eSports Tournaments On The Rise

The eSports market is growing worldwide with younger generations, and in South Africa, eSports is considered a ‘mind sport,’ much like chess, which has also increased in popularity amongst younger generations due to Netflix’s hit show The Queen’s Gambit. While chess and eSports are similar in terms of popularity growth, the prize pools in eSports tournaments are comparable to those in chess tournaments.

In South Africa, eSports has yet to be classified as an official sport, but South Africa’s eSports industry continues to grow regardless. Reports have stated that the total number of eSports gamers in South Africa increased from 77 million to 186 million gamers between 2015 and 2021, representing a growth of 142%. Further reports have suggested that more than 600 eSports players in the country have accumulated prize money totaling USD 1,482,079.28 across 300+ tournaments.

South African eSports Tournaments

In 2022, there were over a dozen eSports tournaments in South Africa, including the Intel Africa Masters, where the prize pool was USD 28,326. Intel Africa Masters is one of Africa’s largest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) tournaments. The tournament centers around Hidden Path Entertainment and Valve’s 2012 multiplayer first-person shooter game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The game is highly tactical, meaning only the best gamers in the industry are participating in the Intel Africa Masters.

There have also already been two eSports tournaments in 2023 in South Africa, including the ESEA Cash Cup: South Africa – Winter 2023 #1, which took place in early January, and the ESEA Cash Cup: South Africa – Winter 2023 #2. Some of the biggest eSports teams in South Africa include Online Kingdom, Bravado Gaming, White Rabbit Gaming, Aperture Gaming, Damage Control, and Goliath Gaming. Goliath Gaming is an eSports team that prides itself on bringing the sport to a broader audience, particularly South African youth. Between these teams and the tournaments, there has been increased global awareness about how big South Africa’s eSports industry is and where it could be heading in the future.

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However, this shouldn’t be a surprise. South Africa’s entire gaming industry is vast, and there are various gaming tournaments people can participate in, including casino games. For example, Yebo Casino, a top-rated South Africa online casino, offers multi-player online slot tournaments on the Windows downloadable application. The casino also provides more competitive table game tournaments that allow players to play games like Blackjack and Roulette. These casino tournaments have helped send South Africa’s gambling market higher, with experts forecasting that total revenue will reach a market volume of more than USD 30 million by 2026.

A Rounded Industry

While South Africa’s online gambling industry is already well established, with the casino games segment getting propelled by both tournaments and in-app purchases, the country’s eSports industry is still in the growing stage. However, its potential is evident, and with more tournaments set to take place in South Africa in 2023, it won’t be long before the country recognizes eSports as an official sport, much like the rest of the world has.

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