Nigeria has Africa’s largest economy, with a GDP of $442.98 billion in 2020. It also boasts one of the continent’s major gaming markets, due in part to its vast population and robust internet infrastructure. Nigeria is also a sports-crazy country. It does well in the Olympics, has a strong football culture, and a substantial number of its population participate in some type of physical exercise regularly. So, it seems to reason that Nigerians would enjoy eSports, which combines video games with sports competitions.
But how does Nigeria compare to the rest of the globe in terms of eSports? Here are some things you should be aware of.
What is eSports?
Simply defined, eSport, or electronic sport, is a video game tournament. Its nature is often that of an organized multiplayer video game tournament between individuals or teams of players. The word “eSports” refers to regional or worldwide video gaming competitions between professional and amateur players (gamers).
eSports are electronic sports that are highly structured and competitive. They might be multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs) for groups, single-player first-person shooters, survival battle royales, or virtual recreations of physical sports. These games need competent players, electronic gaming devices, and access to the internet, but they may be played offline in certain situations. This is similar yet different at the same time from the sports you can find on this page, where people go online to wager on traditional sports. eSports betting also exists, though.
Competitors in eSports are recruited from several leagues or teams that square off. At-home players often enjoy the games. These games, which include Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Madden NFL, are watched and followed by millions of fans worldwide, who attend live events or tune in on TV or online. Streaming platforms such as Twitch allow spectators to watch their favorite gamers play in real-time, and this is often where popular players create fandoms.
Nigerian eSports competitions
Hundreds of people compete in Nigeria’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competition. The physical aspect isn’t as strong as in a traditional sport, but it requires the same level of commitment and teamwork. It’s a fast-paced industry, and gamers in Nigeria will earn an estimated USD 3 million in this competition this year. Entrepreneurs in Nigeria established the African Gaming League in 2016. The league, founded by Amaete Umanah, runs eSports competitions in a variety of Nigerian locations to raise the caliber of eSports players and provide the country a chance to share a part of the rich eSports prize money pot.
The Nigeria eSports Championship (NESC) claimed to be the country’s official eSports league. As one of Nigeria’s first eSports organizers, NESC has created a series of gaming initiatives to bring together the entire gaming community, from game lovers to game creators to prospective esports investors, inside the Nigerian creative space.
eSports is a multibillion-dollar business, but investors in Nigeria have yet to embrace it as they have in Asia and America.
Africa hasn’t had a lot of involvement in the global gaming industry, but some Nigerian entrepreneurs aim to alter that by getting into esports. In August 2017, Amaete Umanah and his cofounders founded the African Gaming League, which hosted its maiden competition in four locations throughout Nigeria. Kwesé Sports of South Africa and ESL have joined up to provide esports to African players. However, the leagues have other challenges, since Africa continues to lag behind the rest of the globe in terms of supporting entrepreneurs and gaming firms.
The way forward is for tech venture capitalists and other individual or corporate investors to pay careful attention to esports and begin investing in multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) tournaments and leagues.