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Gear up for esports

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Rush, taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre this weekend will give visitors the chance to meet and greet professional player, watch SA’s top teams compete and offer loads of competitions and prizes.

Want to learn more about esports, meet and talk to pro players, watch SA’s top teams compete, and maybe even enter a competition yourself and win some prizes? Then gear up for Rush this coming weekend.

Designed by the creators of rAge (really Awesome gaming expo), the inaugural Rush event, powered by HP OMEN, is a first for esports in South Africa.

Taking place from 21 to 23 July at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, Rush will feature a variety of competitive esports tournaments hosted by leading local organisations across  dedicated esports stages, with live shoutcasting (commentary) by some of South Africa’s top shoutcasters. South Africa’s best competitive gamers and clans will compete for various prizes.

 

Four main stages will be showcasing popular titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), FIFA 17, League of Legends, and Street Fighter V. Fans, supporters and enthusiasts will be able to watch all the competitions live on big screens, with dedicated seating areas at all the stages. In addition, visitors will also be able to sign to enter tournaments across a range of games like Hearthstone, FIFA 17, Street Fighter V and Metal Slug. There are prizes up for grabs, so anyone with even a passing interest in video games is encouraged to take part.

Rush is an exciting, compelling showcase of everything that South African esports currently has to offer,” said Lauren Das Neves, marketing manager for Rush, NAG and rAge. “We’ve created a unique experience that will appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers, and one that will serve as a visual introduction to anyone who doesn’t know what all this esports fuss is about.

“Having been actively involved in the local gaming industry for the past 20 years through NAG and rAge, Rush is a great platform for us to build, empower and connect with new and existing esports communities.”

Big news for Kaizer Chiefs supporters is that they’ve announced their participation at Rush. The club has partnered with sponsors Vodacom and Nike for the event, giving gamers a chance to battle it out at the Kaizer Chiefs esports stage. Gamers will go head-to-head in the FIFA 17 tournament in a bid to be the ultimate winner. To enter the Kaizer Chiefs tournament at Rush, visit www.acgl.co.za/kaizerchiefs to sign up. Entry to the tournament is free.

For Warcraft and Hearthstone fans, Kwesé will be hosting a Hearthstone Fireside Gathering at Rush. There is R30 000 cash in prizes for winners across the weekend, with the player in the daily top spot walking away with R5 000. Second and third place get R3 000 and R2 000 respectively. There’s also a gaming notebook from MSI up for grabs. In addition, there’s a casual tournament for those keen for arrive-and-play fun.

Other activities include PlayStation VR, arcade cabinets and retail stands, as well as old-school, arcade-style gaming.

Visit the NAG Arcade/Eurasian Entertainment stand to try your hand at Metal Slug. The player with the highest score at the end of the weekend will win an arcade machine that oozes retro coolness.

Matrix Warehouse will be running a fastest-lap challenge on their stand with mystery prizes each day.

Orena is ramping up its Fight Night offering at Rush, with the casual Street Fighter V tournament set for an EFC-sized boost. EFC Worldwide welterweight champion Dricus du Plessis and bantamweight champion Demarte Pena will battle it out in an exhibition match in the OFN octagon at 11:00 on Sunday 23 July, with other EFC athletes waiting in the wings to challenge them. Gamers can enter the Orena Fight Night challenge and stand to win R20 000 at the end of the season.

Orena is also offering the chance to qualify for ESWC for CS:GO on one of the main stages.

“The country’s best esports teams will be fighting it out in a world-class arena, for the opportunity to take on some of the best players on the planet,” says Luca Tucconi, Operating Executive at Orena. “The competition is fierce and the prize is massive – and we have one or two surprises up our sleeves for the winners”.

Alongside this high-adrenaline and hugely entertaining line-up, one of the other exciting features of Rush is South Africa’s first Winter NAG LAN – an opportunity to experience multiplayer gaming with hundreds of likeminded gaming enthusiasts packed into a single venue.  A NAG LAN ticket also gives participants access to the Rush event for the full weekend. Casual competitions for Dota 2 and Rocket League will be hosted in the NAG LAN, with hardware peripheral prizes sponsored by Apex Interactive. A formal competition for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will also be hosted in the NAG LAN for 16 teams on PS4 in the NAG LAN,  with a total of R19 000 in prizes.

 Pink-it arrives

Pink-IT will hold its first annual summit at Rush over the course of the three days. Pink-IT is designed to build a supportive and inspiring community for women in technology and foster a culture of sharing, collaboration, discussion and inspiration for female software developers.

The first annual summit will bring together companies interested in hiring female software developers in South Africa, opening up opportunities for women in the industry. The summit will be a jam-packed weekend  for all  female software developers, game developers, UX designers, graphic designers and animators who also want to learn how to build a mobile-based esports game using Blue mix.

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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