The South African: The Growth Of Esports In South Africa: Image: Supplied

The South African: The Growth Of Esports In South Africa

Esports is a lucrative and profitable venture, which may be the reason for its growth over the past few decades. Read more in this article


The South African: The Growth Of Esports In South Africa: Image: Supplied

The gaming world has experienced unmatched growth over the past decade, with new gaming design models coming up almost daily. Esports is a lucrative and profitable venture, which may be the reason for this growth. Angel investors and private investment firms offer support to startup mobile gaming companies.

According to a report by Gaming Industry Africa (GIA), the sub-Saharan region has the fastest growth in the gaming market. The number of video gamers increased by 142%. South Africa tops the gaming market with the highest saturation of gamers. Yearly, South Africa rakes in $290 million in gaming revenue.

Robel Getaneh, the founder and CEO of Getaneh Global, a private investment firm with interests in various gaming companies within emerging markets, believes that this growth in Africa is due to the continent’s demographics. “Africa has an abundance of young people. More than 60% of the African population is under 25. The youth love to play video games because they seek new and unique experiences. And now, when you add the social element of esports, their engagement goes through the roof!”

With the expectation of a 5G rollout, this will be a plus in the African gaming industry. 5G will increase smartphone use, exposing more people to the online gaming world. According to Ericsson Mobility, 5G subscribers may reach 60 million by 2024, representing about 3% of all mobile phone subscriptions.

Negative impacts on ESports in South Africa

Among the challenging factors hindering the growth of esports in South Africa right now is poor internet connectivity. But more possibilities will be achieved with the rollout of 5G and the support of the existing telecom companies to improve connectivity levels.

Most people prefer streaming online platforms like Twitch, but esports is also available via sports channels in South Africa. South Africa has already witnessed international companies introduce esports to 6–18 novices by incorporating education and tournaments in an inclusive environment. Many junior schools have successfully conducted inter-school competitions. Getaneh notes that competitive gaming pulls in more viewers than popular sports like rugby.

A straightforward way South Africa can develop eSports Teams that compete internationally is with sponsorship. eSports can evolve into a local industry instead of a hobby that comes at a cost to the players.

Corporate giants like The Coca-Cola Company, Twitch, and Mercedes-Benz host tournaments and events. In South Africa, Red Bull sponsored the mega event in 2019 called rAge Expo.

The popularity of eSports in South Africa has driven the growth of online streaming communities. Not only is eSports leading the way in South Africa in terms of development, but it is also a potential career for any video gamer with the skill, dedication, time, and willingness to make it big in the industry. Many streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch can offer an excellent opportunity for an average gamer with enthusiasm for their favorite game.

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