Nodwin Gaming is India’s biggest e-sports organisation with thousands of players taking part in tournaments.     Supplied
Nodwin Gaming is India’s biggest e-sports organisation with thousands of players taking part in tournaments. Supplied

E-sports league a major boost for SA gaming

By Sam Spiller Time of article published Mar 15, 2020

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Cape Town - A new e-sports league with a prize pool of R1 million is set to give a major boost to the gaming scene in South Africa.

Indian e-sports company Nodwin Gaming is expanding into the country.

It announced the launch of the Umzansi Esports League, a new tournament for South African gamers.

Established 10 years ago, Nodwin holds around 95% market share in India and produces about 3000 hours of content annually in the country and surrounding regions such as Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

According to Anthony Nell, head of sales for Nodwin Gaming SA, the company’s arrival here was due to increasing internet accessibility.

“The internet is fast becoming an everyday thing that most people have, connectivity is improving all the time,” he said.

“It would only make sense to start branching out into the region in terms of e-sports and gaming. South Africa is the regular launchpad for African business, especially in terms of digital business.

“We’re establishing operations here, starting our first IP (intellectual property), others will more than likely follow up very shortly thereafter. And then at such a time that the business is profitable, we’ll move into the rest of Africa.”

Nell said the expansion into South Africa and the rest of the continent was not difficult to justify, due to the growing popularity of the industry as well as operating costs.

“If you had to look at the world in terms of how much things cost and the economy of e-sports, running an IP in South Africa is relatively cheap.”

Beginning next month and ending in December, the league will be conducted in online stages with players using their own devices to participate. This leads to LAN finals that will bring the best players together.

“It will be two seasons for this year with two finals at the end of each season, one in Cape Town, one in Joburg,” Nell said.

The league will be made up of two parts, Starter Cups and Masters. The Starter Cups are open and free to all and are structured in a knockout format.

“Players who make it through will then play in the Masters with season champions crowned at the end.

The four video games that will make up the league are Tekken 7 and FIFA 20, which will be played on console, Counter Strike Go, which will be played on PC, and the mobile version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).

Weekend Argus

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