Could Africa be the next esports hotspot?

Ever since esports came on the scene just over a decade ago, it has managed to become an international phenomenon. Whilst the concept of competitive gaming first really took off in Korea, it has seen top-level tournaments being established as far-afield as Sweden and Seattle.

Although we have seen efforts made to make Las Vegas the new capital of esports gaming culture, it’s clear that esports can achieve exceptional levels of popularity the world over.

Recently we have seen how many African esports organisations and tournaments are being set up to pioneer competitive gaming across the continent. Whilst the world’s top esports teams seem to come from countries as far-ranging as Brazil and China, until recently it was thought that Africa was being left behind.

But new African esports organisations like Anubis Gaming look to be changing all of that. This Egyptian team was founded in 2015, and they have already become a force to be reckoned with when competing on games like Overwatch and League of Legends.

It’s not just in the north of the continent where things are getting promising. This is because White Rabbit Gaming have been flying the flag for South African esports ever since they started operations in 2010. White Rabbit Gaming have made a name for themselves thanks to their skill on games like Dota 2 and CSGO, and they recently made an impressive appearance at the World Electronics Sports Games 2017.

Of course, it takes much more than exceptional gameplay to transform Africa into a new esports hotspot. The whole of the surrounding infrastructure from internet speeds to tournament scheduling must be improved and standardised in order to help turn these promising teams into world-beaters.

We’ve already seen some impressive improvements across the continent however. Sites like https://www.betting.co.ke allow gamers to place live esports bets in real-time on their favourite teams, and we also saw the first African esports tournament in Kenya in 2017.

The Naiccon gaming event took place in Nairobi and saw gamers competing on Call of Duty, and it’s hoped that this tournament will grow and improve the visibility of African gamers on the global stage. So whilst the sight of an African esports team  at a top-level gaming tournament might still be unusual, it seems as though the tide may soon be turning.