The Energy Esports CS:GO side utterly dominated the second half of the local scene last year. They started by comprehensively beating SA’s number one side Bravado Gaming at Rush Esports 2017 in a best of five Final on LAN. Energy then one-upped their own achievement by becoming the African Champions in ESL Africa Season Two Finals at rAge. They beat North Africa’s best in Limitless.gg and then vanquished their old foes Bravado Gaming yet again in the Grand Final. Everything was set up for a new era of dominance in local and African CS:GO with 2018 approaching.
No line on the horizon
They started off the year in January rather uncharacteristically by losing in the Semi-final of the WESG South African Qualifiers to Bravado. Perhaps instead of an era, we’d see some epic back and forth matches between EN and BVD. This was not to be however as Bravado Gaming relocated to North America shortly after WESG Qualifiers as part of Project Destiny. Energy should have again been the dominant team in the scene. Sadly for CS:GO fans they were denied entry in VS Gaming Masters, apparently due to an administrative error. Make of that what you will, but the country’s supposedly most prestigious tournament has been severely diminished without their presence.
Energy’s chance at the continuation of their continental African dominance in 2018 was also cruelly denied by ESL Africa’s complete absence from the scene this year. So far there has been no official word on whether there will be a Season 3 this year or next. The Energy team have only competed in ESEA this year, showing ruthless dominance on their way to both Season 27 and Season 28 league titles. Their win at the Vodacom 4U CS:GO Cup at Rush included only a single map loss across the LAN tournament, They won ESEA Season 28 without dropping a single map and repeated the same seemingly impossible feat in securing their Evetech Champions League two weekends ago. What is left in South Africa that would present a challenge to them?
Dominance is spelled Energy
I just said “seemingly impossible”. Nothing is for Energy eSports, locally. Their side is by far and away the best team in the country. A few teams have come close to toppling them on single maps, but tournament results have never been in doubt. Energy has won everything and will continue doing so for the foreseeable future. They are just that good. If they were in VS Masters, they’d claim the title there too. Probably also without dropping a map. There isn’t much here to trouble them. EN is a tier above the next closest SA teams. Goliath Gaming and Big 5 Esports are the best of the rest but are still not on Energy’s level. Will they ever be? One would hope so, but there’s little to suggest that Grand Final results will change with the big dogs still ruling the yard.
The rogues’ gallery
Their team is a study in how to assemble the best possible team locally It all centers around Robby “bLacKpoisoN” Da Loca, a player of immense talent and a wealth of experience. Equally adept on the AWP or rifles, he is currently the best SA-based player by some margin and has become a hard carry for the team after relinquishing the in game leader role.
Trevor “kaNi” Morley is the new IGL and has done a good job with it. He’s retained his signature aggressive and belligerent play style without losing too much of his explosiveness despite his new responsibilities.
Dominic “Domsterr” Sampaio is the ultimate silent assassin. He quietly goes about his work amassing big frag totals every game without being flashy. Domsterr gets it done. It must be said that he is also the best clutch player in the country. When things are tough, Energy activate the Domsterr cheat code that gets them out of almost every bind by winning those improbable 1vX scenarios with little apparent trouble.
Rieghardt “Flexi” Romatski is one of the best CT-side players in SA. His ability to multi-frag while staying alive makes his bombsite holds fortress-like. His T-side entries are often integral to the team’s successes and he is often their top fragger in big finals.
Finally, new addition Gareth “MisteM” Ries is still finding his feet within the team but is starting to look more and more like an integral cog in the machine. A prolific fragger in his own right and probably the best young player of 2018, he will only get better learning from bLacKpoisoN.
Go on, git!
Energy is a great team that I don’t feel have even yet fully realised their potential. Potential that I feel is being wasted competing in South Africa. For their own sake, I think they need to follow Bravado’s lead and move to an overseas territory with room for them to grow. They are a team that has all the tools to succeed similarly to Bravado and perhaps even exceed them. Their major obstacle would be whether they could secure the sponsorship and funding to do it. That could prove tough in the current negative economic situation the country finds itself in. Of course, it also requires the team to want to stay together and relocate. That may not be possible for some of the players due to school or family. It may not even be a desire for some of them. Still, I feel like they need to make the move if they want to realize their massive potential. They could very well be the next KaBuM.TD (now MIBR) or Renegades success story. They’re a golden sponsorship opportunity.