President of the Ghana eSports Association (GeSA), Kwesi Hayford, has revealed that GeSA along with fellow African eSports associations have put in place plans to organize the first ever edition of the African eSports Championships by August 2019.
The major goal of the competition, according to Mr. Hayford, is to network all African countries to use eSports to develop their respective countries, thereby giving better opportunities for African gamers.
We want African gamers to cross borders and see them being signed on to big teams in Asia and other countries.
GESA PRESIDENT, KWESI HAYFORD
Mr. Hayford also revealed that the event is the brainchild of the Friends of Africa eSports which includes countries Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe and stated the competition was first to be called the Africa eSports Cup of Nations before settling on the current Africa eSports Championships. “We contacted some of the African countries that we’ve been collaborating and talking about eSports with, we then created an initial Blue Print document elaborating what it would entail.” He further revealed: “The initial plan was to hold online qualifiers, then we host the finals in the host city. When we sent the document around, other countries liked it, and we started inviting some of the countries.”
The Friends of Africa eSports is a group of eSports Leaders across Africa aiming to elevate eSports & gaming activities on the continent, foster brotherliness via sustained engagements and establish Africa on global eSports map among others.
So far 25 countries have stated their interest in participating in the event, this was revealed by Mr. Hayford who stated that due to the lack of eSports federations in some countries, the organizers decided to open it up to some of the private entities as well. “As far as I know, we only have five countries with esports federations, but there are other eSports entities not officially recognized by government in the other countries. Thus we decided to make it more of a private and government sector partnership.”
We cannot develop Africa eSport with only government entities; we need the private entities as well. It is actually more of a private movement since government does not really know nor understand what eSports entail. So it is private people who are trying to push the agenda.
GESA PRESIDENT, KWESI HAYFORD
The games for the competition have not yet been decided upon by the organizers of the competition. After research, the top 12 most popular games on the continent were selected with the intention of picking 4-6 games for the competition.
Qualifiers for the various national teams will kick off as early as February 2019, with the main showcase being held in August 2019. The venue is currently unknown but countries such as Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt are being named as favorites to host the maiden edition.
The World eSports Consortium (WeSCO) has officially endorsed the African eSports Championship; stating they will provide information and knowledge base to form the competition’s High Court of eSports among others.