News: What To Look Out For At The Inaugural rAge Cape Town - It's Not As Dire As You Were Expecting


By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 17 March 2016
Category: News
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The reactions to the announcement that the rAge gaming expo would be coming to Cape Town were mixed - and ranged wildly from enthusiasm to cynicism - but the moment is upon us, it is happening, and here's what to look out for to make the most of your time at the event.

rAge Cape Town has been mired in controversy since the event was announced last year - everything from the fact that it's only happening in Cape Town because EGE was a success to recent drama over the cosplay because the event is at a casino complex that has strict rules about attire.

I was invited to a media preview this afternoon during which we were given a tour of some of the upcoming highlights of the event, as well as some behind-the-scenes information concerning the infrastructure and logistics of the LAN.

I'll start with everyone's concern, which was mine as well: the size of the event. It is small. I'm not going to pull punches on that. No one was expecting rAge Johannesburg but it's, arguably, not even as big as EGE was (not counting the LAN space). The main expo is in the SunExhibits space (the entrance is at the boat in the parking lot or, if you're inside the casino complex, you go through the arcade to reach it). The LAN is situated in a separate exhibition space in the Good Hope Suites, which is near the Grand Arena and opposite the arcade.

News: What To Look Out For At The Inaugural rAge Cape Town - It's Not As Dire As You Were Expecting

The size is disappointing but, even in this small space, there are a lot of interesting stands and activities to discover. During the media tour Michael James, the senior project manager of rAge/NAG, said that next year they are intending to double the size of the event and also use the Grand Arena space, as well as a new space that SunExhibits will be building adjacent to the current SunExhibits area.



The LAN

The LAN has space for 408 gamers, all of whom will be on the same network. HP is providing high-end switches and there will be a gigabit connection at each table leading to a switch, which leads to a 20 gigabit connection, which leads to the main switch, which leads to a 80 gigabit connection. All the IP addresses will be direct Internet IPs.

News: What To Look Out For At The Inaugural rAge Cape Town - It's Not As Dire As You Were Expecting
Above: The LAN area is in a separate room from the expo. The last time I was in this space it was hosting a wedding expo. (Don't even ask - I wasn't there by choice.)
IS is providing the Internet bandwidth - the LAN will be connected to a 10 gigabit per second fibre ring and each gamer will have 500 megabits per second throughput with a latency of five to seven milliseconds.

The Johannesburg LAN provides space for 2500 gamers so although this one is smaller that actually works in Cape Town's favour as the participants will have a better, faster connection.



Telkom DGL Masters

Eight local teams, which have been flown in from all over South Africa, will be competing for a prize pool of R100 000 in a Telkom DGL Masters Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament, with first place receiving R40 000 and eighth place receiving R5000.

News: What To Look Out For At The Inaugural rAge Cape Town - It's Not As Dire As You Were Expecting
Above: Gamers on the left, audience in front, casters at the back.
A dedicated arena has been set up for the tournament, with the gamers competing in soundproof booths in front of an audience chill area (bean bags!) and a few rows of stadium seating that allow spectators to watch both the gamers and a live broadcast of their games on a big screen above the gamer booths. The live broadcast will be shoutcasted from a separate soundproof booth at the back of the arena space and viewers at home will also be able to follow along via the DGL Twitch stream.



HWBOT World Tour 2016

The HWBOT World Tour is a series of overclocking events that are being held in seven countries. The Cape Town leg is the second stop on the tour's itinerary. The aim is to educate people about overclocking with workshops for amateurs that will explain aspects of overclocking related to components, frequencies, and voltages and how the components work together. Then, with their new understanding of the mechanics, participants will learn how to get more out of their systems just by tweaking settings using software. They will also get to compete to see who can get the best performance out of their machines.

Professional overclockers will also be on the stand to demonstrate extreme overclocking methods (in a protected environment), which includes using liquid nitrogen to cool components and removing voltage protection, and to compete in the World Series For Extreme competition. The winner will be invited to compete in the World Championship in Berlin in December.

Anyone can sign up to participate in the amateur workshops, which are running on Friday and Saturday. The finals for the professional competitors will take place on Saturday evening (live streamed on Twitch) and the amateur finals will take place on Sunday afternoon.



Astro Gaming Cup

Zombiegamer Events and Clan Connection are running the Astro Gaming Cup, an invitational that will feature the top Call Of Duty teams on console - Carbon Astra, Energy eSports, Team Adept, and Vinco Gaming - in a Call Of Duty: Black Ops III tournament that will extend over the full weekend, starting with a round robin on Friday and ending with single-elimination finals on Sunday.


The teams will be using Astro A40 circumaural headphones and MixAmps and visitors to the stand will also be able to try out the headphones.


I spent a few minutes trying out the headphones today and was impressed with the level of comfort, as well as the noise-cancellation abilities, although I reserve final judgement until I've used them for a more suitable length of time as it usually takes at least half an hour for problems such as compression pain on top of the head or against the ears to manifest, should it be an issue.



NAG Jam

Seven entrants in the NAG Jam competition will be showcased on a stand at the show and visitors will be able to try them out at the stand. Unfortunately the setup wasn't complete while I was there so I don't know what to expect. The participants were given 72 hours to create a game, similar to the Ludum Dare Jam, for which the theme, "Down, but not out", was announced on the opening night of the jam.

Intel has sponsored a R15 000 prize pool that will go to the top four entries.



Xtreme Gaming FIFA 16 Tournament

Xtreme Gaming is running a free FIFA 16 tournament each day of the event, sponsored by Comtel. There are 64 spots available each day and the tournament will be run on PlaySation 4 consoles. Find more details here.



Expo Floor Highlights

The stands were still being set up today but PlayStation (Ster Kinekor Entertainment) and Xbox are both prominent participants, with large stand areas showcasing their games on playable consoles. There is also a dedicated LEGO gaming area (also Ster Kinekor Entertainment) separate to the PlayStation area to showcase LEGO video games.

Unfortunately these are the only big gaming brands that will be present in Cape Town. There are others - I don't need to name them; you know what they are - that participate in Johannesburg but they have chosen not to come to Cape Town. It was understandable, though not appreciated, that they chose to stay away from EGE, which was an untested event, but their absence there, and now also at rAge, is notable - and noted.

Alternatives to e-sports and electronic gaming include Readers Den and Wizards Warehouse, which have setups in the "Flea Market" area (I think that's an awful name for a section), and tabletop gaming is also well represented due to Unplug Yourself. The magazines TFG Tech and Popular Mechanics both have stands and various tertiary-education institutions, including City Varsity, The Animation School, and AFDA (The South African School of Motion Medium Picture and Live Performance), are also represented.

Finally, although the formal cosplay competition was cancelled due to the problems likely to occur with security and costumes and props, there is still a "be spotted and win" event - see the LegionInk Cosplay Page for details. (Just make sure you read the advice from the expo organisers.)

You can see the full list of exhibitors here and the floor plan here. Tickets are via Computicket or at the door. The even opens tomorrow at 10:00 and runs until 16:00 on Sunday.



Mandy J Watson is a media guest of rAge Cape Town 2016.

Tags: #cape_town, #games, #saesports





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