African Universities eSports league
The rising potential of young African video gamers staging the projected global billion dollar industry of eSports in the next few years, more and more kids in the continent are hyped to level up their knowledge and skills in eSports. Thats what has led to several universities launching eSports tournaments and in 2018, your blogger can confidently confirm that the first multi country eSports League in Africa will launch. A 22 year old South African student who is among those preparing for next year has been playing League of Legends for three years and recently started playing competitively. “I’m really excited that League of Legends is being featured as a sport in University Games because now people will be aware of the huge amount of skill involved. I realize some people refuse to accept that gaming is a sport, but playing eSports is very similar to traditional sport. It still fills you with the same kind of adrenaline as the more physical sports and it is also incredibly competitive,” the Pretoria native said. “The world is moving towards virtual worlds so being in University Games is really part of the evolution of eSports. League of Legends is a team based game and, just like other sports, it’s a great way to meet people.” Just like every other competitive sport, the student claims the nerves hit just as hard. “Contador Harrison, trust me you don’t want to be the reason your team loses. Everyone is competitive and everybody wants to win.”In the past, African gamers need to travel abroad to learn and develop their skills to become pro gamers. For most parents, it’s just a waste of time, money, and talent. Only few people make money out of playing computer games but nowadays professional computer gamers bring home thousands of dollars out from winning an eSport tournaments.South African Universities have been a haven for competitive gaming since the moment games could be competitive thanks to bandwidth at schools everywhere which is being chewed up by eSports teams playing StarCraft.The University eSports is evolving the idea into a professional-amateur style tournament according to the Pretorian.
Your blogger spoke to organizer of the 2018 tournament series, to find out what it is that makes the University eSports formula so appealing. “eSports has been a pretty big part of University Student lives for a considerable time now,” organizer said. “And with the rise of eSports in Africa it’s starting to get a lot more visibility. I started Counter-Strike right when I went to University in Cairo, Egypt and I think during University is when I was at the peak of my skill level, but then decided to venture into eSports organization when i returned home in Cape Town.” With programs and University eSports programs popping up all over South Africa, it made sense to take advantage of that untapped potential. However, regardless of where you sit on the eSports debate, there is no denying that eSports players are equipped with mental focus and sheer competitiveness. With this in mind, University Sports organizers in Africa will have to eventually include eSports in their events calendar in coming years.It’s part of the evolving generation of gaming sports people. Africa’s tertiary education community is responding to this evolution and embracing new technologies, such as eSports, as tools to increase engagement of university students on campus. It will allow for more students to get involved in representing their universities at local and regional as well as international level in the future.According to the organizer of 2018 African University eSports League, even if you’re a student not playing for a career you still have to be playing to a relatively high level to enter. The way it will be structured, organizers have a disconnected preliminary cups where students will play in as many of them as possible. If they fail to qualify in the first cup, they could still play in the second and the third and so on. So even if students aren’t at the top level, which is what it might take to win the tournament overall, they still got a lot of game time in and it is hoped that it would be fun playing through the tournament structure and meeting other students from around Africa who are also interested in something they are interested in.Across Africa, professional and amateur is another facet of eSports that is expected to take hold, as competitive players realize they can still play hard without needing to put in the time professional teams do. The format for University students that your blogger has a copy will encourage playing, which is ultimately what people are looking for.