This past weekend, the Kyalami Grand Prix circuit was overrun by geeks of all stripes for the first ever Comic Con Africa.
With a mix of gaming and geek culture, celebrity appearances, esports, and a cosplay contest, it promised to have something for everyone.
This proved to be true, as Comic Con Africa sold out before it opened on Friday morning.
Among the attractions at Comic Con was that actors from Hollywood would be attending to speak, and offer photo and autograph opportunities.
Kevin Sussman from The Big Bang Theory, Travis Fimmel from Vikings, and several actors from American Gods attended the event.
Ricky Whittle, Demore Barnes, and Yetide Badaki from the cast of American Gods were also all in attendance at Comic Con.
Unfortunately, Jason Momoa and Anthony Mackie had to cancel after they were initially confirmed to attend.
While it was sad that these actors could not make it, this did not dampen the festive spirit of the event.
People attending also dressed up as characters from their favourite shows, comics, movies, and games – adding to the fantastic atmosphere.
Activities at Comic Con Africa further included being able to watch the finals of various competitions, a cosplay contest, gaming and virtual reality, meeting artists and being able to buy their work, live action role-playing, fan club meet-ups, and screenings of upcoming TV shows.
Highlights of Comic Con Africa 2018, and why I would definitely go again, are listed below.
VS Gaming Masters finals
Sinister5 won the VS Gaming Masters league for Dota 2, while Energy Esports walked away with the crown for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Each team took home R200,000.
VS Gaming had a total prize pool of R1.85 million for its tournaments at Comic Con Africa, of which R1.24 million was allocated to the Masters.
There was also a bonus of R20,000 for the team who won the Winner Bracket final.
MTN Asphalt Cup
MTN, in partnership with Gameloft, held the final for their racing game esports tournament at Comic Con.
Called the Asphalt Cup, MTN gave away over R350,000 in prize money at the event.
Priyesh Kasan took on Ntsika Jingqi and won the R250,000 grand prize. Jingqi received R100,000 for placing second.
Any attendee could also enter for a chance to win R5,000.
AMC, the BBC, and Netflix were holding screenings of shows such as Fear the Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and Disenchanted.
The photo below shows fans queuing to watch a pre-screening of the upcoming season of Doctor Who.
Tayla Barter – Kinpatsu Cosplay – won the Overall Champion of Cosplay prize for her rendition of a Sister of Battle.
In addition to R10,000 cash, she will receive a VIP ticket, flights, and hotel accommodation for the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo next year.
She has also received automatic entry into the final round of the Crown Championships of Cosplay at the event.
The winners for the other categories of the cosplay competition included:
- Master — Frederic Lamarque for Oni Predator
- Construction — Akasha Rojee for Machiko Noguchi
- Needlework — Keri-anne Haylock for Cinderella
- Armour — Kelsey Atkins for Avacyn
- Skit — Frederic Lamarque and Akasha Rojee with Oni Predator and Machiko Noguchi
- Representation — Kate De Villiers for Toph Bei Fong
- Youth (under 16) — Nicole Raubach for Crystal Maiden
Entelect R200,000 AI Challenge
Entelect held the finals of its 2018 artificial intelligence challenge, where programmers were required to develop a system that could play a Tower Defense game against the AIs of other entrants.
The final results of the competition were:
- Louis Lotter — R70,000
- Edward Steere — R35,000
- Justin Worthe — R25,000
- Andre Nel — R25,000
- Leon Wessels — R10,000
- Riaan Nel — R10,000
- Ralf Kistner — R10,000
- Willie Theron — R10,000
The showroom floor at Comic Con Africa had hardware vendors, gaming distributors, merchants, stores, and artists all showcasing the latest and greatest they had on offer.
Wherever you walked, people were dressed up as characters from shows, movies, comics, and games.
Couples, whole families, and groups of friends all made an effort to fly their geek flag high for the weekend.
Even better next year
When a new event launches, you might hear praise couched in a disclaimer acknowledging that it was the first attempt – “considering it was the first one, it was great!”
Comic Con Africa needs no such disclaimer. It was awesome.
Reed Exhibitions has already confirmed that Comic Con Africa will take place again in September 2019.
If this year was anything to go by, we’d advise getting your tickets early next year.