What are the VS Gaming Masters? | VS Gaming
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What every competitive gamer in South Africa strives for is to play at the highest level of competition.
Staff Writer

What are the VS Gaming Masters?

What every competitive gamer in South Africa strives for is to play at the highest level of competition. The urge to be the best, and improve every year, is the drive for almost every gamer, team and organization. The VS Gaming Masters is just that in a nut shell – the highest level of competition in South Africa. However, with all great stories, there comes some history.

The VS Gaming League (formerly the Digital Gaming League) has run successful leagues since 2008 which saw gamers in the thousands from all corners of South Africa competing in an online league which culminated in an annual championship offline event (better known as a LAN). These leagues, before the Masters was introduced, were tiered as Premier, First Division, Second Division and Open Division. The top teams from the Premier Division and 1st Division were invited to the offline event where a champion was crowned in several different gaming titles.

2016 – The start of the Masters

In 2016, the then Digital Gaming League announced their Masters program which invited eight of South Africa’s top multi-gaming organizations to take part in two Masters division tournaments – Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The Masters was announced with a R1 million prize pool, a first for South Africa, split between both titles. VS Gaming also added two standalone events, hosted at their VS Gaming Studio, which acted as the Masters Championships for both Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global offensive. This meant that teams competing in the Masters played in two events throughout the year, with a Grand Championship taking place at the rAge expo.

2017 – Welcome VS Gaming

2017 arrived and the Masters remained the same for the most part, except for the Digital Gaming League now becoming VS Gaming – a new brand with a familiar face. The Masters program followed the same structure as 2016, with the Dota 2 Masters Championship taking place at the Electronics & Gaming Expo in Cape Town in July. The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Masters Championships were still held at the rAge Expo in October, where an exciting finale gave us a new name to etch on the trophy – Damage Control.

2018 – Time for change

For two seasons, 2016 and 2017, teams were selected to take part based on performance, but in 2018 it all changed as an intense qualifying process was opened for the Masters Division. The lower divisions remained, with the Open Division being replaced by a Ladder in which teams could continuously compete against other teams to rise through the Ladder and enter the above divisions. At the end of each Leg of a season, relegation and promotion matches would happen across all divisions offering a new taste of competition with every leg.

The Masters, which is still Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is the cream of the crop of South African esports and will, for the first time ever, feature at Comic Con Africa with two stages for fans to enjoy South Africa’s top competition.

The two competitions, on their respective stages, will begin on Friday the 14th of September at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and Convention Center as one of the main attractions for Comic Con Africa. All games will be streamed online to Twitch, YouTube and Facebook for those who are unable to attend this historic event.