Gauteng government wants to 'create opportunities' for South African esports
Talking to the organisers of GauFive’s eGames FIFA 21 event, local sports and rec MEC Mbali Hlophe has confirmed the provincial government’s commitment to supporting “diverse sporting codes”, including esports.
GauFive is an online gaming platform that seeks to create interest among the youth by introducing them to the world of esports. It is a series of events in esports starting with football moving into combat games like Tekken, Fortnite and Street Fighter as well as team games like CS:GO. The inaugural event kicks off with the GauFive eCup, a FIFA 21 competition which will see some amateurs go head-to-head against professional gamers.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR THE GAUTENG PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT TO GET INVOLVED IN ESPORTS, PARTICULARLY IN SUPPORTING THE GAUFIVE EGAMES EVENT?
As the Gauteng provincial government, it is important for us to get involved in esports, particularly in support of the GauFive eGames event as our aim is to create opportunities in diverse sporting codes in our province and begin a journey to open up the digital economy starting with eSports to ensure that our youth are at the forefront of the 4IR. In response to the proposals we have received, which have been quite a lot, we felt that it was important to support GauFive competition as it helps to further emphasize our aims to grow eSport as a code.
HOW IS THE GOVERNMENT ENSURING THAT THE YOUTH ARE EMPOWERED TO PARTICIPATE IN 4IR?
To ensure Gauteng is a hub of fourth industrial revolution, and that youth is not left behind in the digital revolution, we have various initiatives that have been put in place to drive digital skills transformation. And as part of this, the GauFive tournament is one of the examples that we utilise and we will be hosting a virtual workshop as part of it which will provide advice also to young people on the opportunities and business careers that are there that they can be involved in as part of esports, with the hope that in future we will see more young people, particularly from the Province and even nationally, really getting involved in esports because it is such a lucrative business throughout the globe but we want to see it being developed, nurtured and grown within the continent and South Africa really want to be the one to lead that path.
YOU MENTIONED A VIRTUAL WORKSHOP, HOW DO GAUTENG YOUTH ACCESS THIS AND WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?
We have mentioned that there will be a virtual workshop, and this workshop aims to open up the world of gaming to our youth. We will be working with a number of stakeholders who are currently involved in gaming – this would be from players, people managing some of the gaming teams, and so forth. Gaming is a large ecosystem, and we want people to see the various opportunities within it. We are calling everybody to stay tuned to our social media sites but to also visit the GauFive website for the various details on the streaming options that are there and how you can be a part. We will create a data-free site for Gauteng youth with limited access to data, we want to ensure that the information is shared widely in our communities. We really hope everybody can truly participate in this, and since there is still COVID-19 you have no reason but to participate and get yourself involved with esports, it is the future.