The Pak Gamers Republic held their first Counter-Strike Global Offensive competition in late May, and it was a successful event. Sponsored by Asus Pakistan, Wild Ogre Studios, AA’LA Solutions, and Tech4Gamers, with a prize of Rs. 30,000, the Pak E-Sports Expo (CS-GO) boasted some intense games during the three-day event.

The group stage of the tournament used double elimination rules until there were four teams remaining, after which the knockout leg began. The first semifinal featured Game4Glory against The Randoms, while the second pitted Equilibrium against Elusive.

(all pics courtesy of Saad Ayub unless specified otherwise)

Game4Glory eventually won the competition after clean sweeping Elusive in a best of three final, 2-0. The champions were so good that they remained undefeated throughout, though were challenged in some portions of the knockout games.

Matches progressed in the basement of Gooline Gaming Zone, while viewers followed the games in the dimly lit lobby on a big screen telecasting the matches in real-time. Despite the soaring temperatures outside, and the humidity, the spectators enthusiastically huddled together for a better view.

It had been smooth sailing for Game4Glory until the semifinals, where they faced the underdogs of the event, “The Randoms”, who came together as a result of several lone participants grouping together. Up until the knockout stage, no team had crossed the 7-16 score against Game4Glory. The Randoms were appreciated by the winning squad for giving them a run for their money in a game that went to 9-16.

Credit must be given to Pak Gamers Republic for organizing the event so well. The management was often on their toes, moving between gaming stations to ensure everything was in order and running on time. The systems at the venue were newly bought rigs sporting Nvidia video cards, while the participants also brought their own peripherals.

“We spent 24 hours non-stop in laying out the system to make this event as impartial as possible, since we wanted to provide a very professional feel to the event,” said organizer Athar Mahmood.

G4G team member Humza Nadeem was full of praise for the tournament: “The event has been really good. The venue and the systems in place are very close to what gamers look for in competitions, and the management did a good job, no doubt. The uninterrupted power supply and the air conditioning definitely add to the experience.”

The participants explained that the problems they faced had more to do with logistics.

“It took an entire week of convincing for my parents to say yes, before I could come to Lahore for the competition,” said Elusive’s Abdeali Khozema, while detailing the hurdles of coming to another city for a gaming competition.

It was a similar story for Game4Glory. Captain Zeeshan explained that the majority of his team members did not belong to Lahore.

Shattering stereotypes, the event starred a female presenter, though she happened to be the only girl at the venue. When asked about her experience, Ayesha said: “It’s unique, but I also wish there were more girls here.”

Ayesha was accompanied to the event by her mother, Ms. Sana, who was encouraging of her daughter’s enthusiasm for esports: “I wanted my daughter to follow her passion. She said she was offered to be the caster here and I said I wanted to come along.

The Pak E-Sports Expo (CS-GO) was welcomed as a step in the right direction because of how efficiently it was organized. In the past, certain competitions featuring bigger names have been criticized for the lack of planning and execution.

Hearteningly, the event drew in a diverse crowd of gaming enthusiasts from different professional backgrounds; doctors, developers, and even a few businessmen were in the mix.

Athar Mahmood said: “We had initially planned for a comic-con, but as things unfolded, reality hit, and we decided to organize a CS:GO event, and take it from there”

He also pointed out that after the success of the event; they were looking into planning a Dota 2 tournament in the near future.

As for the teams, it was about more than the money. Abdeali Khozema explained: “Even if we win, it won’t offset our cost of reaching the venue.”

Clearly, the Pak E-Sports Expo was powered by the love of the game. We certainly look forward to the next event from Pak Gamers Republic.