eSports has become a billion Dollar industry with events and tournaments selling out arenas and paying out millions worldwide.
The International 2017, a tournament for ‘Dota 2’ players and teams, had a prize pool of $24,687,919 for the 90 players involved. That’s a staggering pot of roughly R354-million. And while the South African scene is not quite rolling in the money, the novelty of gaming is taking off.
According to eSports Earnings, South African players such as Dimitri Hadjipaschali, Aran Groesbeek, and Ruan van Wyk have all walked away with prize money of nearly R270,000 for playing in ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’ tournaments. Not a bad day at the office if you ask us.
Those sums will continue to rise the more eSports starts to grow in South Africa.
That growth, however, is dependent on how seriously potential sponsors start to see eSports in the country. The interview below with CEO of Bravado Gaming Andreas Hadjipaschali details the scope for growth and lessons we are learning from international counterparts.
Although competitive gaming isn’t exactly a new thing, it’s only now reaching the stage where talented players can bank on earning a decent living playing the game they love. Internationally, gaming is played at elite levels, with the top players competing in salaried leagues and annual tournaments for huge purses. Millions of people around the world stream their virtual battles, with thousands filling arenas to watch.
There is hope for us here at home. With the help of Ginx TV, which is a UK-based eSports broadcaster shown on DSTV, South Africa is able to showcase its talent to the world. The more this happens, the more interest will arise, leading to the country being taken seriously in the grand scheme of things.
After all, more exposure means more invites to international tournaments, right? Whoever said exposure is for the birds is clearly flying in the wrong direction.
For the skeptics, it is great to able to say that gaming is actually not antisocial. Just look at the Pokemon phenomenon. It had people congregating in malls, beaches, and parks all searching for those little virtual buggers. As human beings, there is something innately compelling about games that allow us to travel to different worlds and immerse ourselves in a new digital reality.
eSports has the ability to bring people from all walks of life together, and create something special. Just ask Team Winterfox.
So, what are you waiting for? The time is now to pursue a career in eSports.