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Chani_za – Girl Gamer, Esports Commentator And More…


We had the privilege of interviewing one of the South-African gaming communities’ big hitters recently.

Chani_za has become a large part of the e-sports and gaming communities in South-Africa in the past several years, Commentating for many of the major online tournaments held in our country.

She is rapidly making a name for herself in the gaming community as a whole and as such we at MGR Gaming felt we needed to catch up with her and find out more. Here is how that interview went down:

Who is Chani_za and what are your interests outside of gaming?

My name is Chantelle “Chani” Alexander and I am a South African content creator and esports commentator. Gaming makes up a big part of my life, but outside of that I love the performing arts.

I did ballet all through my school career and although I no longer have the time to dedicate to a dancing schedule, I support the local companies when I can.

What is your role in the gaming community?

My role in the community is just to be part of the community. Share interests and love of games. Without each of us sharing our own views, opinions, likes and dislikes about games etc., there wouldn’t be a community.

Chani_za - Girl Gamer, Esports Commentator And Much More...
Rush Esports 2019
Image by: Headshot Hustle

How long have you been gaming?

I think officially on paper I can say I was as young as 4 years old since that’s when I started playing my own games rather than just watching my older brother play, but I’ve been exposed to gaming my entire life.

What is your favorite game and why?

This is always such a tough one to answer. I have so many favourites in different genres, but if I have to give one answer only, I’d have to say the original Mass Effect trilogy. (Still a cheat I know since I’m naming 3 games), but you cannot have Mass Effect 1 without 2 and 3. Mass Effect was the game that turned my hobby into a passion.

It was the first game where I was completely wrapped up in everything about the characters and the game and felt a real emotional connection to them when they died or went through a tough time.  I had experienced similar with Assassin’s Creed (which is a close second), but Mass Effect is a game I will never forget my first, second or even fourth playthrough of.

What is your favorite platform?

I am fortunate enough to have an Xbox One X, PS4 and MSI notebook make up my gaming set up at home, so all my bases are covered for exclusives. I don’t have a favourites platform, but I will say I spend the most time on my Xbox since that’s the platform most of my titles are on.

The PS4 is for the exclusives plus Call of Duty given that the competitive scene is based on PS4, and PC makes up for all the titles I can’t play on either console. (Controller plugged in though, of course). My rule of thumb when deciding which platform to get a new game for is “which platform are the friends I want to play this on going to be playing it on” and I go from there.

Chani_za - Girl Gamer, Esports Commentator And Much More...
rAge Expo 2019
Image by:Lizelle Maas

What is your favorite thing about gaming?

Probably how gaming means something different to every single person. For some, it’s a hobby that they use to unwind after a long week of work or school. For others gaming is a hobby turned into a passion that defines a lot about themselves.

Then finally there are those who are fortunate to have turned a hobby and a passion into a job. Be it development, journalism, content creation, playing competitively, hosting tournaments etc. Each person identifies as a gamer differently, and I think that’s beautiful.

What drives your gaming passion?

Gaming has this way of bringing people together. I spend more time with my brother and nephews who live in another province than anyone else in my immediate family because we spend time together online playing games.

So, I think a lot of my passion for gaming is driven by the “togetherness” it brings with it – especially during times where we need to stay at home.

Rush Esports 2019
Image by:Lizelle Maas

What is your view on Professional Gaming in South Africa?

Esports in South Africa is something I am excited to be a part of because there is so much opportunity. From the large established tournament organizers to the smaller community-based events, everyone is doing their best to help their respective scenes.

I started a newsletter with Sam Wright (Tech Girl) towards the end of last year to keep South African’s up to date with all the local gaming and esports news from week to week. You can learn more here:

What would you like to achieve within the gaming community?

I’m a small part of a very big community. I’m just going to continue trying my best to provide opportunities for players to be involved in events, much like the Autumn Warzone Open presented by ASTRO Gaming taking place this weekend.

Tell us about the Autumn Warzone Open:

  • Which platforms can participate?

This online only tournament is open to PC, Xbox and PS4 players. (Registration close 6 May 17:00).

  • When will it be held?

The main event is 9 May 2020, from 13:00 on

  • What are the prizes?

ASTRO Gaming has sponsored a cash prize pool of R7000.

Any other information you would like to share with us regarding this event?

I will be joined on the broadcast by another local esports commentator, George “GeeMax” Smith, for the 3-hour event. We’ll be switching between teams as they drop into the Warzone, try to get as many points as possible, escape the Gulag and earn the number one spot on our leaderboard.

Teams have 3 hours to get as many games finished as possible, with their top 3 lobbies counting towards their scores. 1 kill = 1 point. 1 win = 20 points.

Chani_za - Girl Gamer, Esports Commentator And Much More...
rAge Expo 2019
Image by:Lizelle Maas

Any other projects or events that you are currently working on?

I’m always working on something behind the scenes. The Autumn Warzone Open is the first event I have hosted for Warzone. Previously I have hosted a Winter and Summer Invitational that catered to the more traditional 5v5 Call of Duty multiplayer format. So, as you can imagine, there is always another season to plan for.

Where can people reach you?

If people are looking to get hold of me, I can mostly be found on twitter asking people what’s for lunch on @Chani_ZA, which is my handle on everything else.

TikTok: Chani_ZA
GeeMax (ACC Sim Racing driver for White Rabbit Gaming. RLM & DG simracing shoutcaster.)

Tech Girl (Esports host/presenter. Occasional content creator.)

Final Words:

Without the support from ASTRO Gaming; neither the Summer or Autumn editions of my events would have happened. ASTRO came on board towards the end of last year and have been supporting my content and my crazy tournament ideas ever since.