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SA Counter-Strike pros
tackle Europe

Bravado Gaming is expanding its African presence in the international pro scene with Project Destiny 2.0, writes JASON BANNIER.

South African esports organisation Bravado Gaming is sending a Counter-Strike team to Europe to tackle the competitive division in a project dubbed Project Destiny 2.0.  

Counter-Strike is a widely acclaimed tactical first-person shooter game that boasts one of the largest competitive professional scenes globally. The players will live in Serbia where they will train, and compete until mid-2026. 

“With the holistic strategy of Project Destiny, we are prioritising quality over quantity by focusing on two or three key divisions and really aiming for those championship trophies,” said Andreas Hadjipaschali, co-founder and director of Bravado Gaming, during a press conference in Johannesburg last week.

“We’re never going to stop trying to pioneer and be ambassadors for the African continent. We will always make it evident that we are a team from South Africa, and we are here to show the rest of the world that South Africans can play Counter-Strike.”

The gaming industry has seen extraordinary growth, notably surpassing Hollywood in terms of revenue back in 2020. Today, gaming is recognised as a viable career path, a significant shift from earlier perceptions. However, South African gamers face socio-economic challenges, and are relatively geographically isolated.

Despite this, esports enthusiast Andile Mandela, the grandson of Nelson Mandela, who also attended the conference, said: “There are so many missions that each South African wants to pursue: whether it’s making video games or becoming a professional gamer. You need to attend to that mission urgently and with all you might.

“Listen to that calling and approach it head-on with no fear.”

As the Bravado team’s dreams begin to materialise, they face many challenges ahead. One of these is finding a fifth player, who will likely be recruited once they arrive in Europe. Johnathan “Doru” Fox, Bravado Gaming captain, said: “We have a shortlist, but have not yet formally approached all of them, so I can’t give names just yet. However, it’s a pretty extensive shortlist.”

The team consists of:

  • Daniel “LaBishop” Hufton (Coach)
  • Johnathan “Doru” Fox.
  • Marchahn “March” Smith.
  • Wiljhane “Wilj” Smith.
  • Kian “Triton” Gibson.

The team’s objectives are multifaceted and ambitious. They aim to reach and maintain a top 30 HLTV rating and qualify for a major tournament. Alongside these competitive goals, they are focused on consistent content development and distribution, highlighting their journey from zero to hero—a narrative still in the making. Additionally, they are actively seeking distinct partnerships and collaborations, both endemic and non-endemic to the gaming industry. Their efforts also include featuring in mass media to bring widespread attention to the project and its objectives.

Project Destiny 2.0 is inspired by a previous mission which took place from 2018 to 2019 in the United States of America. Dimitri Hadjipaschali, co-founder and director at Bravado Gaming, said: “Version 1 consisted of a full South African roster, including myself. In 10 months, we achieved a global ranking peak of 21, after placing second in Dreammack Winter in 2018.”

Dimitri Hadjipaschali’s team also qualified for the Katowice Americas Minor Championship 2019 and won the Dreamhack Invitational Mumbai 2018.

Tristan Rens, general manager of Bravado Gaming, said: “The first Project Destiny, for a lot us, was the first real sign of hope for South Africans in esports, an area in which we are pretty far behind.”

Bravado Gaming was established in 2006, and has partnered with Alienware, Dell Technologies, and Intel for the last 12 years.

* Visit Bravado Gaming’s socials here.

* Jason Bannier is a data analyst at World Wide Worx and writer for Follow him on Twitter and Threads at @jas2bann.

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