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My trip to Sandton

SOUTH AFRICA | Friday, 24 November 2017 | Views [334]

Before we start, a little bit about me. I'm from the Helderberg area, although it's only about 40km away from Cape Town, I rarely get the opportunity to explore the area. I'm a competitive Counter-Strike player, and also a bit of a car nut, but this will become more apparent as we continue.

In July of 2017, my team of 4 other players and I went up to Sandton, Johannesburg to play in a qualifier for ESWC(Electronic Sports World Cup) which is a global event with qualifiers held in most major regions, with South Africa being one of the outliers. The event was to be held at the Rush Expo at the Sandton convention centre. Although the event sign-up was first come, first serve, my team was within the top 10 teams in the country at that time. Therefore our expectations were quite high. We arrived on the Thursday morning before the event, with the plan to "bootcamp" for a few hours that day before the event starts on Friday, and then to continue doing so on Monday in preparation for the second qualifier which followed the next weekend in Cape Town at the Electronic Gaming Expo. Both of the winning teams from each qualifier would be rewarded with an all expenses paid trip to Paris Games Week where ESWC was to be held. This was one of the biggest opportunities the South African Counter-Strike scene would get to see for the year, so the environment was highly competitive. It was winner takes all. With most teams paying for their own flights and accommodation, if you didn't win you lost both your time and your money.

When we weren't playing, I was talking walks through the Santon area and also checking out some of the super car dealerships, as the car scene in Joburg is much bigger than down here in the Cape. I stopped by Daytona Group, Sandton, who are the official importers of McLaren, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce and the group also incorporates Mini and BMW. In a VERY exciting announcement, they recently announced that they will be the official dealer for Pagani in South Africa, with the first delivery, a Pagani Huayra Roadster expected in 2019, which is massive news for the South African car scene.

Over the last few years, Sandton has turned into the business hub of Johannesburg. The city is very busy, full of tourists and business people. It's a beautiful business-focused city and is perfect for a shopping holiday, although I don't think I would recommend it if you want nice scenery and a peaceful environment. The city seemed to never stop moving, cars, people, it never goes quiet.

After a tuff two days of competition, we ended up finishing in the top 8, which isn't what we expected but though we might be able to do a lot better on the following weekend. Unfortunately on the Tuesday, they ended up moving the second event too a much later date. During this off period between events, two of our players got picked up by another team and then it all fell apart. After then I never got back into Counter-Strike really, but I'd definitely like to visit Sandton again, if not even live there for a while.

Tags: city, counter-strike, esports, gaming, mall, sandton

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