If there is one event on every South African gamer’s calendar each year, its Rage – one of the country’s biggest and longest gaming and tech expos. Although the expo experienced big competition from Comic Con (which took place the week before), they still managed to pull off yet another successful event. Rage 2019, which too place between 27 and 29 September, saw gaming, tech, e-sports, Cosplay, and even robots making an appearance on the show floor.
Rage 2019 was hosted at the Ticketpro Dome as to be expected. I will admit; I wasn’t looking forward to this year’s expo as last year’s event really disappointed me. However, I was genuinely surprised at what Rage had to offer this year, even if I was not all too impressed in some aspects of the expo.
This year they really tried to maximise their space by moving their annual LAN off of the main floor, and into the corridors and upstairs area of the venue. This made moving around the dome easier, especially on Saturday; the day most people attended.
One of the biggest problems I had with the event is that there were so many different events taking place at the same time, and not all necessarily focused on gaming. There were five stage across the main floor, which made it difficult to navigate the area and find what you were really interested in.
There was Evetech’s stage, which hosted The Hero Charity Cup where 24 of South Africa’s finest gaming influences battled it out in Apex Legends for charity. (They played for Seeds of Africa, which seeks to empower early childhood development in previously disadvantaged communities in South Africa.)
Then, there was the cosplay stage where cosplayers could strut their stuff and pose for pictures. Event organisers also hosted interesting panels with tips and advice on the different aspects of cosplaying, in addition to their annual cosplay competition, which was sponsored by Vodacom. The best in show was awarded R15000 in cash, while Masters, Armors, and Needlework winners took home R 5000 each.
E-sports also made its return with the E-sport stage showing off some very competitive CS:GO gameplay. There were more tournaments all over the expo hosted by ACGL, featuring games such as Fortnite, FIFA 20, PES 2020, Apex Legends, Overwatch, and PUBG.
Rage also brought the World Robotics Olympiad South Africa finals to the event, where you could see some of Africa’s brightest young minds at work as teams battled it out in various events. This part of the expo was really cool and brought attention to a completely unknown area of interest for many people.
As for new games to play, I was left a bit disappointed as there wasn’t much on offer. PlayStation basically picked up their stand from Comic Con Africa and moved it to Rage and Microsoft brought less games too. Nintendo didn’t even make an appearance at the event.
Seemingly, the only new game that made an appearance at the event was Predator Hunting Grounds. However, Huawei did bring some home coded developers and apps makers to the show. They were able to show off their skills and new games for the world to see.
One of the newer features of the event was the Kids Rage. The offering felt like an attempt to combat the Kids Con at Comic Con Africa but it just felt tacked on. Other than that, the usual stalls and epic deals which you only get at the event were on offer again.
Although there was some issues with Rage 2019, such as the size in comparison to venue, this year was definitely better than last years in terms of space, events and tech. It was a letdown in the game department, which is really odd since Rage is meant to be South Africa’s premier gaming event. Overall though, the event is probably still going to be around for a long time, and will continue to generate great excitement.
What did you think of Rage 2019?