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Meet the BerZerk Gamers: Our Training Boot Camp at The Workspace

Meet the BerZerk Gamers: Our Training Boot Camp at The Workspace
October 18, 2017 gnuworld

Competitive gaming, or eSports, isn’t just popular. It’s an international phenomenon; one that generates hundreds of millions in revenue and packs stadiums to capacity, from Brooklyn to Seoul.

Here in South Africa, this year’s rAge Expo, the country’s biggest video gaming expo, was held over the first weekend in October – and despite rainy weather, it attracted 35,845 visitors.

The Workspace: Sponsorship of BerZerk Gamers

The Workspace was delighted to sponsor five BerZerK Gaming teams, who were invited to compete in this year’s hotly contested Digital Gaming Championship (DGC) at the 2017 rAge Expo.

berzerk gamers the workspace

Well done to the BerZerk Gaming teams!

To help the teams prepare, we hosted a fun and very successful training boot camp in the conferencing auditorium (the Atrium) at our Wynberg branch. A number of team members flew in to attend the training and the competition.

With its large screen for broadcasting the action, high-speed internet and plenty of space for the gamers, the Atrium was the perfect space for the training.

In between sessions of intense concentration and strategising, team members got the chance to get to know each other, watch some top-notch gaming by fellow players and have fun.

shelton xtraspace rAge

At rAge, Shelton Deans, who manages IT at our sister company, XtraSpace.

Spectators were also welcome to come and watch the play, meet the players and find out more about gaming.

spectators gaming rAge

Watching the action at rAge.

Who’s gaming in SA?

So what is gaming all about, and who’s participating in this rapidly growing form of entertainment in South Africa?

Things all the players in the BerZerk Gaming teams have in common? They’re all smart, friendly young guys. They all started gaming early, mostly at around age 9 to 14; they play for many hours a week; and almost all are currently studying – in fields ranging from IT and 3-D animation to actuarial sciences, finance and law.

Meet the teams

Below, meet the teams to find out more.

League of Legends

league of legends berserk team

Nikhil, Cameron, Geritt, Chris, and Matt.

Nikhil Salickram is in his second year of a BComm in Information Systems. He started gaming in primary school.

Student by day, gamer by night, Cameron Tilley studies 3-D animation. Two years ago, he represented South Africa in a League of Legends tournament in Seoul, Korea.

Gerit Nothnagel is studying law at the University of Pretoria, and started gaming at age 11.

Chris Marais studies actuarial science. This was his second rAge Expo. He plays in the early evenings and studies afterwards – and he’d like to take gaming further.

Matt Smit is a second-year financial sciences student. He started playing World of Warcraft when he was 11, graduated to S2 League of Legends at age 14 and once spent 69 hours on nonstop play!

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams

This year, two Counter-Strike teams made it to the DGC and participated in our training camp.

counter-strike team berserk gamers

Gary, Ian, Matthew, Kevin and Kyle.

Gary Bowers studies Forex trading, and has been gaming since age 8 or 9. From Cape Town, Ian Oosthuizen plays tournaments professionally.

Matthew Maselle is busy with a BComm Honours degree in finance. He’s been playing since he was 14 – and adds that he used to do tap dancing too!

Kevin Roberts had one of the earliest starts – his uncle introduced him to gaming at age 5. He’s now studying software development. Like the other players, Kyle is a bright young guy who enjoys the game.

counter-strike team berserk gamers

A second Counter-Strike team: Jacques, Donovan, Andre, Wickus and Drian.

counter-strike teams strategising berserk gamers

The Counter-Strike players, strategising at rAge.

An extra special congratulations to the Counter-Strike Kingz team for placing second in the competition!

DOTA 2 team

dota team berserk gamers

Nicholas, Dillon, Jeandre, Kieran and Russel.

An IT student, Nicholas Marais flew in from Cape Town for the training and rAge Expo.

Dillon Tromp plays professionally and previously placed first at rAge, winning R15 000. He plays about six hours a day.

Juandre Welgemoed manages a dog grooming business, and has been playing his whole life.

A developer at ABSA, Kieran Bester plays in the evenings. Russel Treat is the youngest of all the players – he’s currently in matric, and is a DOTA captain, with 11 000 hours of experience in the game.

Missing from the photo is Jeanet “Skaapie” Beetge, a history and geography teacher at the University of Johannesburg, who started gaming when he was bedridden due to a rugby injury.

Why The Workspace sponsored the teams

Gaming might not be for everyone, but it’s massively popular, especially among tech-savvy millennials – many of whom go on to excel in computer-related or other technical fields.

At The Workspace, we believe in supporting young people with passion and commitment.

Later on, it’s these people who embody the entrepreneurial spirit, embracing the challenges, opportunities and hard work needed to thrive in the modern business environment.

Well done to everyone who participated!