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Esports on the Rise in Africa


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A banner for Carry1st's esports festival, 1stival

Esports is a rapidly growing industry globally, and Africa is not left behind in this trend. In recent years, the African esports industry has witnessed a tremendous surge in popularity, with more and more people getting interested in competitive gaming. According to a report by PwC, the African esports industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 28.3% from 2020 to 2025, with South Africa leading the way.


One of the reasons for the growth of esports in Africa is the increasing availability of high-speed internet and affordable gaming equipment. According to a report by We Are Social, the number of internet users in Africa grew by 7.5% in 2021, reaching 527 million. This has made it easier for gamers to connect with others online and participate in esports tournaments. Additionally, the affordability of gaming equipment has made it possible for more people to join the gaming community.


Another factor that has contributed to the growth of esports in Africa is the increasing popularity of mobile gaming. With over 1.3 billion mobile connections in Africa, mobile gaming has become a huge industry, with games such as PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile, and Fortnite Mobile gaining popularity in the region. Mobile esports tournaments are also becoming more common, with the African Mobile Gaming Awards (AMGA) being one of the biggest events in the region.


South Africa is currently leading the way in the African esports industry, with a number of esports organizations, such as Mettlestate, VS Gaming, and African Cyber Gaming League (ACGL), organizing tournaments and leagues. Mettlestate, in particular, has been at the forefront of promoting esports in South Africa, hosting events such as the Mettlestate Samsung Galaxy CS:GO Championship, which had a prize pool of R1 million ($69,000).


Other African countries are also joining the esports bandwagon, with countries such as Egypt, Kenya, and Nigeria hosting their own esports tournaments. In Egypt, the Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit (ESGS) is one of the biggest esports events in the region, while in Kenya, the Pro Series Gaming (PSG) tournament has gained a lot of popularity. Nigeria, on the other hand, has its own esports organization, the African Esports Championship (AEC), which organizes tournaments in various games, including FIFA, PES, and Call of Duty.


The growth of esports in Africa has also attracted the attention of international organizations, with companies such as ESL and DreamHack expanding their operations to the region. In 2018, ESL Africa was launched, with the aim of promoting esports in the region and providing opportunities for African gamers to compete at the highest level. DreamHack also hosted its first event in Africa in 2019, with the DreamHack Johannesburg event attracting thousands of gamers and esports enthusiasts.


In conclusion, the African esports industry is rapidly growing, with more and more people getting interested in competitive gaming. Factors such as the increasing availability of high-speed internet and affordable gaming equipment, the popularity of mobile gaming, and the efforts of esports organizations and international companies have all contributed to this growth. As the industry continues to grow, it is expected to provide more opportunities for African gamers and contribute to the growth of the continent's economy.


Looking to tap the rapidly growing African market? Get in touch today.


References:

  • PwC (2021). The African esports opportunity. Retrieved from https://www.pwc.co.za/en/industries/entertainment-media/publications/the-african-esports-opportunity.html

  • We Are Social (2021). Digital 2021: Africa. Retrieved from https://wearesocial.com/digital-2021-africa/

  • BusinessTech (2021). The rise of esports in South Africa. Retrieved from https://businesstech.co.za/news/gaming/496706/the-rise-of-esports-in

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