Local-owned favourites take the win at 1337 LAN
The motto “work hard and play even harder” was given new meaning at this weekend’s 1337 LAN held at Emnotweni in Nelspruit, where locally-owned semi-professional eSports teams dominated the playing field.
This first-of-its-kind event attracted more than 130 e-sports enthusiasts playing, among others, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2. Spectators from the general public had the chance to watch the specially produced live stream of games live in the arena with commentating by professional e-sports casters.
In the DOTA 2 team competition teams competed in round-robin format with favourites Leetpro.DOTA and Sinister 5 facing off both in the first round and again in the final. While Sinister 5 managed to win the first round 2-1 it was Leetpro.DOTA who walked away with R10 000 in cash and other prizes after a gruelling final that Leetpro.DOTA managed to win 2-0.
“The play of the tournament was when Darron ‘Chelsea)’ Reinhardt, playing Tusk, threw down the Ice Shards to protect Rynhardt ‘RDK’ de Kock on the Tiny from being killed by the Dire team,” says Dota 2 caster Jono “Jubba” Simon.
The CS: GO team competition was played in double elimination format with 16 teams. Again, local favourites Leetpro.CS, Leetpro.fe (who went to China for WESG earlier this year), and NoYou (comprising of LP Voxity, Sinister 5 and Skeletons Again members) dominated the playing field.
Although local team Uniwisp seemed to have started off with a bang, they lost against Omnius Gaming in the second round and fell out of the competition after the fourth round versus NoYou. Omnius Gaming and Leetpro.fe just missed the final after being taken out by NoYou, who went on to face Leetpro.CS in a nail-biting final.
The first map saw double overtime before Leetpro.CS managed to take the win. Although a clear winner could not be predicted during the second map, the Leetpro.CS boys did what they came to do after yet another overtime and also left with R10 000 cash and loads more in prizes.
“Each team member really pulled their weight and supported one another. One team member that really stood out is Tiaan ‘Tiaantjie<3’ Rheeder who, when least expected early on in the game, and again later, really carried the team. When everyone else was down, he just kept going,” says Leetpro.CS captain Aaron ‘SloWye’ van der Walt.
Other teams that competed to look out for in the Lowveld Corporate League during the year includes T3ch 4 of White River and RE Acce of Ermelo.
The LAN was also home to an exhibition showcasing the latest trends in PC and crypto-currency mining hardware, and here visitors to the arena could try their hand at gaming on top-of-the-range custom MSI PCs and laptops as well as try out the VR experience with the HTC Vive.
“The aim of the LAN is to promote and grow e-sports in the Lowveld and provide a safe environment for local players and interested parties to network. The more events of this kind hosted in the Lowveld, the more interest there will be and the more local talent will develop”, says organiser Johan Bezuidenhout of Leetpro.
Although Leetpro’s core business focuses on crypto-currency mining and PC hardware, the Leetpro esports division is very passionate about the development of esports in South Africa and as the company is based in Nelspruit, they would love to see more organised gaming events in the Lowveld.
“As this is a non-profit event, we relied on like-minded businesses to assist with the venue, infrastructure and prize money to make this event as successful as possible. We would like to thank all the sponsors involved, but we would also like to thank each team and player for supporting and sharing our enthusiasm for esports in the Lowveld,” says Bezuidenhout.
Photos: Ice Photography