Africa might currently be behind the likes of South Korea, United States, China, Germany, Sweden, Brazil and Denmark in the eSports ladder but if there is any hope of the continent leapfrogging these powerhouses in the future, then the  role of countries such as South Africa will be very crucial.
The eSports industry in South Africa has seen an exponential rise, owing to the great performances by teams and and athletes in the country.
Top eSports teams like Bravado gaming, Energy eSports, Aperture gaming and Damage control have all contributed their quota to the development of the South African eSports industry. But one other prominent team which cannot be left out of the list is Raving Mad Gamerz. Since its inception in 2014, it has become one of the most influential eSports teams in South Africa and currently boast of about 1700 players and 190 teams competing in different tournaments. But how did it all start for Raving Mad Gamerz?

Who are Raving Mad Gamerz

“Raving Mad Gamerz is a South African gaming tournament organizer established in 2014, and owned by Hein “Zethanias” Labuschagne with support from his right-hand woman, René “Crematia” Venter.
“We host online and offline tournaments and our aim is to increase awareness of eSports in South Africa and get our cyber athletes to compete nationally and internationally. Although we are relatively new, we are one of the most ambitious local tournament organizers currently in the business and we hope to leave deep footprints in the eSports scene.
Raving Mad Gamerz
“We have good relationships with our partners and sponsors, and have worked with some of the best in the business already such as IplayGames, Mindsports South Africa, Maverick Gaming, Nu Metro Gaming, The ARK Gaming, GINX TV and Rocket League Xpress.
“Our database currently consists of more than 1700 players and over 190 teams, competing in the following gaming titles: Rainbow 6 Siege, COD BO4, Rocket League, FIFA 19, Mortal Kombat 11, Fortnite, Apex Legends and Mobile Legends”.

Who is the brain behind Raving Mad Gamerz

Raving Mad Gamerz is growing into one of the best eSports organizations in South Africa and much of the credit will be given to the brains behind the organization, Hein “Zethanias” Labuschagne. JbKlutse caught up with  him and spoke to him on the establishment of Raving Mad Gamerz and the eSports industry in South Africa.

Raving Mad Gamerz
Hein Labuschagne (right) is the owner of Raving Mad Gamerz

Who is Hein “Zethanias” Labuschagne

Hein “Zethanias” Labuschagne is a welding inspector and works in quality control in the Construction field and also an avid gamer who wants  to see eSports in South Africa flourish and grow into a viable market for all competitors and gamers.
I am the founder of Raving Mad Gamerz and my aim for the organization is for us to host an international tournament where Africa can show we can compete with the rest of the world.  Furthermore, my dream is to take my cyber athletes to compete in other countries through my brand.

How did you get started?

I have always had the the love for gaming and to create the best possible tournaments so after extensive research, Raving Mad Gamerz was created in 2014 and we initially did in-house tournaments for our organization, but it became clear soon that the competitive gaming community had enough space for more tournament organizations so we started hosting tournaments over a variety of games and platforms for all interested gamers. .

Job opportunities created by Raving

We have some awesome youngsters involved in casting and hosting our tournaments. We also have two young ladies studying events management and are having their practical hours with us, assisting in all aspects of our tournaments – stats of competitors, receiving and introducing our competitors to the media, score keeping and venue management.

Raving Mad Gamerz
Raving Mad Gamerz is creating job opportunities for the youth

Coping with work and eSports

It is tough, I wont lie, trying to balance various online tournaments, hosting Lan tournaments and keeping focused on work. I am fortunate that my better half is also a gamer who supports and shares my passion.

How do you see the eSports industry in South Africa?

I see it as a fruit on a tree ready to be picked. It is ripe with talent and passion, all we need is a harvester to come and start making a change within the South Africa industry. This is a booming and awesome industry and SA has so much talent – I am excited and honored to be involved.
I truly believe that eSports  should receive the same recognition  that rugby, cricket, golf and other team and individual player sports in SA and Africa do. This is a sport! A legitimate sport, which takes a lot of passion, dedication, hard work, talent and effort from the competitors and support from their family, friends and loved ones.

The way forward

In order for us to develop, I think we need a mind shift and realize that gaming is not just for fun and recognize it is a professional sport. This mentality will ensure that more sponsors get on board to grow this industry. It is clear that we already have the talent and the passion and the absolute hunger for eSport in SA – but without the financial back up, we will never be able to get these awesome cyber athletes the same perks and support to compete internationally
I also believe that going forward, we need to focus on hosting live events where your venue is your “sport stadium” ,where supporters  can cheer on their favourite players and teams. The more we increase the numbers in terms of competitors and supporters, the more sponsors we get involved and the more sponsors on board, the better the perks and training and logistics supplied to players.
We  will then be able to have our professional eSports athletes make their passion their full time work and then without a doubt, with the talent we have we will take the rest of the world by a storm.
You can follow Raving Mad Gamerz on their official Twitter page @RavingMadGamerz for all their latest updates.

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