Red Bull signs its first African esports athlete

29 July 2020 - 15:40 By Scott Peter Smith
Thabo Moloi, 16 (right) won the PlayStation 4 VS Gaming FIFA eWorld Cup qualifier championship in the first accredited world qualifiers in 2018.
Thabo Moloi, 16 (right) won the PlayStation 4 VS Gaming FIFA eWorld Cup qualifier championship in the first accredited world qualifiers in 2018.
Image: Scott Peter Smith

Red Bull has taken the plunge and signed its first esports athlete from not only SA, but the whole continent.

Thabo “Yvng Savage” Moloi is a South African FIFA player who has impressed the community ever since taking the accredited VS Gaming FIFA championship in 2018, his first competitive esports tournament, beating a field of 512 other players on PS4.

He took R400,000, grabbed the attention of the esports community and was snatched up by prominent esports gaming organisation, Goliath Gaming. And he hasn’t slowed down since.

Some may already know Moloi from the eBafana Bafana team who led the South African squad in the FIFA eNations Stay n Play Cup which took place earlier this year.

According to a Red Bull profile, Moloi has worked hard to build a name for himself. Leading up to the VS Gaming FIFA Festival he was purchasing his own data to ensure he got in the FIFA practice he needed and watching online tutorials to help him improve.

“I play online every single day of my life,” he added. “Leading up to the VS tournament, I trained with a good friend of mine who is a strong and established FIFA player himself. We would play and I would beat him, but when I started beating him consistently, I decided I was ready to compete.”

While he smashed the local competition, in 2018 he couldn’t make it to the FIFA eWorld Cup Global Series Playoffs since his passport didn’t arrive in time. Then, in 2019, he qualified for the FIFA eWorld Cup Global Series Playoffs again, but couldn’t make it to the UK.

Moloi says he wants to become the top-ranked FIFA player in the world. Based on what we’ve seen so far, it’s quite likely.

Moloi is ranked the No 1 FIFA player on PlayStation in SA. You can read more about him on this Red Bull profile.

— Additional reporting by Esports Central


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