As of last weekend, the Nexus now hosts the Gigabyte Experience Room and had a formal launch event on Saturday the 24th. The staff worked hard to prepare the experience room, rooms were rearranged, public and invite-only events were scheduled, and when I arrived at lunchtime, the place was packed with Gigabyte staff, Energy Esports members and hundreds of attendees (And two large rugby players - Ed). It's safe to say everyone was enjoying the venue and range of attractions, while the Nexus staff kept things going smoothly and the Nexus Cafe staff worked tirelessly to deal with catering, along with the steady flow of patrons and Uber Eats orders.
The main feature was, of course, the Gigabyte Experience Room that had a range of Gigabyte notebooks set out for users to get some hands-on experience, and an HTC VIVE set up in the rear to demonstrate the VR-Ready status of their desktop GTX 1070 GPU, and to run our our competition for a R2,500 Gigabyte gift voucher.
The star of the show was the Aero 15, a high-powered, VR-ready, gaming notebook that I thoroughly enjoyed using. Incredible build quality, Kaby Lake CPU, plenty of DDR4 RAM, and excellent battery life, all paired with a nVidia 6GB GTX 1060 that ensured plenty of gaming performance. Across a range of modern games, I could happily hit 1080p/60 with only a few tweaks and it far surpasses the recommended specs for the popular online competitive games such as DOTA 2, LoL, CS:GO and Overwatch, along with any MMO you could think of. Perfect for taking your gaming on the go (and work, if you must).
Also on display was the Gigabyte workhorse - the Sabre 15. While not boasting quite as impressive specs as the Aero 15, it nonetheless provides all the performance you could need for most work applications and the 4GB GTX 1050 Ti ensures it can still run recent games well. As with the Aero 15, it provides more than enough power for online competitive MOBAs, FPSs and MMOs. If either of these notebooks or any of the other Gigabyte products on display catch your fancy, AWX is running a promotion until this Friday (30/06).
As part of the Gigabyte Experience Room launch, Nexus will be running a VR competition to see who manages to achieve the highest score in Space Pirate Trainer, a wave-based VR shooter that requires good spatial awareness and quick aiming. Give us your best attempt, take selfie, share it on social media - with the hashtags #Aero15 and #VRReady - and you stand a chance to win a R2,500 Gigabyte voucher you can use at AWX. There were already some impressive scores posted on Saturday but the competition will run until 3PM this Sunday (02/07 - the staff have to go home eventually).
Byron, keeping an eye on proceedings above, is our current Nexus Space Pirate Trainer champion to beat (but don't worry, he doesn't get to enter the competition).
Of course the day wasn't just about hardware. South Africa's biggest MGO, Energy Esports, was there to announce that Gigabyte has come on board as a sponsor, supporting South Africa's fast growing esports scene. In addition, the Energy Esports training room is finally up and running at the Nexus with brand new PCs, Nexus' incredible 250/250 fibre line, and an unhealthy supply of Monster energy drinks.
Attendees could meet the team, spend some time sampling the facilities, and do their best to envision life as an esports player. Wonderful in principle but just as tough as any other job, if not more so in such a super-competitive field. If you were really brave, you could even go head-to-head against individual players or even team up with some of these incredibly skilled gamers.
Overall, it was an impressive turn-out for a well-organised event that should open up the Nexus to a wider audience of hardware enthusiasts and hopefully put a foot in the door of the increasingly popular esports scene. For those who want to check out the new Gigabyte Experience Room, try your hand at the VR competition, or just peek in to see the Energy Esports team in training, Nexus is open 7 days a week until 6PM (every evening except Sunday).
Enjoys games with awesome stories and characters, along with new and interesting hardware. Dislikes day-one patches and driver updates.
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