be South Africa’s first all-female CS: GO team. Since then we have seen an unprecedented upsurge in female gamers and teams.
Sexism is unfortunately all too common in the world of online gaming. It is therefore encouraging when all-female teams inspire other female gamers to join the space.
Amaryllis competed in the IRIS League and in the Valkyrie Challenge. The later was SA’s first all-female CSGO invitational, running in 2017 and 2018 before being sadly discontinued.
Origins: Goliath Gaming was formed in 2017 by five individuals looking to transform the competitive gaming scene into a more professional space with higher standards.
Divisions: StarCraft, FIFA, Counter-Strike, Street Fighter V, Dota 2
The founders of Goliath Gaming weren’t messing around when they started up the MGO. They were one of the first MGOs to draft actual legal contracts for their players and pay them salaries. The contracts also meant the players would get signing bonuses.
Goliath Gaming has high-performing squads who have taken home multiple titles across local and international gaming events.
Origins: Created as an amateur team in 2013 by owner Ivo Tzanev
Divisions: CS:GO, Dota 2, StarCraft, FIFA, PUBG
Sinister5 became a competitive MGO in 2016 and entered CS: GO in 2017 when they signed with Gravity. They now boast a much-feared team in the CS: GO arena.
Their Dota 2 squad are nothing to sniff at, either, being comprised of some of SA’s strongest players. Just earlier this year they acquired Travis “Castaway” Waters who is arguably the best Dota 2 player in SA.
In February 2020, Bulgarian owner Ivo Tzanev temporarily relocated the team to Bulgaria. He did this in the hopes that they could focus on their training there and compete in international events. They are now back playing in South African tournaments.
Origins: Established by Warren Barkhuizen in 2017
Divisions: League of Legends, CS:GO
The ATK Arena team exists under the umbrella of ATK Arena eSports, a competitive esports venue in Cape Town. It has seen much success since its founding. The MGO has sent squads to the US and Europe to compete in international tournaments, and the teams have fared well.
ATK’s League of Legends squad is a fearsome one with its captain Gregory “Neutron” Wessels, a three-time VS gaming champion and esports veteran with six years of experience.
ATK also have one of the top CS: GO teams in South Africa; they were the winners of the first-ever Gamedock Cup (a CS: GO event) which took place in August this year. They defeated Goliath Gaming 3-0 in a flawless game in the Grand Final, in which they did not drop a single map.
Esports is on the rise and so are South Africa’s esports teams. We are really excited to see what our teams will do in the next tournaments. Watch this space!