How to organise an international gaming event in South Africa


South Africa saw several Hearthstone Tavern Hero Qualifiers played over 23 and 24 April, the first of their kind in the country.

MyGaming caught up with the Johannesburg event organiser to talk about the logistics of hosting such an event.

Hello, would you mind introducing yourself?

My name is Jay van der Berg, I am currently an employee at DeeTwenty in Randburg and I am the Tournament organiser for the Johannesburg Hearthstone Tavern Hero Qualifier.

How did you come to be the official tournament organiser for this event?

I used to attend a lot of the Hearthstone events at DeeTwenty. We often have casual Hearthstone and Friday Night Magic meetings and I was made “God Geek” for these events. It was this past experience that led to me being the tournament organiser for this event.

What are the logistics for putting together such an event?

Things like food and drinks are not really an issue as we already have kitchen facilities. We did, however, have to bring in several more routers so as to accommodate so many players.

We also did have slight internet issues given the number of players at the event. We worked around this by structuring the event so as not to play all the games at once and the internet has now held up.

We weren’t quite sure how many players to expect, but the turn out was much bigger than we anticipated (around 30 competitors) and we are very happy.

We did a lot of promotion on Facebook and through the DeeTwenty Google Plus page, but it was the Hearthstone South Africa and Gauteng groups that drew the biggest crowds.

Why was DeeTwenty specifically chosen to host the event?

We saw a lot of posts on indicating that they were keen to have an event in South Africa.

Lara from Durban (a fellow forum member) informed us that we should apply through the Fireside Gathering website for a chance to host. Given the interest from the community and that we had held similar events in the past we were chosen to host.

Are there any strict rules imposed by Blizzard in order to host the event?

Everything had to be posted on Challong as a live bracket which was then constantly updated. That way there can be no tampering and the results are sent directly to Blizzard.

Blizzard stipulated that the event has to be in a public area, there are certain dates where admin has to be in (2 days to create and submit our official report), and the format has to be best of five. With these rules in place we can also ensure that everyone is on the same wavelength.

Where do you see competitive Hearthstone going?

Hearthstone is actually a very casual, social game, so we have been trying to improve this social element and get people together.

The game has grown quite a bit, with the first DGL giving us a really a big push and helping us to kick-start the Cape Town event. The biggest issue we now face is players lacking exposure to this more competitive local scene, despite being very good players online.

This event will hopefully lead to another National event and an increase in Fireside Gatherings across the country. The scene is still very casual and trying to grow, but even now there are strong competitors that will do well internationally.

What is your favourite Deck?

Currently it’s either Mid-range Hunter or Dragon Paladin.

What is your favourite card?

Currently Ram Wranglers.

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How to organise an international gaming event in South Africa

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