Esports Central – Bravado Gaming’s magnificent underdog run at DreamHack Winter 2018

Dec 4, 2018 9:45 am

This past weekend witnessed the best performance ever at an international tournament by a South African CS:GO team. Bravado Gaming defied expectations and made it all the way to the Grand Final of DreamHack Winter in Jönköping, Sweden. It’s a landmark moment for South African esports and has certainly brought Bravado and our country into the international eye. That’s something that will have far-reaching benefits for potential investment into our local scene and will also likely result in more international invites and qualifiers spots for our teams in the long term. This is massive for all of us.

Working hard or hardly working?

We have a long tradition of sending teams to overseas competitions. Going back to the mid 2000s, ESWC has been the destination of many a South African team. Generally-speaking local teams have struggled to make their mark on the international stage. Usually the narrative centers around our teams going over to gain experience. What else could be spoken about considering SA teams seldom made much of an impression, barring a few sporadic flashes of their potential? Nobody doubts that all of those teams put in the preparation work, but the jump in the level of play from local norms was never kind to our players.

Bravado’s more recent overseas adventures would have not inspired much confidence in them. At WESG in China in March this year, they went out 0 – 3 in Group Stage 2 (after auto-qualifying through Group Stage 1 due to two opponents pulling out) with a particularly poor performance at their only LAN showing until this point in 2018. Last year, after the VS Gaming Masters Leg 1 LAN in June, they consistently played second fiddle to Energy eSports at Rush and at ESL Africa Season Two Finals. Their last map win on an international LAN was in January 2017 at that year’s edition of WESG.

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