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A farewell from Des

Desmond Kurz.jpg

Before Desmond takes us on a stroll down the MWEB GameZone memory lane, a few words from his apprentice, now promoted to the status of Darth Kirby.

"I pen this little blurb with quite the heavy heart. Desmond has been a phenomenal mentor to me over the last five years. Not only has he imparted exceptionally valuable knowledge on me, but has equipped me with essential tools and abilities that I will continue to use both in my professional career as well as in my personal life.

At times, Desmond’s patience is comparable to that of a saint, and I must thank him sincerely for putting up with my passionate rants and raves. He has left some very big shoes to fit into that I will endeavour to fill to the best of my ability. However, the hole that he has left in our hearts will not be replaced as easily. So while we will not see you every day, we know that we will still see you online on the game servers, and there will be a special invite for you to all of our events. Only this time you could actually win something! 

Godspeed Bossman, and again, thank you again for just being you." Brad Kirby

Kirbey and Kurz.jpg

"On the eve of my 5th year anniversary, I am sad to say that it’s time to bid farewell to MWEB and my gaming team. While I look forward to new opportunities, I have plenty of fond memories to look back on.

When I started at MWEB in 2011, fresh off the boat back from Malta, I was filled with enthusiasm to work in an industry that I have always loved, Gaming. With a passion for gaming stretching back 30 years or more and the backing of MWEB, a process of transformation started that centred on support for the gaming community in South Africa.

What started with just Brad Kirby and I mushroomed into a success with a host of wins. The MWEB GameZone site was transformed into full-blown gaming portal that started with a few visitors a month to one of the largest destinations for South African gamers.

The website not only became a source of gaming news, but also a voice for SA gamers to publicise events, ideas and views about the local scene. Much of the success, and my thanks, is due to a plethora of good writers who contributed their insights, time and effort, including Grant Hinds, Zaid Kriel, Wessel Minnie, Nick Holden, Clint O’Shea, Tauriq Moosa, Aléz Odendaal and Pippa Tshabalala and host of others. But a very special thanks has to go to Han Cilliers, whose dedication and hard work has truly been inspirational.

eNCATech Report: MWEB GameZone Star Wars Battlefront launch event.

One of the aspects I am particularly proud of was MWEB’s commitment to improve the local gaming experience. Over the last couple of years, the investment in hardware has seen MWEB grow into the largest host of gaming server infrastructure in the country. There were some really proud moments including launching the 1st local Dota 2 servers, Counter-Strike match making servers, servers for all the Call of Duty titles from Black Ops onwards, all the Battlefield server titles from Battlefield 3 onwards and even hosting the first console gaming servers (that we are aware of) for Gears of War 3. Not having to play your favourite game at 150ms + ping has probably made a lot of gamers happy. My thanks also go not only to the MWEB GameZone team here, but also to the host of admins that give of their personal time to look after some of the server titles. Very special thanks to RynoWarwick (and his predecessor, Reinhard Rheeder-Kleist) who have overseen all the tin and keep it ticking over. Not so easy when you are managing over 200 servers…

To add to the dedication of the MWEB GameZone team to gamers, I can also attest to a lot of hard work that goes into the testing and mapping of new online games, so that we can provide the right assurance levels to the gaming traffic. It doesn’t happen automatically and requires a lot of hard work, often after hours. Big shout out to the MWEB GameZone team and the networks team for working tirelessly on this very important aspect for gamers!

The tournaments and the events part of my job was always one of the most fun aspects. Over the last couple of years, if I combine online tournaments, offline tournaments, LANS, activations and launch events, we quickly hit a tally of more than 60 events. I can tell you that events are not easy to put together and participants don’t see the stress that go into putting these together. From my perspective, I was always exhausted by the time the event started and so were my team. So a big thank you to all those who helped out to see us all through the evening. There were always a host of kind souls to help out, but I have to single out Dylan Rosser, Nick Holden and Clint O’Shea especially for their consistent help.

SABC Sport (via Richard Coldcat Scott): North vs South MWEB GameZone event

On the further subject of events, I also cannot thank the sponsors enough for making these events happen, especially the local team from Rectron (Francois, Rene, Jacolet), the guys from Gigabyte, Asus(Frankie, we love you!!!), Pinnacle (Michael especially), Raru (Ramone, Neil, Waine), Loot (Marthinus, Gary), Musica (Jonathan), Ster Kinekor (Ronelle, you have friends here!), Prima (Haidee, Ralph, Steven…yes, an ex Dalian that I like), Apex Interactive (Quinton and Alexia), Megarom (Our dearly departed Devon, Jason), Microsoft (Joe)...There are loads more that have helped out in the past and I apologise if I have not listed you…I blame my advancing years.

I also have to thank a lot of the media our there for covering a lot of the events and tournaments that we did. I will always have a soft spot for some of you. While gaming received very little attention, with the help of media partners, we secured a large amount of coverage that promoted gaming to a wide audience. The epic moment that comes to mind was showing the SABC sport crew around the MCave when they attended one of our hosted events for the first time. The look on their faces when they heard about this “eSports” thing for the first time!

I've listed some of the highlights throughout the article.

    On reflection of all that has happened, I am also particularly grateful of some of the really fantastic gamers that I have met and made friends with over the course of the events and tournaments. The closest to my heart will always be the Call of Duty console community. Our early-on tournaments put the console community back on the gaming map. I was proud to share the elations and disappointments, not only with our many COD competitions but also with the Call of Duty Champs and I hope one day we will be back in the competition. I don’t want to diminish the tournament work we’ve done for FIFA, Battlefield, Dota 2, CS:GO and more, we do truly try to cover as many titles as budget and time allows.

    MWEB Launch for Diablo 3 - ETV The Tech Report Insert

    I also have to make special mention of the volunteers at Mind Sports South Africa. You guys take a fair amount of criticism, but the work that you do bring gaming to areas that no other organisations would touch because “there aren’t the numbers”, your commitment to development and your dedication to getting South African onto the international gaming map is very admirable. What you do with very little resources and under tough constraints is really amazing. I have watched so many people try to emulate your work and fail when they realise how much is actually involved. When eSports is included in the Olympics, I hope to be there with you to celebrate.

    Last but not least, I can’t close out without thanking my right hand man, Brad Kirby. Thank you for all your support and hard work over the last 59 months. It’s been a wild ride and I know that gaming is in good hands with you.

    To the SA gaming public out there, thank you for the opportunity for us to help serve you. Thank you for letting me into your world. I hope to remain there, even if its tucked away in the corner.

    Desmond 'bosbvok' Kurz.

    "mushroomed into a success with a host of wins"

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