Do you know what esports is yet?

The latest R1.85-million prize pool says you should

17 September 2018 - 14:24 By Scott Peter Smith
Thulani 'LighteR' Sishi from Big 5 Esports warms up before their final CS:GO match at the VS Gaming Masters tournament at Comic Con, Johannesburg.
Thulani 'LighteR' Sishi from Big 5 Esports warms up before their final CS:GO match at the VS Gaming Masters tournament at Comic Con, Johannesburg.
Image: Scott Peter Smith

I’m willing to bet the R1.85-million prize pool dished out to professional gamers at Comic Con Africa in Johannesburg last weekend that you don’t.

Esports, or competitive video gaming, reached another milestone at the international convention as the VS Gaming Masters and Championships, South Africa’s premier esports event, took the prize pool even higher. The event also found a new home in partnership with Africa’s first official Comic Con.

The Masters tournament is looking more like a traditional premiere sporting league and not just by structure, but with the upcoming star gamers becoming valuable commodities and earning salaries.  

Yes, competitive gamers are starting to receive salaries and the sport, while still behind its international peers, is slowly making a space where these new sport stars can consider it as a career, go to the top of their game, and gain stardom.

Content executive at Telkom VS Gaming Wanda Mkhize says, "We really want to make esports a big opportunity and venture within South Africa as it is globally."

And the sport appears to be growing across demographics, sectors and attracting some notable sponsors outside of Telkom such as Asus, Vodacom, and Intel. 

"Esports takes from everywhere. It’s a multicultural, multifaceted type of industry that has participation and involvement in everywhere," adds Mkhize.

This bodes well for competitive gamer and vice-captain of Big 5 Esports in the CS:GO tournament last weekend.

Thulani 'LighteR' Sishi, came second place in the Counter-strike: GO VS masters tournament advised aspiring pro-gamers to keep focused.

"Play hard, go pro, practise and make sure you got a good team with positive energy...if you can stick to your guns and know where you're headed you’ll go far."

Becoming a professional gamer in SA is looking to become more accessible as future developments in esports were announced at Comic Con Africa that took place from 14 to 16 September 2018. Subscribe to TimesLIVE here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TimesLive

What is Counter Strike: Global Offensive?

CS:GO, popularized by its predecessor Counter-Strike 1.6, is often debated as the esport which started it all. It’s a game where 10 players, five on each side, play in an objective based game where the terrorists need to plant a bomb on one of two bombsites on a map, while the counter-terrorists are poised to stop them or defuse the bomb if it gets planted.

It makes for an exciting spectator sport, drawing thousands of curious onlookers who often, although increasingly less so, don’t know what they are watching. They just know its fun, loud, and fast.

Pro gamers from team Big 5 Esports warm up before their final match in the CS:GO VS Gaming masters tournament on Sunday, 16 September.
Pro gamers from team Big 5 Esports warm up before their final match in the CS:GO VS Gaming masters tournament on Sunday, 16 September.
Image: Scott Peter Smith

The winning team of the CS:GO tournament was ultimately Energy Esports Academy, taking home R200,000.

“With this being the highest prize pool on record for gaming in South Africa, Telkom VS Gaming is cementing the fact that we’re not only about broadening the scope of gamers but contributing largely towards the growth of esports,” added Mkhize.

Comic Con Africa took place from 14 to 16 September at Kyalami in Johannesburg.

Thulani 'LighteR' Sishi from Big 5 Esports just before their final CS:GO match at the VS Gaming tournament at Comic Con.
Thulani 'LighteR' Sishi from Big 5 Esports just before their final CS:GO match at the VS Gaming tournament at Comic Con.
Image: Scott Peter Smith
subscribe