With VS Gaming’s Masters tournament stealing the majority of the esports limelight at Comic Con Africa, there wasn’t as much fanfare around the rest of the numerous tournaments VS were running at the same time. The VS Gaming League LAN Championships included nine different esports, each with their own generous prize pools. Along with Dota 2, CS:GO was represented both on the Masters stages and down in the dark reaches of the VSGC dungeons.
The championship title for CS:GO was won by the newly created gaming organization, Exalted eSports. I spoke with the former Severe CS:GO side’s Herman “Sol” le Roux to get his take on how things went down. Sol attended his very first offline event at Comic Con and won on his first try. He was understandably rather happy.
axtremes: You of course won the VSGC on your first attempt at your first LAN. Let’s go with the generic question: How did you feel after winning? Now, with a week to process things, how are you feeling?
Sol: After winning I was overwhelmed with emotions. After shaking the hands of our formidable opponents, I phoned my mom to tell her we had won. I was just in tears as it meant so much to me. It’s been an exciting week as it is always gratifying to be congratulated for an achievement. I gained a lot of respect for my fellow players. CS:GO has meant quite a lot to me the past three years and I am proud to call our victory one of my greatest achievements in my life thus far.
axtremes: As a first timer on LAN, what sort of preparation did you do? Did you seek advice from more experienced teammates or other players?
Sol: I did no special preparations other than my normal practice routine as I was still busy writing prelims before the LAN started. I did reach out to a few people before LAN besides my teammates – most notably Dyvo from Sinister5 . He helped me to feel more comfortable about the LAN as I did have a lingering fear I might disappoint my teammates. A very important phrase I took to heart was when someone told me I shouldn’t play to impress the outside because it will lead to me being disappointed on the inside.
axtremes: Things came together quite nicely for you to be able to join Exalted (then Severe) and make it to VSGC. How did that all come about?
Sol: I initially contacted team captain Marco “m3mory” du Plessis to ask him if they would allow me to sub for them. At the time I wanted to join a team that would expose me to more structured CS:GO. At first they declined unfortunately which put me in a very awkward position. To me, it was decided that I wouldn’t be able to compete for the remainder of 2018, never mind attending a LAN. A few days later I even mentioned to one of my best friends that it would be a miracle for either of those things to occur. A day had passed and around midnight m3mory contacted me offering me a trial for a core spot, which I eventually got. It made me so happy that I had been given the opportunity to play with the line-up.
axtremes: Who in the team would get your vote for MVP of VSGC?
Sol: I would definitely give my MVP vote to Limbz as he is an exceptional in-game leader. He helped me a lot in high pressure situations and maps to stay calm.
axtremes: Tell us about the team’s run at VSGC.
Sol: Our first match was against Pixel Hunters on Nuke which for various reasons was no easy task. They were sitting on the other side of our table, so of course we would be able to hear each other when we rejoiced after a team won a round. Thankfully we did pull through with the victory after a hard-fought map. Later on Friday night we played against Nibble Veneration, a team we seem to be very evenly matched within a best of three. The first of which I’ve played where the 2 first maps went to overtime. Every round was a battle within itself, but with a few extremely good calls from Limbz and our preparation as a team pulling through, we were able to take the win. On Saturday morning we received a minor penalty for being late for our game against Online Kingdom because I forgot my laptop at the guesthouse (yes, Sol competes on a laptop). Sorry guys! A rocky two maps ended with us facing off on Cache.
We executed our game plan exceptionally well after previous defeats against OK on Cache. Thereafter we played against ZAG in the upper bracket finals were we played Train, a map where everything seemed to go our way in taking a clean win. Inferno was extremely tough especially because I struggle immensely on CT side. I was able to contribute to our T-side to take the win against them in a very tight map. Sunday was a lot more comfortable to start considering I didn’t have to run from the parking lot with my laptop. 🙂 We felt super comfortable with how the veto turned out and confident about the maps we were going to play against OK in the best of five Grand Final. The nerves did get to me a little as it was my first LAN final but as soon as we started, bit by bit, my nerves started to settle down. The final was an extraordinary experience and I will never forget it. We managed a 3 – 0 victory. GG WP OK!
axtremes: How did you feel about your personal performance on LAN?
Sol: After we played a warm-up map, I decided to unbind my tab (scoreboard) so for the most part of the LAN I had no idea how I played. Looking back at the stats on Billosoft a week later, I am quite happy as it could have been a lot worse.
axtremes: Is there anyone you’d like to give a shout out to or thank?
Sol: I would like to thank the following straight up awesome people for all the support they gave me. It was a privilege to meet every single one of them: TechGirl, Sonic, Golz, Tiaantjie, LighteRTz and bnY_. A very special thanks to my teammates for believing in me. You guys are awesome! Above all else, the glory goes to God.
Bracket info available here – https://www.digitalgamingleague.co.za/cups/492