Having launched in January this year, Divine Gaming has done pretty well as a newly established professional e-Sports clan. Made up originally of a Call of Duty 4 (CoD4) team, Team ~ Divine, the clan has grown off the back of that team's success to now incorporate two CoD4 teams, one Battlefield 3 team, one Modern Warfare 3 team and players in Starcraft, DotA 2 and even CS:GO when it launches.
The first leg of the DGL saw Divine do better than many expected, with its first CoD4 team (divine`Cod4) shooting from the Seeding Division straight into the First Division after getting into the semi-finals in the Novice Cup playoffs. They've gone to top off their group in the First Division (Group B) for the second leg and so have entered the Champions Cup for this leg, giving them a strong opportunity to enter the Premier Division for the final leg and a DGL 2012 Championships invite.
In speaking to Jason 'KaHoLiC' Oosthuizen, co-owner of Diving Gaming (along with Ryszard 'vader' Moscicki) and captain of the Divine Juniors team, he seems pretty confident that Divine will enter the Premier CoD4 league.
“We've got a team that is going to Prem and also First Division,” he says, in the latter referring to his own team who are in the Novice Cup for this leg after topping Group C in the Third Division.
He is also both excited and confident about the Divine Battlefield 3 team.
“We recruited Willie 'BLOOD' Esterhuizen to be our Battlefield 3 captain and he put the team together in two weeks (divine-iMorTaL MisFiTs) and they've been doing exceptionally well. They're the highlight of Divine and already have some sponsors interested,” he says.
Divine-iMorTaL MisFiTs were the winners of Group C in the DGL Battlefield 3 Third Division for this last leg. That's put them in the Novice Cup. Oosthuizen is confident they will receive a high enough placing to get them into the First Division and then probably into Premier from there.
“They've been undefeated,” he reiterated in an interview.
Going back to CoD4, Divine has some pretty good names on board their teams, with players that have been in Premier before (In teams like Area 52 and DAC, which come to mind). Many of these players have also had some great experience in Call of Duty: Black Ops, Counter-Strike, Battlefield 2 and others.
Here are the line-ups:
Gavin WhiteHAwK Strydom (Captain) Ryszard 'vader' Moscicki (Vice-Captain and manager) Jarrid 'LaZyY' Roy Bernardo 'Nephilim' Johnson Wesley 'w1ckeD' Hatfield Daniel 'fosho' Feinstein (Reserve) Tamir 'Milo' Shklaz (Reserve)
Shaun 'pooch' van der Walt (Captain) Blake 'pages' Larkan (Vice-Captain) Jason 'KaHoLiC' Oosthuizen (Manager) Brendon 'KuZu!' Groenewald Cole 'TemplaR' Walen Kamp Stephen 'C[R]u$H' Dicks (Reserve) Jamie 'Toxic<3' Gibbons (Reserve) Danielle 'TrueF!re' Pienaar (Reserve)
For Battlefield 3, we're looking at:
Willie 'BLOOD' Esterhuizen (Manager) Andre 'Xenocide' Burger (Vice-Captain) MJ 'Crusher_za' Steyn Bradley 'Frantic' Sharp Rudi 'JaundiceBunny' Joubert Andrew '1FROST' Mackinnon Johann 'Hawks' Coetzee Tiaan 'S4n0x' Truter Brendan 'Delirious' Quin (Reserve) Jason 'SilverSmurfy' Murphy (Reserve) Armand 'XmanDZA' Barnard (Reserve) Brendan 'Ze_coke' van der Merwe (Reserve)
But there is also Modern Warfare 3. The Divine AnAx suffered a set-back just before the playoffs for the first leg with two players pulling out. But Oosthuizen says things have been ironed out and the team is back up and running.
AnAx came second in Group B for the Second Division at the end of this leg. That puts them into the Novice Cup for these playoffs.
So where is Divine Gaming going?
“We're always striving to be the best. Our slogan is 'We Are Divine' and we want to be one of the top clans of South Africa – like Bravado or the former Vitriolic,” Oosthuizen says.
Jason 'KaHoLiC' Oosthuizen (left) - picture from Divine Gaming
Clans, e-Sports organisations or multi-gaming organisations (MGOs) – whatever one prefers to call them – tend to come and go like the latest pop song. That is a well known problem in South Africa but it's certainly not an exclusively local problem.
Divine Gaming has, in a short space of time, acquired some significant players and teams and expanded considerably. That can be an exciting thing for any clan and is certainly commendable. But it can also often lead to tremendous problems in that it's too much too soon and the area of communication and the processes tied to that haven't been properly established.
Communication is key. There is a difference between what is essentially a social clan such as DnA and an e-Sports organisation such as ASF or Bravado. The former can run like a democracy and is all about having fun; whereas the latter needs to have strong policies in place to ensure teams stay together and sponsors get a proper return on investment.
In many ways Bravado has found success in that it didn't expand too soon. Many seem to forget that the organisation only consisted of a Counter-Strike team for quite a while and that it went through a long stage of dormancy. Even when it was 'revived', as it were, in 2006, it took quite some time for it to develop into the brand it is today. It was a well known name but not essentially a professional brand.
Interested in joining?
Divine Gaming is launching its new website this week. It will be at www.divinegaming.co.za and will contain more info and contact details. Oosthuizen is also available on IRC and via email for gamers who are keen to get hold of him.