The guys are all aged between 20 and 24, and will be accompanied by their manager, Kasim ‘Kas’ Ahmad to Paris where they will compete against international teams for their share of the competition’s $50 000 (R550 000) prize pool.
The team’s trip is being sponsored by SteelSeries, Internet Solutions and ProLine, with ASUS having signed up quite recently to give the guys G-series gaming laptops for the duration of the excursion so they can get in all the practice they need before their big games on Wednesday 29th October.
Kas says the team’s philosophy is to play as well as possible, to be enthusiastic about improvement and to be gracious in both victory and defeat and not be drawn into the aggressive online spats that sometimes happen in the wake of a loss. They are, after all, brand ambassadors for their sponsors, gaming in general and South Africa.
Five gamers make up the team:
- James “zer0chaNce” Wijnberg
- Ruan “ELUSIVE” van Wyk
- Ashton “Golz” Muller
- Thulani “LighteRTZ” Sishi
- Tiaan “T.c” Coertzen
The team may have a bit of a tough time of it at ESWC, though, as they’ve been placed in a group with Natus Vincere and Fnatic, highly-ranked international teams with a lot of experience, against whom they will need to face off before they can progress up the ranks.
The thing with Energy’s participation in ESWC, Kas told us, is that they were accepted on the basis of their application which took into consideration whether other applications from South Africa had been submitted as well as their recent performance rather than raw results. The fact that the team had recently been to ESWC before with DOTA 2 counted in their favour, and as a result the ESWC accepted them.
As such, Kas said he doesn’t know exactly what can be expected of the team in terms of overall performance. The guys are certainly good enough to hold their own against local teams, having given rivals Bravado Gaming and Damage Control a hiding at this year’s Liberty LAN held at Emperor’s Palace, but their inability to regularly play international teams due to South Africa’s high 250ms+ pings to Europe means they’re not as well-versed at competing head-to-head against international opposition.
The best advantage our guys have, Kas told me, is the element of surprise as international teams would not have focused much on Energy eSports, giving Energy the opportunity to use practiced strategies that may work in their favour.
The team leaves SA on Thursday night, arriving in Paris a few days early which Kas says gives them the opportunity to get in a few practice games before the big day.
We here at htxt.africa wish Team Energy eSports all the very best, and will certainly be catching up with them when they return in early November.