11 May 2018
This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the VS Gaming Festival at Montecasino between 5 – 6 May in Johannesburg. It doubled as both a celebration of gaming itself and perhaps more importantly, as the FIFA eWorld Cup Qualifier for Africa. I’m happy to report that in person, it was a superbly executed event. Certainly one of the best esports events ever staged in South Africa based on the live experience.
Shock and awe
Housed in a massive tent-like structure outside of the Montecasino Piazza, the VS Gaming Festival was a smorgasbord of visual and aural delights. The central stage played host to some of South Africa’s hottest DJs and artists to keep the attendees entertained. There were all sorts of activities including plenty of consoles on hand to play anything from FIFA (of course) to sim racing. There was even a rather novel indoor soccer area that used lights and projectors to give the impression that the players were inside of FIFA 18 itself. Very cool. Suffice to say, there was something at the festival for the whole family to do. Check out our wrap up video of the event below!
The match area for the FIFA eWorld Cup Qualifier for Africa was also impressive. It featured numerous player stations clustered underneath a giant 360 degree screen projecting the matches to the spectator seating areas on either side. As you can see for yourself in the pictures, it had plenty of visual wow-factor.
The business end
Onto the serious business of the actual FIFA eWorld Cup Qualifier itself. The weekend saw 1,024 players registered to participate. Half were competing on the Playstation 4 platform, while the other half went with the Xbox One. That’s still a rather eye-watering 512 players per platform. It was a herculean logistical challenge. Unfortunately there were some issues with player registrations, particularly on Sunday. A few took to social media to allege waiting times of almost 12 hours to play their matches, while others complained about the schedule being delayed by as much as a six hours. Obviously these delays aren’t ideal and is an area VS will need to improve upon next time. It can’t be overstated how large a feat of organization VS had to attempt at this event, so some minor issues can be forgiven here.
Read the full article here.