Esports Around the World is a series of profiles outlining the esports ecosystem in different countries globally. The chain is tied into our ESI Washington DC program, which focuses on developing exports around the world.
The Esports Around the World Series will profile major and minor esports countries around the world.
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As one of the most economically developed countries in Africa, South Africa is at the forefront of African exports. With the help of leading organizations such as Mind Sport South Africa and the Confederation of African Esports, South Africa is one of several African countries helping to increase exports to the continent.
South Africa is Africa’s largest market and has the highest consumer spend at $290m (~£232m), according to a report by analytics company Newzoo and gaming platform and publisher Carry1st Report. An estimated 95 percent of gamers play on mobile, the report estimates, underscoring the importance of mobile esports’ cheap barrier to entry in supporting the region’s exponential gaming growth.
South Africa is home to some of Africa’s biggest teams, from ATK to Bravado Gaming, and in the past major organizations have looked to South Africa when acquiring new talent – most notably when Cloud9 took on the South African duo in CS. Signed: Go in 2020.
Esports is not officially recognized as a sport in South Africa. Instead, esports is classified as a ‘mind sport’ – in the same category as disciplines such as chess – and is administered by Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA).
The MSSA is the national governing body for all mind sports, including esports, and is officially recognized by an Act of Parliament in South Africa.
Notable tournaments and leagues
South Africa is gradually hosting more tournaments both domestically and for teams across Africa. MSSA, which is part of the International Esports Federation, runs a variety of events in South Africa from school level to national championship level.
Notable Export Organization
Note that this is a non-exhaustive list and exclusions do not imply that an organization is not worth mentioning.
National Association / Union
Note that inclusion in this list does not provide any acknowledgment from ESI of his authority, function or official capacity.
The Africa Electronic Sport Association (AESA) was established as an independent non-profit organization to reduce the barriers of entry to esports for youth and particularly disadvantaged people. AESA has designed a short educational course for parents and caregivers, which provides an overview of the risks and benefits of online gaming for children, and what strategies are in place to keep children safe when playing online.
At the collegiate level, University Sports South Africa (USSA), a governing body for university sports in South Africa, introduced esports in September 2019.
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This is an initial country profile and will be augmented with additional information over time. If you have any suggestions or feedback for this profile, please get in touch here [email protected]
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