Home Gaming Where is South Africa’s fighting scene?

Where is South Africa’s fighting scene?

3 min read


One of the global eSports which never really gets much attention in South Africa outside of a small, dedicated following is fighting. Last year we had a taste with the Mortal Kombat X global Qualifiers hosted by NAV TV, but that was about it. Where are our fighters? And why hasn’t the South African fighting scene kept up with other local eSports titles.

While the Mortal Kombat X Championship Qualifiers received some attention, once the competition concluded, it somewhat fell off the map completely. To my knowledge South African leagues and tournaments have not often included fighting games among their titles. I know for a fact Cape Town has a welcomed scene, but is it enough to spice things up in 2016?


In the news recently was Capcom’s new vision for eSports in 2016 with their release of Street Fighter V next month. The deal with Sony has already boosted the fighting scene internationally with tournaments presented in 2015 for Street Fighter IV. The exclusivity for Sony Playstation and PC may usher in a new era for the fighting genre, but where does that leave us?

The Real Fight

So why have tournament hosts neglected the fighting genres? Globally tournaments such as the Capcom Pro Tour, EVO, various Smash Bros tournaments, and many others have long kept fighting alive, but not down here. Has it got to do with local interest? Is there no growth locally or a way to close the international skill gap? Let’s compare it for a second, and look at some issues which may play a part.

Firstly there’s infrastructure. I remember clearly that the Mortal Kombat X matchmaking was a bit of a nightmare with peer-to-peer hosting making European matchmaking almost unplayable for most. You’d often struggle with high latency or disconnects when matching up against Europeans. You were able to play against other South Africans, but that leaves very little room for development and limits our competition.


Secondly, competition is far and wide. There doesn’t seem to be much incentive to improve with little to no competitions other than ones within the exclusive community. From what I’ve heard of the South African fighting scene, the community is small and progress happens from within. This is often great for grassroots development, but hinders that next step of widening the competition.

Lastly, keeping up with the titles. Perhaps one of the biggest issues is that there are a great number of good fighting games. While Mortal Kombat X shone bright in 2015, this year it’s going to be Street Fighter V, and next year perhaps it’s something else.  Perhaps it’s this continuous change that prohibits local growth as we are, and we always seem to be, a few steps behind.

In Closing

I may not be the most credible source when it comes to the South African fighting scene, but I am one who keeps his ear to the ground when it comes to eSports, and I have to ask the question, where are our fighters? Why haven’t more tournament hosts at least tried to bring about competitive fighting, and what are we going to do about this?

If you have more information I’d love to get a better insight into the fighting world, and who knows, maybe kick-start South Africa’s eSports fighting scene.

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Last Updated: January 25, 2016

No Comments

  1. Pieter Kruger

    January 25, 2016 at 17:41



    • Hammersteyn

      January 25, 2016 at 17:59



    • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

      January 25, 2016 at 18:14



  2. Pariah

    January 25, 2016 at 18:55



  3. Guild

    January 26, 2016 at 08:05

    There is an FaceBook group called Johannesburg Fighting Gaming Community which is very active. I often see posts for tournaments there. https://www.facebook.com/groups/JHBFGC/


  4. Go2hell66

    January 26, 2016 at 08:31

    I think there could be a number of reasons for this, excluding the fact fighting games is already a pretty niche genre of gaming

    1. Thanks to our god awful exchange rate I think SA’s gaming market is in an abyssmal state right now. the cost of gaming is stupidly high. people can’t game period. there’s bound to be a decreased interest in gaming overall no matter how you slice it. not just in fighting games.and how big is the gaming market in SA anyway?

    2. Suppliers. Can’t even count the number of times i’ve been excited for a new release walked into a shop and retailers have no plans to get it or dont even know wth i’m talking about. Couldn’t even get a disc copy USFIV!? its a fact that games that get a local release are bound to have more players and its that much easier to get some competition going. how can we have a scene we when even the most popular of fighting games aren’t on our shelves?

    I’ve been to one of the tournaments in Capetown, fantastic scene. So many players for so many different games. i think the arcades there are a big help which is quite strange because everywhere else arcades are dying out. Up in JHB its pretty hard to get anything going outside of MK or Tekken. I try to host as many casual get togethers as i can for games like SF,Smash and Guilty Gear to try and gain some interest. I attend all the local tournaments when possible even if its for games i dont particularly like or play myself.

    When you consider all these things its not really that hard to the struggle for SA’s fighting game scene


    • Randall Rex

      January 26, 2016 at 08:40

      you hit the nail on the head, fam.


    • Afro

      January 28, 2016 at 18:06

      I completely agree with you regarding the cost of gaming.

      That’s why we are trying to get something going with Brawlhalla which is a free to play fighter game. It will also be cross platform(available on PC now and on PS4 in a few months and then Xbox in the future) and the netcode is pretty decent.

      We are hosting a tournament here:

      We plan to start Marketing next week so if there is anyone interested in helping please contact us.


  5. Guild

    January 26, 2016 at 09:25

    Considering how well MKX launched and the big tournament that was held, I wonder if Street Figther V will get the same attention and exposure. I’m sure Geoff would be really happy for one.


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