Episode 120: ICON 2017 Series - State of SA Esports!

We round out our third season with one more panel from ICON 2017 and we're continuing with the esports theme. Last year, ICON 2016 played host to a panel discussing the state of esports in South Africa, and it was a very busy year for esports since then.

Last month saw the completion of TWO major esports events in South Africa (the Rush event brought to you by NAG, and the VS Gaming event), last weekend saw the inaugural Valkyrie Girl Gamer competition with 50 thousand rand prize money as well as the announcement that the Nexus in Randburg, Johannesburg will play host to the Hearthstone European Summer qualifiers for South Africa. The profile of esports has never been higher. And all of this can be framed against the backdrop of Valve's DOTA 2 The International, which has amassed an incredible prize pool of over 24 million US dollars.

With the massive growth of esports locally, we'd like to present to you this year's ICON 2017 panel talking about the state of esports in South Africa, hosted by SA's Tech Girl, Sam Wright.

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Episode 119: ICON 2017 Series - Spotlight on SA's Girl Gamers

Esports continues to surge in popularity all over the globe, and South Africa is no exception, but without a doubt it’s still very much seen as a male-dominated space. This makes it difficult for females to find a way into gaming without feeling intimidated by their male counterparts. Steps are being taken, however, to get more women involved, and to identify up and coming female esports talent.

This weekend, SA's Tech Girl, Sam Wright, in partnership with Mettlestate and Evetech, is launching the "Valkyrie Challenge" - two all-girl CS:GO teams (Amaryllis Gaming and Energy Esports) battling it out in a winner take all R50,000 best-of-five matchup. To give you some background as to the importance of these sorts of events, we're proud to present another ICON 2017 panel recording.

At ICON in June, Sam Wright took to the main stage to discuss the state of gaming from a female perspective in South Africa, and talked about the local girl gamers who are on the verge of big things, as well as the recent, and future initiatives to help girl gamers make the mark.

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Episode 118: ICON 2017 Series - Making the Cosplay Leap with VampyBitMe!

The world of cosplay has grown in leaps and bounds over the last decade, with the scene expected to be worth over R20 billion dollars by the year 2020. How, you might ask? There are a number of factors, ranging from the sheer cost that goes into buying the materials that make a costume, appearance fees by top cosplayers to appear at events and conventions around the world and fees charged by cosplayers to help companies promote their brands.

As the cosplay economy matures, there will be plenty of cosplayers looking to take the next step and become semi-pro or full-time professionals in this new market. Linda was generous enough to share with our audience at ICON 2017 her tips on what cosplayers should do in order to make this leap to becoming a cosplay professional.

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Episode 117: ICON 2017 Series - Speculative Trading with M:TG

And so we begin with our ICON 2017 panel series! In June this year, ICON celebrated its 25th anniversary and ran over 40 informative panels on various pop culture topics. Today, we present to you the panel discussion held by Warren Roberston and Owen Swart on the topic of making money through the speculative trading market around Magic: The Gathering cards.

M:TG cards can fetch thousands of dollars, however their valuations can fluctuate wildly based on the trends taking place in the game. Warren and Owen discuss the best options when it comes to getting in to the speculative game, and where you SHOULDN'T be spending your money.

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Episode 116: Tradewarz Geekery with 4EverOdd Gaming!

Freddie Mitchell, Gerhard du Toit and Ruark Swanepoel are the team behind 4Ever Odd Gaming, which is part of a greater 4EverOdd initiative. 4EverOdd wants to to encourage creatives in the South African community by providing a launchpad for the items they create, be it t-shirts, books or other crafted items.

4EverOdd gaming has been working on their original boardgame, TradeWarz - a boardgame that blends the best political, military and trade aspects of other games while stripping away the things that wouldn't work in the real world: TradeWarz is designed to be less luck based than skill-based.

The team is inexorably moving their way towards a Kickstarter launch for TradeWarz, and took time out to chat to us about their respective paths to geekdom, the origin of TradeWarz, and the challenges an opportunities presented by a crowd-sourced funding model for their game.

For more on TradeWarz, like the game's Facebook page to be kept up to dat on all the latest happenings as well as info around their eventual Kickstarter launch!

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Episode 115: Dollaretta Geekery with Eryn Gunzenhauser!

Eryn Gunzenhauser is a writer and artist, whose style lies somewhere between the influence of Eastern and Western commercial cartoons.

Eryn is drawn to the darkness and her work expresses her curiosities and understandings of psychology, beauty, death and immortality. Eryn is deeply passionate about what she creates: there is truth to her fiction, and it comes from her heart.

While studying, Eryn produced a great deal of art that would eventually influence her comic, “The Legend of Dollaretta”, which is the result of years of story development and artistic grown. Eryn has now gone the self-publishing route, and "The Legend of Dollaretta" is now available on the Comixology platform.

You can find "The Legend of Dollaretta" right now on Comixology, and you can also follow the "Dollaretta" Facebook and Twitter pages!

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Episode 114: Block Chain Geekery with Bradley Mitri!

Almost everyone has heard of Bitcoin, the crypto currency that's currently being traded for thousands of dollars online, but not everyone is familiar with the platform Bitcoin is based on - blockchain technology.

While blockchain technology powers a number of different crypto currencies, we wanted to know exactly how this tech could be extended into other areas. We sat down with Bradley Mitri from Vortex Capital Partners to chat about the block chain: what it is, how it works, and how it can be used in some incredible ways - like combining it with power production to make money for, well, free.

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Episode 113: Airsoft MilSim Geekery with John Murray!

John Murray is one of the administrators of a military re-enactment group based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The group, known as World War II Milsim Airsoft Re-enactment, is actually an amalgam of interests: it involves the use of airsoft weapons, similar to paintball but firing BB pellets, and live action roleplay, with a view to being as detailed as possible when it comes to recreating the clothing and gear of the age.

John joined us recently to talk about his path to geekdom, how he became involved in the airsoft community, and how airsoft battles evolved to include the live action roleplay element.

For more information, you can check out the group's Facebook page, head over to their website, or drop them a mail: ww2mar.info@gmail.com

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Episode 112: Thanos Geekery with Ron Marz!

Silver Surfer, Witchblade, Superman, Tarzan, Quasar, Cyberforce, Batman - these are just some of the characters Ron Marz has written on. While Ron has an extraordinary breadth of work under his belt, in some parts he's more famous, or infamous depending on your opinion, for his Emerald Twilight run on the Green Lantern.

Ron was a guest at Fan Con in Cape Town recently, and took time out of a hectically busy to chat about many topics including his path to geekdom, how he came to write THAT Green Lantern story arc and we chat for a little about the Knicks (sorry, non-sports fan).

We also have special guest appearances by Sean Izaakse and by Variants Cover member Nas Hoosen, who joined Ron in a very special quiz.

You can follow Ron on Twitter, and you should also check out the new initiative Ron's part of - Ominous Press!

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Episode 111: Chew Geekery with John Layman!

Once an editor for Wildstorm comics, John Layman turned to writing comics full-time in 2002, and has worked on a stellar array of titles including Gambit, The Fantastic Four, Xena, Thundercats and many more. John has also written a number of creator-owned titles at Image Comics, including the award winning Chew - a series about an FDA agent who solves crimes by receiving psychic impressions from anything he eats ... which can include people.

John was kind enough to take time out of a hectic FanCon Comic Convention schedule to share his path to geekdom, his first exposure to Dungeons and Dragons, falling in love with the Cerebus comic book, and when he knew he wanted to make writing his life's work.

You should now go and follow The Mighty Layman on Twitter!

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Episode 110: Goonish Geekery with Eric Powell!

Eric Powell has written and provided artwork for Dark Horse, DC Comic and Marvel, and is known for 'The Goon' - his original series which picked up multiple Eisner Awards as well as an International Horror Guild award.

Powell's origin story is a fantastic one, and serves as a awesome example and inspiration to creators who want to do their own thing.

You can follow Eric on Twitter, then check out the Albatross Funnybooks website, then follow Eric on Facebook!

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Episode 109: Top Cow Geekery with Matt Hawkins!

Matt Hawkins is a veteran of the initial Image Comics launch, and has worked in the comic book publishing industry since 1993. Since that time, he's had many roles including creator, writer and executive, and currently serves as the president and COO of Top Cow productions.

Matt was gracious enough to share with us his path to geekdom, how he got into the comics industry while never having read a single comic, and describes his first torturous job interview with Rob Liefeld and the team.

You can follow Matt on Twitter, and you should also check out Top Cow's website, then follow them on Facebook!

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Episode 108: Wrestlemania Geekery with Vittorio Leonardi!

Being a geek is about the passion you have for your chosen fandom, and being able to celebrate it with those who share that interest.

Release The Geek co-host Vittorio Leonardi recently travelled to the US to experience the ultimate in sports entertainment: Wrestlemania. A long time wrestling fan, Vic sat down with us to share how it felt to be a part of this massive extravaganza, and what it was like to chat to the heroes of his youth.

For more from Vittorio, you can find him on Twitter, or find him on Facebook!

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Episode 107: MettleState Geekery with Barry "Anthrax" Louzada!

Competitive esports in South Africa has been around for a while, but only now is it just starting to take off, with at least four separate tournaments offering prize money in the millions to best players around. But, as is often the case, the current generation are indebted to those who came before, and one of those names is Barry "Anthrax" Louzada. During his tenure as a competitive gamer, Anthrax held South African national colours multiple times and garnered a reputation as one of the country's best gamers both locally and internationally.

His experience as a player at the highest levels has him in good standing for his next major challenge as part of the MettleState team, a multi-gaming and esports organisation that is bringing state of the art production values to esports tournaments in an effort to bring greater professionalism to every aspect of South African competitive gaming.

For more info, head over to the Mettlestate website!

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Episode 106: Kin Con Geekery with Morgane Leleux!

Morgane Leleux is a much loved and respected South African cosplayer who started SA's first dedicated cosplay event, Kin Con. We spoke to Morgane live at the spiritual successor to Kin Con, CosXP, and found out about her path to geekdom, how she got into cosplay, and her advice for budding (and not so budding) cosplayers.

For more info on cosplay, check out the Cosplay South Africa website!

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Episode 105: YouTube Consultant Geekery with The Social Bard!

This week we continue with YouTube as our topic focus, but we're going to look at it from a different angle. Carla Harris is the Social Bard - a consultant who focuses on helping businesses and creators grow their YouTube and online video audiences by helping direct more traffice and activity to their video content.

How effective is Carla? Well, since he started consulting with the 'How To Be A Great Game Master' channel on YouTube in March 2016, their subscriber numbers have risen 2083%, and they're currently sitting on over 11,000 subscribers.

You can find out more about The Social Bard on her website. You can also follow her on both Facebook and Twitter, but best of all you can find her on YouTube! And finally, if you'd like more information about the Palaeontological Scientific Trust that Carla spoke about during the podcast, you can find it at their website.

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Episode 104: YouTuber Geekery with Chani_ZA!

This episode, we step into the world of YouTube creators in South Africa. Chantelle Alexander (or Chani_ZA as she's better known) is not only a YouTube creator, but also one of the co-hosts for the NAG podcast. We sat down to chat to this console gamer girl about her path to geekdom and why she chose to jump into YouTube content creation.

Go subscribe to Chani_ZA's YouTube channel, follow her on Facebook, and then go follow her on Twitter!

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Episode 103: Moar Cosplay Geekery with Kinpatsu Cosplay!

Tayla Barter, otherwise known as Kinpatsu Cosplay, started cosplaying for the first time just over four years ago. Since then, the South African has gone on to amass over 100,000 followers on Instagram and Facebook alike, and is now looking to make cosplay her full time profession.

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You can find Tayla on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, plus check out her Patreon page!

Episdoe 102: Radio Broadcast Geekery with Chris Jordan!

Chris Jordan has built a successful career in radio broadcast, stretching back from his days at Tuks FM at university through to be the producer for 'On Air With Ryan Seacrest'. Chris is now giving back to the community, helping young announcers find their way with the first text book in South Africa that covers radio broadcasting.

You can find more information about Chris and his book 'A Word On Radio' at his website.

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