2016 is the year that South Africa was remembered. We got an ESEA CS:GO International Qualifier, an ESWC Qualifier, The CS:GO World Up, and now both Dota 2 and CS:GO have been included in the World Electronics Sports Games, one of the largest eSports competitions in our history. The tournament was announced several months ago as a new addition to the Chinese internet conglomerate Alibaba, AliSports.
The tournament will include five regional qualifiers for China, Asia-Pacific, Europe-CIS, North and South America, and African and the Middle East. South Africa, naturally part of the African and Middle East qualifier, will face some tough competition when considering the recent results between the Southern Barbarians and Tunisia. This was CS:GO, and the Barbarians struggled to close their final map which saw them go to overtime and lose. Each region will have a combined prize pool of over $200,000, separate to that of the major $3.7 million grand total. Games included are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Starcraft II and Hearthstone.
“There is one important characteristic of WESG – the tournament rules are very close to the rules of the Olympic Games, e.g. each team may only consist of players representing the same country. This could help eSports to be recognized as official sports and potentially included in the Olympic Games,” explains Stepan Shulga, Executive Producer at StarLadder.
Three slots are reserved for an African Qualifier, and this makes our chances high as we’ve already showed promise in the E-Frag World Cup as South Africa were deemed favourites to head to the tournament as African representatives.