If someone had told me back in my school days that I could play esports as an extramural activity, they would have never been able to get me out of the computer class. The sentiment was echoed throughout Comic Con Africa 2022 where the question was repeated around the RGB Gaming Minecraft stage… “Why didn’t we have this at school?” While South Africa seems to lag a little behind the rest of the world as far as technological advancements and trends are concerned, at least in this way we seem to be keeping up with the adoption of esports into our schools.
Playing Minecraft and other esports titles may have made our teachers recoil with horror, but more and more schools and institutions globally are adopting esports programs to engage learners in an interactive environment while harnessing their inherent competitive natures into a constructive and educational medium. In South Africa, RGB Gaming has positioned themselves at the forefront of not only offering an alternative extramural activity to students who strive for a more technological career path, but with their partner Microsoft, they are also helping schools feed their students’ creativity and imagination while learning with Minecraft Education.
On the first day of Comic Con Africa, RGB Gaming brought 16 schools, 64 players and hundreds of spectators to the convention to battle it out in time trials to be placed in the next phase of the tournament. Schools brought their cheerleaders along to support their friends and even outside of the KidsCon hall you could hear the chanting for their teams and the elation and excitement when they did well. The excitement was building as teams entered their final round of the time trials – you could see students doing the math and figuring out what times they needed to beat to be a part of the top 8 teams that would go through to the next round!
On day 2, the stakes were high as the top 8 teams battled it out in a grueling double elimination bracket while the crowd of onlookers cheered them on. As schools started dropping out, the anticipation was palpable as the final teams found their place in the semi finals. Minecraft esports is no different to other titles in esports – spectators watched the teams use different strategies to gain a psychological advantage over their opponents.
In a breathtaking clutch moment, the strategy of Crawford Lonehill saw them equalise the score and send the final into a sudden death overtime where they claimed the victory and the ultimate title of RGB Gaming KidsCon 2022 Champions. The runner up title belonged to their opponents Bealieu Prep and Crawford Sandton took third place. Holy Rosary School showed their mettle and secured the School Spirit Award for their incredible support for their team of ladies taking part in the tournament.
Day 3 of Comic Con Africa of course fell on Heritage Day this year and RGB Gaming and Microsoft came together to shine a light on this beautiful country of ours! South Africa was front and centre during the Minecraft build challenges and hundreds of children visiting the convention got a chance to show what our heritage means to them and what it really means to be South African.
Day 4 of the convention was focused on creativity and Cricut got involved on stage to help students get their creativity flowing with fun interactive sessions using Cricut to personalise and customise. Students had new build challenges to test them and their skills in Minecraft to win some awesome prizes from Microsoft. There were also mini tournaments on Xbox for FIFA and Rocket League as well as a YO-YO trick challenge and Minecraft quizzes to keep students and parents alike entertained.
“Of course, we could not have made the event such a huge success without the amazing support of brands that understand the impact that we want to make by creating a sustainable esports ecosystem in South Africa by starting from the ground up. These are the people who believe in a brighter community and that the skills and talent in our children need to be nurtured so that they can be the best they can be,” says Jaco Sauer, General Manager of RGB Gaming.
Lenovo was the main headline sponsor of the tournament and Microsoft sponsored much of the set up area and some of the events. Rectron, Cricut, Corsair, Everki, CoolerMaster and RCT sponsored amazing prize packs for the top 3 teams that blew their minds!
All 4 days of Comic Con Africa were filled with huge smiles and lots of laughter at the RGB Gaming activation space. Besides the esports and gaming action happening, throughout the weekend there was also tabletop gaming being run thanks to Easy Gaming Group. Tabletop gaming is an important part of the gaming culture and not only does it promote creativity and imagination, but also strategic thinking and on the fly problem solving – all vital to a student’s educational journey.
Being able to see activations like the RGB Gaming KidsCon Esports Tournament at a major event such as Comic Con Africa has opened the eyes of many people to the fact that something that was brushed off as justification to play games is actually making a positive impact in the education sector.