eSports has come a long way since the first competitive games in the 1970s. eSports has been growing in popularity around the world for several years and has now become a million-dollar industry. The market is currently worth around $1.38 million, with a projected increase to $1.86 million by 2025.
Africa catches up on this trend as there are more and more celebrity gamers, gaming communities, competitions, championships, and other gaming events throughout the continent. So, what is the true potential of this phenomenon that has set its roots in Africa? Keep reading below to find the answer.
Africa & eSports
Africa is a rich ground for eSports development as it is the world’s youngest continent, where 60% of the population is under the age of 25. This section of the population uses the Internet and information technologies the most. And even though only about ⅓ of the continent uses the Internet, the potential for development is huge, especially in the field of gaming.
This can be seen in the growth of the African Sports Betting market as well as the interest in eSports. A Newzoo report from 2020 research states that there are over 700 million gamers on the continent, and the overall world number is expected to reach 3 billion in 2023.
What’s Stopping the Growth?
According to Stephen Ojo, an eSports fan, eSports is growing in popularity in Africa as a result of the continent’s expanding gaming culture, influence from the rest of the world, and internet usage. Even though African eSports most likely has a bright future ahead, various factors may delay development. Some of the biggest disadvantages eSports fanatics from Africa generally come across include:
- Poor broadband penetration because of the overall technological development that hasn’t reached its peak yet.
- There is no structure in place to resolve concerns such as contractual disagreements, trademarks, media, intellectual property, sponsorship, and so forth.
- The price of sophisticated gadgets.
The Most Important Years of Change
The eSports industry gets huge investments thanks to celebrity gamers getting more involved in public events. This way, the market keeps on getting financing from private companies and various venture capitalists. Such a flow of events attracts bigger audiences to the scene in the long run.
This is easily put into better perspective because numbers sometimes speak louder than words. Specifically, the global eSports audience is expected to grow by 11.7% by 2020, totaling 495 million individuals. Viewership, on the other hand, increased by over 9% between 2019 and 2021, rising from 454 million to 646 million individuals.
Most Popular Names and Games
The eSports extravaganza attracted a lot of famous names over the years, and many, previously anonymous, became famous. The most popular players in the eSports genre that made huge names for themselves include:
- N0tail – He holds the title of the best player of all time thanks to being a virtuoso in DOTA 2. People also know him as an eSports player with the biggest net worth of $7 million. Originally from Denmark, N0tail is one of the few players who managed to win 2 international DOTA 2 tournaments back to back.
- Faker – League of Legends is this guy’s field of expertise. He’s well-known for earning the most money playing this game and is the only player who was on the cover of ESPN Magazine.
- Flash – Being a pro-Starcraft player brought Flash earnings of $400,000 and the title of this game’s best player.
- Thabo ‘Yvng Savage’ Moloi – A South African eSports player who made history by being the first eSports gamer from Africa to ever be sponsored by Red Bull in December 2020. He currently enjoys being ranked at 73rd place in the world and is South Africa’s top rated FIFA player on the PS4. What’s more interesting is that he is at the age of just 18.
Some other players you may be interested in checking out include GeT_RiGhT, Daigo, f0rest, BoxeR, Jaedong, Fatal1ty, and Moon.
But it’s not only players. The gaming companies are as invested as possible, which is why they keep on launching new installments that are far better than their previous ones. The many tournaments captivate millions of viewers thanks to the interesting matches, as well as the hefty prize money that can sometimes reach millions of dollars.
African players have a lot to look forward to when it comes to improving the eSports sector. The fact they started to keep up with the worldly events speaks volumes about their dedication. There are a few things that need to improve, however, but everything is in its good time. And with such a capacity of the players, there’s no doubt Africans will enjoy more benefits in the near future.