Esports
Esports

Anthrax: "You don’t need to spend millions, but you do need to get involved"

Anthrax: "You don’t need to spend millions, but you do need to get involved"

Ahead of this weekend's WESG qualifiers in South Africa, GINX Esports TV's Julia Robson caught up with Barry "Anthrax" Louzada of Mettlestate to discuss Mettlestate's aims for esports in South Africa, WESG and the future of SA esports. Mettlestate-logo-300x169.jpg Could you explain the objective for Mettlestate in the local esports community? Mettlestate is a premium esports authority in South Africa aiming to be the leader in content creation by combining outstanding production, and world-class esports events. We want to standardise the level of production quality as well as offering out white label services to any brands wanting to get involved in esports. After all, Mettlestate is forging the future of pro gaming. What does Mettlestate represent for South African esport professionals? We represent professionally run events and leagues where they are heard and understood by fellow gamers. The idea for Mettlestate was to just be able to do something for the gamers, by people who know and understand the passion gamers have, and provide them with the platform they need to grow and succeed. How did you get involved with the esports community in South Africa? I started almost where I am now, by running tournaments for the Battlefield and Enemy Territory communities. I then later decided I had what it takes to compete. I went on to win 6 national titles with the DGC and the ESL Nations Cup twice. I have been involved in the esports scene for over 20 years as a player, a manager, caster, host, producer and now tournament organiser. What does it mean for WESG to partner with Mettlestate? Partnering with WESG gives the South African esports community their first confirmed international esports qualifier to date. Explain what this qualifier means to the qualifying team. The qualifying players will be able to go overseas and compete on the international stage for their share of almost five million dollars. This is much bigger than that though, it is about growing and gaining experience on a level that is not yet available to us here in South Africa. That is what our partners at Ali Sport want to do – support us in helping to grow esports in our region. Mettlestate recently received an R10 million investment from Smartcall – how does this impact Mettlestate? This investment gives us the ability to run regular leagues, an opportunity to add an extra space for gamers to play and compete while receiving reward for their skill and effort. Gamers are the life and soul of this industry and it is them that we need to look after. We ALL need to realise that the gamers need us just as much as we need them. It is an ecosystem, and this investment helps us grow and strengthen it. Where do you see South African esports in a few years time? I see esports in South Africa growing and becoming a really large part of peoples lives. As the access to the internet and hardware become less of a barrier to entry, brands will start to see that this is the place they need to be focusing their attention. It is going to take time and we are still behind, but it is only a matter of time before this really takes off. What is the message that other possible investors should hear about South African esports? You don’t need to spend millions, you don’t need to run huge tournaments, but you do need to get involved. There is a space in esports that you can create for yourself and you can own it. Work with your partners in your industry to get into esports, even if you think you don’t understand it. Partner with people who know and understand esports. We all know the principals on how to build a house but we still get a professional to do it for us. The same applies to esports. There are people that can help and advise you on how you and your brand can best get into the space.