2upGamers 7th Gear: Good But Different
It was a dark and stormy night when 2upGamers rolled up to Ikamva (Ajax FC training ground) all the way out in Parow. That really was my big motivation in going to 2upGamers 7th Gear on Friday 6 July, so that I could open with the line “it was a dark and stormy night” and you know what? I’m not even sorry because the 7th Gear was plenty of fun, if a little different to what usually happens.
First off, we were set up in a venue that was cosier and less expansive than the massive hall at Rygersdal and yet it didn’t feel like we were in a gas chamber. Despite being way too far away from Rylands for my liking, I actually quite like Ikamva. We also got a cool little corner in which to host our 2-v-2 FIFA tournament but I’ll get to that later.
After some sound gremlins which damn near deafened me as we were setting up for our tournament, the event was ready to get underway. There was a pretty cool live Twitter wall up on-screen so we could see 2up-related tweets as they were posted. We had a talk from Cape Town Showdown who were there to introduce people to who they are and what they’re all about since, they’re into fighting games by the way. They were also there to advertise their King of Fighters event which took place the day after 2up at the GamerNET House.
The biggest news of the night was easily GameX. Yes, it sounds like gay mex (gay Mexican?) when you say it really quickly but that’s irrelevant because it is essentially going to be a Cape Town based version of rAge. It’s set to be a gaming and electronics expo and is due to be held for the first time from 12-14 April 2013. The event is still very much in its infancy and Sean Fowles, spokesperson for GameX, was mum on any tangible details other than when it would be taking place. He also divulged that it would be held at CTICC but that was about it.
I don’t mean to be a pessimist but holding the event in April doesn’t seem like the ideal time given how close to E3 that is and that there won’t really be much to show as a result. That’s from a gaming perspective though and like I said, the event still has a long way to go before April next year so there’s plenty of time to make it work. I certainly hope it does, I’m sick of Gauteng getting everything, I’m looking at you Alessandro. We even had some giveaways from EA and Springleap stepped things up from last time with a Nokia Lumia up for grabs. Free stuff, it’s worth mentioning even if you didn’t win anything. If I had won something this paragraph would be in bold, capital letters.
After that, Glenn talked us through 2upGamers’ origin story and how it all came to be. It was rather interesting but I’m not going to retell it because that would just be boring. This is where things got a little different though. You see, the focus for this 2up was not so much on the guests speakers so much as it was on the gaming. That sounds weird when you say it out loud but let me explain. Usually, we listen to the various speakers, pizza is served and then we mingle, talk gaming and play whatever is on-tap. This time, the main attraction was the gaming that took place after all the talking.
The main attractions in question were a Gears of War exhibition match hosted by Ozone and run by ZombieGamer but we weren’t following it too closely (no offence guys) because it was running concurrently with our 2-v-2 FIFA tournament. First, we must talk about the food. This is mandatory so quit your whining. Remember how I said this 2up was good but different? Part of that and probably the greatest tragedy of the evening was the loss of the traditional pizza that magically appeared at every 2up event. It was replaced instead by a wave of finger-food that included mini pizzas, drumsticks, pies and samosas. It was delicious but we will all mourn the passing of the 2up pizzas.
On to the gaming. The Gears match was successful by all acounts but our eyes were firmly on the FIFA tournament and just like last time, we rounded up 8 teams to compete for ultimate glory. We kept things the same – straight knock-out in the first round with 2 leg semi-finals. There were a few familiar faces including Jason (DieJason) and his trusty sidekick Ricky who walked away as runners-up. Amongst the familiar faces were the winners from Team GamerNET. Or rather, we recognised one half of the winning team since Francois swapped out his former partner, Rohan, for some guy named Tiaan. They even had matching shirts. Their Real Madrid might’ve walked all over Jason & Ricky’s Spurs but the underdogs can’t always have that dream victory now can they? Seriously though, congrats to Francois and Tiaan who walked away with a copy of FIFA Street each.
A special appearance was made by LEGO Batman aka Abduragman aka that dude who dressed up as Alex Mercer two months ago. As is now customary, I stepped up for a photo since Dean has a pathological fear of flash-photography in addition to cat-lick (long story) and Azhar wasn’t in attendance. Even if he was, he can’t stand still for long enough to take a photo. You’ll also notice several shots in the gallery below where Dean blocks his face from getting caught on camera so expertly, you’d think Mr Miagi trained him. I did manage to get his face in a few photos but he stole my phone and I ended up chasing him around the venue, with the help of Nqaba (sage of the six paths). He deleted them and I ended up spending a good while trying to get another picture. We are so mature it’s actually scary.
This 2up was a lot more relaxed than the others and perhaps that had something to do with the abundance of couches but I quite liked this chilled vibe. It was great for meeting new people and one of those people just happened to be eGamer newbie Ebrahim. I’ll be frank when I say that he was older than I expected but that was immaterial because he turned out to be an awesome guy, despite poking fun at my phone. It might’ve had a lot to do with my luminous green cover which I rather like.
Apologies for the poor pictures and terrible quality but my phone is not a good camera and I did the best I could with what I had.
2upGamers 7th Gear didn’t necessarily kick it up a notch but it changed things up and did something different to what we were used to. I quite liked it and certainly had plenty of fun. Here’s hoping 2up keeps growing as it has and that we see all of you again at the next event.