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Esports betting and gaming is one of the fastest-growing sports businesses in Africa and globally. Thousands of local and international matches are played daily across the continent. Factors like high-speed internet, improved technology, tournaments, and events have contributed to the growth of esports betting sites in African countries.
But before we go any further, we need to know esports and how they work.
Esports and Its Spread in Africa
Simply put, esports are any form of competitive video gaming played between two or more players. Whereas it is still relatively new in Africa, esports has been gaining popularity over the past few years, particularly among the youth.
Esports come in different forms and have exploded the market with numerous events and tournaments available. Platforms like Africa Esports Championship are fostering friendship among African countries while growing the culture of esports and video gaming in the continent.
There has been a significant increase in the number of esports events held in Africa, with countries like Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and Nigeria hosting international competitions.
Many African countries have started investing in esports infrastructure to support the industry’s growth. For example, Egypt has built an esports arena that can host up to 1,000 spectators, while South Africa has several gaming venues and training facilities.
African countries are also starting to produce professional esports teams and players who are competing at the international level. For example, South African team Bravado Gaming has achieved notable success in international tournaments, while Egyptian player Omar Samy has won multiple international competitions. They get to compete against international teams like Moist eSports who have won tournaments like Volarant and Rocket League.
Overall, while esports is still a relatively new industry in Africa, it is rapidly growing and becoming an increasingly important part of the continent’s entertainment landscape. As infrastructure and investment in the industry continue to grow, it is likely that African countries will become major players in the global esports scene.
The State of Esports Gambling in Africa
Esports gambling, or betting on the outcome of competitive video game matches, is a growing industry worldwide, including in Africa. While it is still relatively new to the continent, eSports gambling has been gaining popularity over the past few years, particularly among the youth.
We’ve highlighted some of the key factors that have contributed to the widespread of esports gambling in Africa:
The regulatory environment for eSports gambling varies among African countries. Some countries have strict laws against esports, while others are liberal. For example, in Kenya, online sports betting is legal and regulated by the BCLB, while in Nigeria, online sports betting is legal and regulated by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission. Other countries have their own ways of regulating esports.
Availability of eSports betting platforms:
Hundreds of esports online betting platforms are available in Africa. These platforms allow users to place bets on the outcome of various eSports matches, including popular games like League of Legends, Dota 2, Overwatch League, and FIFA.
Popularity among youth:
Esports gambling is particularly popular among the youth in Africa, who are increasingly drawn to the accessibility of video games and the potential for quick profits. This has raised concerns among some regulators, who are concerned about the potential of problem gambling and addiction among the young generation.
Corporate sponsorship and support:
As eSports gambling continues to increase, more corporate sponsors and investors are getting involved. For example, Betway has signed sponsorship deals with several eSports teams in Africa, while 1XBET is a sponsor of the African Esports Championship.
Potential for growth:
The eSports gambling industry in Africa has the potential for significant growth in the coming years, as more young people become interested in competitive gaming and more countries legalize and regulate online sports betting. However, there are also challenges to be addressed, including the need for responsible gambling education and the prevention of underage gambling.
Popular Esports to Play in Africa
There are several popular esports games in Africa, each with its own dedicated fanbase and competitive scene. However, it is crucial to understand that playing professional esports requires more than just your ordinary computer keyboard and mouse. Players require special gaming gears, such as wireless gaming headsets, gaming desks, and chairs. Also, there are different types of esports genres, like Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), First Person Shooter, Card game battles, battle royale, real-time strategy esports, and others.
Here are some of the most popular esports in Africa:
FIFA is a soccer simulation game with a large following in Africa, where soccer is hugely popular. FIFA tournaments are regularly held in countries like South Africa, Nigeria, and Egypt, with players competing for cash prizes and the chance to represent their country in international competitions.
League of Legends
League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena game with a growing following in Africa. The game is competitive in countries like South Africa and Egypt, with local teams and players competing in international tournaments.
Dota 2 is another multiplayer online battle arena game popular in Africa. The game has a dedicated player base in countries like South Africa and Nigeria, with local tournaments and leagues organized by esports organizations.
Global Offensive (CS: GO): CS: GO or Counter-Strike is a first-person shooter game with a growing following in Africa. The game is competitive in countries like South Africa and Tunisia, with local teams and players competing in international tournaments.
Fortnite is a battle royale game that has exploded in popularity worldwide, including in Africa. The game has a dedicated player base in countries like South Africa and Nigeria, with local tournaments and leagues organized by esports organizations.
The Future of Esports in Africa
The future of esports in Africa is promising, with the industry experiencing significant growth and development in recent years. Contrary to people’s perception, esports is not merely a phenomenon taking place in the basements of unemployed twentysomethings. The games have evolved, are growing globally, and are investable. As a matter of fact, esports attracts over 380 million viewers globally, who attend online and in person.
As more investment is made in infrastructure and talent development, with young people becoming interested in competitive gaming, it is likely that African countries will become major players in the global esports scene.