Esports, also known as competitive gaming, isn’t just a casual pastime anymore. It’s soared to become a billion-dollar sensation, with platforms like Twitch and big-time investments making it possible for gamers globally to earn big while playing in live tournaments.
However, the picture isn’t as rosy in Africa. The gaming scene in the continent is still trying to keep pace, especially in the competitive sphere. Challenges like spotty internet, economic disparities, and shaky game servers are real. But there’s hope! A handful of passionate folks are on a mission to elevate African gaming to where it truly belongs. Let’s dig deeper into the challenging world of African eSports.
Poor Infrastructure is the main Challenge
For many African esports fans, it’s all about the love of the game. Some of these fans show their love for the game by wagering on eSports events. No wonder sport bet Zambia platforms like Betway offer multiple eSports events for users to wager on.
A pro gamer and commentator from Ghana recently reiterated that although her location puts her at a disadvantage, she’s not giving up. She claimed that she’s super competitive, but she often avoids pro tournaments because of the lag issues in Ghana. According to her, losing because of that would be heartbreaking.
She’s not alone in her fight. Many African gamers are rallying for local servers to even the playing field with global players, especially in online matches. This sparked the #ServersInAfrica movement, pushing for change.
Necessity Pushes Gamers to Innovate
During the FIFA e-nations showdown, Ghana’s team hit a snag. They couldn’t join the global qualifiers due to pesky server issues. Their best bet was linking up with Madrid’s servers. But guess what? They lost to South Africa, who smartly flew their squad to Dubai, right where the main servers were. Talk about home-field advantage! These struggles paint a vivid picture: African servers aren’t just a game-changer; they’re the cornerstone of a digital revolution for the continent.
Back in 2020, Africa was buzzing with about 87 million gamers, raking in a cool $3.3 billion from gaming alone. Fast forward to 2023? We’re eyeing a jump to $3.9 billion, thanks to more folks getting their hands on mobile gadgets, smoother internet, and the rise of online gaming hubs. Afro-gamers are pretty stoked, seeing Africa potentially leveling up in the global esports league. But, of course, some are keeping their excitement on the down-low.
Why is there optimism?
- Young Population: Africa boasts a youthful population. The majority of the continent’s inhabitants are young, gaming enthusiasts, and this number is on the rise.
- Emerging Infrastructure: While the esports framework in Africa might not be flawless, it’s definitely on the move. The sector is witnessing a boom, with the sprouting of internet cafes and gaming hubs like Crucifix Games and Lounge, Gamr, Kon10der, and Solo Esports. The industry’s organization is continually evolving and improving.
- Rising Global Stars: More and more African players are stepping into the limelight on the world stage. The global community is starting to recognize and celebrate the talent emerging from the continent.
Africa’s Esports Prospect
While the trajectory of African esports remains a tad unpredictable, there’s undeniable momentum building. Addressing key challenges could position Africa as a major esports contender globally.
Factors fueling potential growth include:
- Boosting infrastructure with faster servers and electrifying gaming centers.
- Esports betting on platforms like Betway will give the industry a boost.
- Greater sponsorships from B2B and B2BC entities.
- Enhanced media spotlight on esports events.
- Nurturing and promoting local esports talents.