At the beginning of 2018, Bravado Gaming’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive squad moved to the US to compete in tournaments and reach their potential.
The initiative – named “Project Destiny” – is supported by the team’s headline sponsors Intel and Alienware, and aims to place the team in an environment where they can compete at the highest level.
Project Destiny is paying off, with Bravado Gaming recently emerging victorious at season 28 of the ESEA Mountain Dew League (MDL).
The team’s victory won them a prize of $16,650 for their exceptional performance throughout the league.
Following their impressive results, MyBroadband spoke to Bravado Gaming manager Tiaan Coertzen about the team’s performance.
Coertzen told MyBroadband that the MDL victory was Bravado’s primary goal for its CS:GO team.
“Winning MDL was our main goal for the second three months of our journey and we’re glad we were able to accomplish it after a rocky season,” Coertzen said.
He noted that the team didn’t do anything different compared to its other games in the season, and Coertzen was actually away for two months – returning just in time for the MDL playoffs.
Coertzen said that the team focused on spending time together and did not practice as much as usual, removing a lot of the pressure from the players and allowing them to perform well in the playoffs.
“When I got back to the US we were mostly spending time together as a team, because it felt like everyone had grown apart and were really home sick – so naturally we weren’t practising as much so I think it took a lot of the pressure and expectations off the team.”
Bravado Gaming CEO Andreas Hadjipaschali previously noted that the team’s victories in the ESEA leagues indicated they had great potential.
“Winning back-to-back ESEA tournaments is rare, especially for a team competing on another continent at this level of skill,” Hadjipaschali said.
“The future is bright and all I can say is, this is only the beginning of something very, very big.”
South Africa vs International
According to Coertzen, the tournaments in the US are orders of magnitude more professional and popular than those in South Africa, despite local efforts to overhaul the local esports scene.
“I think South Africa has improved a lot over the past two years with more league organisers such as Mettlestate, VS Gaming, and Orena coming to the party,” Coertzen said.
“International tournaments are always super well organised, usually run without delays, and if there are delays everyone is well informed of the reasons for the delays. Open qualifiers allow teams to sign up for the tournament until an hour before the event starts and then the teams are still seeded correctly,” added Coertzen.
“This is something South African organisers can definitely learn from, where sign ups usually close a week before the tournament starts – and then the teams still aren’t seeded.”
International tournaments also attract far more viewers than esports events in South Africa.
“In terms of viewership, the numbers can’t really compare,” Coertzan said.
“Depending on the tournament we’re playing in, we’ll have between 2,000 to 10,000 viewers sometimes more than that. Keep in mind these are usually for open/closed qualifiers or leagues that run online.”
“The main events can have anything between 50,000-1,000,000 viewers.”
In South Africa, viewership numbers usually range from 100-1,000 viewers, even for main events such as the DGL Masters finals, he said.