Picture: Dylan Manasse
Centurion - The air was tense as they concentrated on their screens, fingers tapping furiously at their keyboards. All their hard work has lead to this - the moment they make esports history for themselves. 

Esports has evolved since the time of merely online gaming. Esports has made its mark and gamers can say without shame and embarrassment that they either enjoy it and/or get paid for it.

At the Dota 2 (Defense of the Ancients, if you needed explaining)  tournament that took place in Centurion on Saturday, you could almost taste the anxiety, excitement and salt to make it a melting pot of well, a Dota 2 tournament.

The tournament prompted gamers and non-gamers to #JoinTheLegion and was hosted by Mettlestate and Evetech.

What makes this tournament different is that professional players give the fans a time to shine.
Video: Dylan Manasse
Eight fans played in the exhibition match alongside two professional players who essentially served as team captains (five on each team).

Casual gamers don't have this experience often and for casual gamers to play 'like a pro' is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  

The two team captains were Michele 'Stickalish' Brondani from Goliath Gaming and Adam 'Adastam' Moore from Sinister5. 

George 'GeeMax' Smith and Kaameel Chicktay were casting 'in a way that even a complete noob will understand and enjoy.'

But what makes the live experience so enjoyable? The answer is shout casters. 

Shout casters are the hype of the match.  Players will often make the big plays that the crowd loves but what makes it truly enjoyable is the energy that shout casters can bring to these plays.

While the players are laser focussed,  the shout casters will actively try to describe every aspect of the game and even crack a joke or two at the expense of the players at times. 

Chicktay is the one who pitched the idea of putting the spotlight on casual gamers.

He has been doing shout casting for six months and argues that esports is still in its' teething phase' but believes that it's definitely growing. 

It might be in its teething phase, but Adam 'Adastam' Moore claims there is only space for opportunity when it comes to esports. 

The 'average' day for these gamers is in summary: eat, miscellaneous,  Dota2, sleep and repeat. The Dota2 part can take anything from 5-7 hours. That is what one can call dedication. 

"It's a matter of time before it blows up in South Africa, " remarked Michele 'Stickalish' Brondani. "Times have changed."