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What the ASUS partnership means for SA gaming

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Video gaming in South Africa is booming and it’s becoming more and more entrenched in our culture. Icons such as Mario, Zelda, Lara Croft, and Master Chief are finding their way into the homes of your average Joe Public. Our gaming industry has a lot of potential and is starting to attract serious attention and financial backing from large international brands.

Enter ASUS. Over the years ASUS have built a legacy as a premium, high-end gaming hardware manufacturer - the Republic of Gamers (ROG) sub-brand bearing testament to this.

We recently attended an ASUS PR event hosted at eSports lounge GameArea, where we caught up with Reuben Naude and Frances Lombard to get some insight into their plans to support and grow gaming in South Africa. Their strategy has multiple layers, but can be summarized into two distinctive aspects: the manufacture of high quality hardware and peripherals and offering greater support to the local competitive gaming scene.

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Gaming with ASUS

ASUS aim to introduce a number of innovative products and peripherals into the local market to ensure that gamers are always able to compete using the best possible setup. The most exciting of these innovations is what ASUS call Auto-Extreme. Traditionally, hardware manufacturing involves some form of human assembly. That means someone is actually manually assembling parts of your hardware. Auto-Extreme is an industry first manufacturing process that completely removes the human element from manufacturing. The benefits of such a process should be obvious as it eliminates any chance of defects caused by human error.

The ever expanding peripherals marketing is another area that ASUS have earmarked, introducing the STRIX sub-brand specifically to penetrate this space. According to their website STRIX is “taken from the ancient Roman and Greek word for owl, meaning the keenest hearing and sharpest eyesight”. The STRIX line of products is intended for serious gamers. Highlights from this product line include a 7.1 Surround Sound Headset, a fully mechanical keyboard, and two 5000 DPI ergonomic mice.

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It’s also worth mentioning that ASUS make a distinction between consumers who prefer to assemble their PCs themselves, and those who have no interest in hardware. The former is your typical tinkerer who loves to squeeze the most out of his hardware, whilst the latter simply wants a rig to run the latest gamers. ASUS cover both these bases by introducing powerhouse all-in-one PCs and laptops to their traditional line-up of motherboards and graphics cards, ensuring that everyone’s needs are met.

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ASUS on investing in SA eSports

Earlier I mentioned that the second part of ASUS’ strategy involved greater support for the local competitive gaming scene. ASUS are a former sponsor of prominent local eSports team Energy, and were announced as a major sponsor of the MGO WhiteRabbit Gaming. Furthermore, we learnt that ASUS have recently entered into a partnership with tournament organizer Orena, suppling the organization with much needed hardware.

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Local ASUS marketing manager Reuben Naude explains that ASUS view sponsorships as an essential part of their business and states that the brand has received a lot positive exposure and benefits from supporting local eSports. Naude went on to mention that they also plan to host a variety of workshops including training session with some of SA’s top eSports athletes.

We had a great time chatting to the team from ASUS and would like to thank them for the invite. Special mention has to be given to our host Byron Trent, a director at eSport lounge GameArena.Keep an eye on GameZone for our video interview.

It certainly feels like eSports are on the brink of something phenomenal in South Africa. The years of toil and effort from everyone involved in the scene are starting to pay off.

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