The Rhinos secure funding for Overwatch World Cup
A close-run fundraising campaign has ended in success for the South African Overwatch team. Almost two weeks ago, the South African Rhinos were still R44,000 short of reaching the target needed to ensure their trip to Los Angeles. Thanks to ongoing donations and a sponsorship by Wistper, the team will now be at the Overwatch World Cup.
South Africa has had to ensure their costs were covered to compete. This is in stark contrast to the top ten ranked countries who received “full support for round-trip airfare, ground transportation to and from the venue, and double-occupancy hotel accommodation.” The battle to get to Los Angeles has also seen ATK, Goliath Gaming and Cloud Travel sponsoring and supporting the Rhinos.
Sam “Tech Girl” Wright – the team’s general manager – had the following to say about the journey to secure the funds:
“When I put my name in the ring to run for the committee for Team South Africa it was because I was well aware of the huge task ahead to raise funds for this trip and didn’t think it was fair to put that on others because it was a mountain that even I wasn’t sure I could climb. We’ve had hardly any support from Blizzard. We’ve also had to try source sponsors during the worst time of the year for tech and gaming brands – as many budgets are tied up in the various expos. Regardless, the incredible community lead, coach and players of this amazing team went above and beyond to showcase their passion for the game and the huge opportunity a trip like this offers up to the players.
We’ve got our visa appointments booked, flights and accommodation secured. We couldn’t have done it without all the donations and support of ATK, Goliath Gaming, Wistper (a new name entering the ZA esports scene) and the wonderful ladies at Cloud Travel.”
All Roads Now Lead to BlizzCon
The 2019 Overwatch World Cup will be hosted at the Anaheim Convention Centre, alongside Blizzard’s BlizzCon. The tournament format will see a single-elimination preliminary round. This first round sees the top five countries in the world secure automatic byes to the group stage of the event. Five teams from the preliminary round will join them in two groups of five teams. The top three from each group following a round robin will head to the single elimination playoffs.
The top team per group secure a playoff semifinals, while the second- and third-placed teams head to the quarterfinals. It’s then a battle for the honours. The final prize pool for 2019 is still to be confirmed, but last year’s World Cup awarded offer $480,000 to the top eight teams.
South African Rhinos
The players representing South Africa on 1 and 2 November in California are:
- Jordan ‘Twenty’ Bouagh
- Joshua ‘AshBro’ Luttich
- Ruan ‘Senticall’ Potgieter
- Jean-Luc ‘LikeALuke’ Linssen
- Wayne ‘Visions’ Short
- Brandon ‘Squishy’ Leonard
- Jeandre ‘ShapeShifter’ Sadie
The committee is: Lizelle ‘VirgoLiz’ Smith, Peter ‘NotGroot’ Berens and Samantha ‘Tech Girl’ Wright.