It all began with a Card Game

Posted by Meijin June 1, 2021 in Event

Like any other origin story, VersusNG began with humble beginnings and a very simple dream. For us, that was to use esports to solve many of our societal ills, particularly crime among young people, employment and drug abuse. While we came into being at the tail end of 2015, our first official event took place the year after.

In a small eatery along Alkali Road in Kaduna North, a handful of people that would become VersusNG faithfuls surrounded themselves with sweet, pastries and drinks as we played Hearthstone. For some, it was their first time and we were excited to share the world of digital collectible card games with our friends and their friends.

Today, we aren’t certain but back then, No Hearths in Naija or NHiN for short, was the only Hearthstone Fireside Gathering in Nigeria and possibly West Africa. How can we say this with all certainty? Well, Blizzard said so on their website and believe me, we kept checking. Apparently, no one in the region had ever bothered to sign up with Hearthstone’s developer to host a community event until VersusNG came around. This became one of the many first for our little org.

On September 3rd 2016, we had people wolfing down waffles as they watched how to play videos and played friendly scrims on laptops and mobile devices with sticky fingers. Those in attendance that day formed the foundation of our ever-growing family, such as Gbenga “Garuda” Alalade, Nabell “Bibi” Abdallah, Ismail “Zankishin” Idris, and Yusuf “Shogunknight” Idris.

It was a time when gaming events were few and far between in Kaduna. However, just like then, they are still sorely needed. Back then, the word esports was a myth spoken in whispers and shame, unless you were willing to risk stigma the way VersusNG was.

Today, there are numerous gaming events that claim to be esports in search of a quick payday. Thankfully, we have a few who aren’t. Now, we see the return of game nights, but never forget that establishments like Closet 6, Colab and Kaduna International School started holding theirs years ago.

From all those who attended NHiN back in 2016, only Garuda still plays diligently. The rest of us have moved on to other games and interests. But that feeling of camaraderie will never be forgotten. It is this feeling we try to replicate in every event VersusNG holds.

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