First eSports summit tackles the future

Host of eSports, Gareth Wood, founder and CEO of Tuluntulu Pierre van der Hoven and games manager of Econet Media Kwese TV discuss the broadcasting of eSports.

For the first time in South Africa, an eSports (electronic sports games) Branding Summit was held at the rAge Expo.

Part of the summit held on 7 October comprised of Mlondi Mashinini, director of GAMeS, as a host to a panel of speakers, which included Pierre van der Hoven, founder and CEO of Tuluntulu; Gareth Woods, host of eSports and Brad Kirby, games manager at Econet Media Kwese TV.

The topic of discussion revolved around the potential of eSports in South Africa and how it plans to grow its audience in the country. “The potential in South Africa is massive. We want to start to see local players compete internationally and doing well there,” said Kirby. This would generate interest in our own country and stop the SA eSports audience from watching international servers and support locals, he said.

Kirby explained that the way forward would be to bring top players to South Africa, provide gaming boot camps, generate more exposure and put more money into the gaming ecosystem here. He added that there needs to be a change of perception that eSports is only for a young audience.

Van der Hoven said in regards to the broadcasting of eSports online, data in streaming content is perceived as a big factor but, in truth, the broadcasting environment is radically changing, prices are going down and new packages are out to facilitate streaming for hours.

Adding to the topic of broadcasting eSports and generally creating more awareness about the sport, CEO of Orena, Luca Tucconi said there is a large gap in the media industry where eSports is not broadcast on radio or television, and low-level access to broadband Internet in rural and developing areas should be more available so the interest can grow.

Amy Ingram

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