WATCH | Sunday Times Gen Next conversation on esports and gamification

20 May 2020 - 07:28

If you’ve been browsing TV channels in the hope of catching a live game during lockdown, you’ll have been sorely disappointed. Unless you’re into watching professional darts (yes, believe it or not the UK bookmakers have ensured darts tournaments have been going ahead), the menu has been short.

The need for humans to compete is wired into our DNA, so the lack of physical opportunities and opponents available during lockdown to test our wits and skills against, has left a significant void in many people’s lives. Especially the lives of SA’s youth.

Enter esports. Never has a moment been more ripe for adults and children to discover the joys of online sports-play. In fact, esports has become so popular that online leagues are flourishing and attracting thousands to watch and compete. The thrones we’ve left behind in our traditional sporting arenas are being usurped in the virtual space.

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

What we’re learning, especially during lockdown, is that esports and gamification present prospects for brands to breathe new life into their marketing strategies and engage with the youth through one of their favourite pastimes. 

Join Bongani Chinkanda, CEO of HDI Youth Consultancy, for the second online session, as he moderates a Sunday Times Gen Next conversation with Julia Robson (esports personality and professional gamer), Bronson Mokabela (founder and MD of Digigage Sports & Entertainment), and 20-year-old Thendo Mukhavhuli (YouTuber, digital artist and content creator), as they discuss:

  • the trends around the growth of gamification and esports during the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • why brands should consider these platforms in their marketing strategy; and 
  • where the opportunities lie for brands to get involved.