Editor and Photography: Brady Ruiters
It’s November and it’s also the first Friday of the month. You know what that means: another 2upGamers event. However this is no ordinary event, it’s also the one year anniversary of 2upGamers. This is the 10th event and that may seem weird seeing as there are 12 months in a year. This is due to the fact that some events needed to be postponed. I could only imagine what the team had planned for this joyous occasion. Needless to say, I was surprised to get more than I bargained for.
I walked into the venue to find that the setup process was still underway. This is not because they were running behind schedule but because I like to arrive earlier than everyone else. I was greeted with big smiles since the last time we all saw each other was either before or during rAge. Well, that and everybody was a little shocked by my new haircut.
After everything was set up, a huge crowd had formed by the entrance. I thought to myself, “Could this be the 2upGamers event with the most attendees?” Once everyone was seated, Glenn Alexander and Hylton Arendse made their way to the front. Lacking a microphone, Alexander hopped up onto a chair in order to help his voice reach everyone in the room. He talked about how the 2upGamers phenomenon has grown from having just 40 attendees at the first event (of which 20 were media) to having over 100 attendees at future events. Alexander then gave a little mention to all the guests for the evening, including the regulars who couldn’t make it this time, the guys from Friends of Design. Mountain Dew was also mentioned for coming on board and supplying attendees with bottles of their product.
Glenn then proceeded to touch on each 2upGamers event that has taken place over the past year, including the Prototype 2 launch. He spoke about their history, mentioning both the good and bad aspects and how they have learned from the experiences. During the trip down Memory Lane, Glenn decided to give away some Microsoft Points, courtesy of Evopoints, just to get the ball rolling. Before handing over to the first guest of the evening, Alexander extended a few thanks to some people who have assisted with making these events a little easier to manage.
Cube IT were the first guests to speak after just launching their first store at Bayside Mall on that very day. They will be launching 4 new stores in Stellenbosch, Claremont, Sandton and Windhoek. They mentioned that they were just a retail store but intend to really focus on the gaming aspect in that regard. They’ll be stocking products from Cyborg, Razer and Corsair. Rectron, MSI and Gigabyte are just a few names that have already come on board with Cube IT.
Next up was Alexia Scotten from Apex Interactive. Scotten showed a clip of the latest product that they will be supplying, Turtle Beach gaming headsets. These babies deliver amazing audio quality when you’re playing games so that you can be one step ahead of the enemy especially when playing an online game. Scotten also claims that the product is something that you definitely have to experience for yourself. Having someone tell you about the quality doesn’t do the product justice. In addition to being shown the clip, attendees were able to try out the headset for themselves. Also, Scotten did not come empty handed as she gave away 3 Turtle Beach headsets to 3 lucky gamers who happened to be sitting in a special marked seat. I took the opportunity to try out the headset and was very impressed. Alexia, I think we need to talk.
Travis Bulford, a local game developer from Celestial Games was up next to talk about their game entitled Toxic Bunny. The game was initially released in 1996 but was released again at rAge 2012 after receiving a complete HD makeover. Thus far, the game has been translated into Polish, Dutch, French, German and Czechoslovakian. Initially the team started remaking the game for fun but then realised that there is 58 million times the amount of graphics information available today. Bulford then showed pictures of what the game looked like before being remade and what it looks like after the remake was completed. Bulford also stated that they wanted to keep the gameplay the same as to keep the classic style of the game citing Loony Tunes as inspiration for its style.
Bianca McFadyen from EA South Africa was up next and she spoke about the prizes up for grabs during the night for playing Need For Speed: Most Wanted with the first prize being the PlayStation 3 console with a copy of the game. McFadyen then called up Desmond Kurz from MWEB to speak more about the competition. The Speed Demon Challenge would require players to use the Porsche Carrera 911 in order to set the fastest time on the lap; the fastest player walks away with the PS3. The Race A Pro Challenge would require players to beat a pro racer to win some awesome spot prizes from Gioteck.
Before, letting everyone go eat, play and socialise, Glenn hopped up onto the chair to announce that because there would be no December 2upGamers event, that the next event would take place on the 30th of November which also turns out to be the release date for the Nintendo Wii U. Core will be back in the house with their new console and there will be a Call of Duty tournament on the Wii U on the night. That’s definitely something to look forward to.
Gecosports held their Street Fighter Finals at the event with finalists competing on both the PS3 and the Xbox 360. The semi-finals started off with a bang drawing a large crowd who cheered and applauded with the end of each round. The finalists from each of the console bouts had a coin toss to determine the platform for the final. Salie Jakoet won the coin toss and chose the PS3 as the platform for the finals. It was Salie Jakoet vs. Sunny Sahota. The matches were close and each player was very skilled but ultimately, Jakoet emerged the victor. He walked away with a brand new Street Fighter X Tekken Fight Stick. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of watching eSports.
The guys from eGamer held their regular FIFA tournament where the players with the most wins on each platform would walk away with a case of Mountain Dew.
All in all, it was a great event; a fitting experience for the 2upGamers one year anniversary. As always, I was last to leave but this time there were more stragglers than just Zombie Dredd and myself. This was lucky as Jason Bridges’ (better known by DieJason to some of you) car refused to start which resulted in Zombie Dredd from Zombiegamer, Dean Oberholzer from eGamer, Glenn and I helping to kick start it. Good times.
It’s been a great year of 2upGamers events and I look forward to seeing what else the team has in store over the next year. See you at the next event!