Are you wanting to take your FIFA to the next level and play against other South Africans in local tournaments? Well it’s actually a lot easier than you might have thought. We chatted to two local tournament organisers Barry Louzada (BL), from Mettlestate and Nick Holden (NH) from African Cyber Gaming League (ACGL) to get to know them and how easy it is to get involved.
SL: Are you a football fan? Which team do you support?
BL: Absolutely! I was born in the UK so my heart lies there and with Liverpool. Bittersweet season for me so far.
NH: Yes, a huge football fan. It's played a huge part in my life. Well, it's not been easy, but I'm a Leeds United supporter all thanks to the Chief Lucas Radebe.
SL: Tell us a bit about your company. How long has it been going now?
BL: My company is called Mettlestate, and we have been running for almost 6 years now.
NH: I'm a Director and co-owner of African Cyber Gaming League (ACGL). We have been a registered company for five years and have been operating full-time for close to three years. I believe we are the largest independent Tournament Operator in South Africa and we have a strong focus on the development of the local communities.
SL: You’ve been running tournaments for several years, what are some of the best ones you’ve been involved in organising?
BL: Well we would like to think every single one is the best but the ones that stick out are The Samsung Galaxy CSGO Championship, the Vodacom 4U CSGO Cup, WESG International Qualifiers and then the ASUS ROG Invitational.
NH: Ah, that's a tough one to answer because there were so many great ones like the Kaizer Chiefs FIFA tournament at RUSH, the Injustice 2 with Jack Parow and Fokoffpolisiekar and the very first University Sports South Africa (USSA) Esports tournament. My all-time favourite though has to be the Call of Duty: MAG Cup which brought together celebrities, the best teams, some great commentators (talent) and really became a magical event to look back on.
SL: What are your most popular games on your site?
BL: CS:GO (Counter Strike Global Offensive), Fortnite and FIFA. PUBGM (Player Unknown Battle Grounds Mobile) Is also super popular.
NH: Our most popular titles, in no particular order, are, PUBG Mobile, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, COD Mobile, Rainbow Six Siege and FIFA 20.
SL: Which FIFA was your best edition and why?
BL: Now my age is really going to show! FIFA 95 that was the first FIFA I ever owned and have exactly 25 copies of FIFA on my shelf. I have played every FIFA since then.
NH: I loved FIFA 12. The gameplay was speedy, the competition was made even better as my brothers and I would battle against one another at every opportunity - this resulted in some heated arguments and serious off the pitch scuffles! That said, it's not my favourite football title of all time, that would go to PES 6!
SL: Do you play any football games on mobile?
BL: The only football game I play on mobile is Football Manager, those I also have way too many of to even think about.
NH: I'm an avid Football Manager player, and I just downloaded Football Manager 20. I'm trying to turn around the fortunes of Leeds United can be a tougher task than I would like at times.
SL: Have you seen an increase in activity during the lockdown?
BL: There has most certainly been growth but more from a brand perspective, they have seen that there is potential in the fact that gaming and esports can continue in these unfortunate times. People being at home seem to have more time to play and get involved probably during times they’d otherwise be stuck in traffic! This has shown a definite increase in numbers from our side both in participants and in engagement across all of our platforms.
NH: We have seen an increase during the lockdown but we have also increased the number of tournaments we host during the period. Both have culminated in us receiving a huge boost to traffic on the website. Our page views have doubled, our time spent on the platform has increased and our registration base recently ticked over the 30,000 user mark.
SL: What if I'm a noob and not really keen to get my butt kicked all the time - how do you make sure I'm playing against opponents of a similar skill level?
BL: We have our Pro and Open series divisions. You would then start in the Open division and play against teams on the same level as you, newer teams or newer players. Winners of those Open divisions then get promoted into the Pro division where we start to see the real competitive side of gaming come out.
NH: We have casual tournaments for some titles which are the perfect entry point for newer players.
SL: Let’s talk prizes what sort of stuff can I win?
BL: We give away a variety of prizes ranging from R1000 to R50000 depending on our tournaments, some of our prize-poo
NH: We have a wide variety of tournament and prizes. Some have cash prize pools, other vouchers and some allow you to simply rank up on the platform via our tiered ranking system.
There you have it folks, if you want to have some fun against opponents of similar skill, potentially win thousands of rands worth of cash and prizes or just have a bit of fun be sure to check out www.mettlestate.com or https://acgl.co.za , register a profile and get gaming.