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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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Smash hits the Nintendo Switch

Super Smash Bros. delivers what the fans wanted in the latest “Ultimate” instalment, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the latest addition to the popular Nintendo Smash series, has landed on the Nintendo Switch with a bang, selling 5-million copies in the first week of its release. The game has been long-anticipated since the console’s release, as many fans consider iy to be a Nintendo staple. And the wait was well worth it.

It features 74 playable fighters, 108 stages, almost 1300 Spirit characters to collect while playing, and a single-player Adventure mode that took about three days (or 28 hours) of gameplay to complete. The game offers far more gameplay than its predecessors, making it the Smash game that gives its players the best bang for their buck.

For those new to the game, the goal is to fight opponents and build up their damage score (draining their health) to knock them off the stage eventually. This makes the game seem chaotic, as many players jump around the platforms as if they were on quicksand, in order to avoid being hit by the other players.

It also services two kinds of players: the competitive and the casual.

Competitive players can be matched on the online service by skill ranking to enjoy playing with similarly high-skilled opponents. This is especially important in e-sports training for the game, and for players wanting to master combos against other human players. The casual gamer is also catered for, with eight-player chaos and button-mashing to see who comes out luckiest. This segment is also important for those wanting to learn how to play.

Training mode is also a place to go for those learning to play. It offers “CPU” players that are graded by intensity to train as a single player to learn a character’s moves, combos and general fighting style. More challenging CPU players can also be used by competitive players to train when there isn’t a Wi-Fi connection available.

Direct Play features in this game, allowing two players with two Switch consoles to play against each other over a direct connection – no Wi-Fi needed. This is especially useful to those who want to have a social gaming element on the go, similar to that of the cable connector of the Gameboy.

Click here to read Bryan Turner review of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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Win Funko Fortnite in Vinyl

Gadget and Gammatek have nine Funko Fortnite figurines to give away.

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A Funko Pop figurine based on a character set is indicative of reaching the heights of pop culture. It is no surprise, then, that the world’s biggest online game, Fortnite, has its own line of Funko Pop figurines. The Funkos are modeled on the characters in game, including Drift, Ragnarok, Dark Vanguard, Volar, Tracera Ops, and Sparkle Specialist.

Now, local Funko distributor Gammatek has released the Fortnite figurines in South Africa. To celebrate, Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to each of three readers (9 figurines in total). To enter, first click on your favourite Funko Pop on the next page and post the Tweet that appears. Then, follow Gadget on Twitter.

You can put the tweet in your own words, but entries must have the competition’s hashtag (#FunkoFortnite) and mention @GadgetZA to be considered valid.

Click here to select the Funko Fortnite character you want to tweet.

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