Home Gaming What do you think of South African esports in 2016?

What do you think of South African esports in 2016?

3 min read

Day in and day out I spend my time following up on the latest esports news, but something I’ve become custom to is the lack thereof in South Africa. Despite the relative lack of South African esports making the headlines every day, we have had a fantastic year. We’ve seen major prize pools, several overseas trips, and an increase in player base which far exceeds any previous years. Many of you, whether you’re casual-competitive or competitive players often comment, but with the year coming to an end, I’d like to know what you thought of 2016?

This is beginning

Competitive gaming, or esports, has existed in South Africa since the early 00s. Back then it was small competitions in internet cafes, or young you playing Quake at some local LANs. From there it slowly grew until the creation of the Telkom Do Gaming League roughly eight years ago. The DGL, despite their criticism, has done a ton for South African esports, but it wasn’t until the 2013 where things really started kicking off.

Bravado Gaming on stage at ESWC Paris

In the past three years we’ve seen an exponential growth in every aspect of competitive gaming. More, and more people are beginning to take notice and despite their efforts to avoid it, they can’t. We’ve seen gamers on TV shows such as Carte Blanche, Esspresso, and even Hectic 99, and even the broadcasting of CS:GO on SuperSport. Sponsorships have grown, communities have grown, and the frequency of tournaments hit an all time high in 2016. Players are also looking to competitive gaming as a healthy source of income leading forward, moving away from the holiday job as a waiter at a popular restaurant. Don’t believe me? Well, the Bravado Gaming CS:GO players have won over R100 000 each this year – let that sink in. While the whole system still rewards the best team, we are moving into a new era where everyone will start making some money, soon.

Looking forward

It’s well known that a large portion of our audience here at Lazygamer aren’t the biggest esports fans, and I’ve become used to that by now. However, many of you do offer valid opinions and insights to some of the articles I’ve posted and that’s why I’d love to hear what you think were the dos and don’ts of 2016. From your objective interest and outlook, what has been done right, what needs to be done, and what can be improved on in 2017?


In keeping my ear to the ground, I’ve already heard some good news regarding 2017 and I always remain optimistic as we move away from people who only talk the talk, but trip during the walk. Over R1 million has been awarded this year in prize money, and almost every esport has had their time in the limelight. Which leads to my next question – Which esport do you think deserved more coverage, more competitions, and has a starving community in need of some love?


I think South Africa is in a really good spot at the moment, but we still have a lot of work to do. We’re still lacking the infrastructure and financial interest that other regions have, but what we have done right in 2016 is create awareness across a number of different mediums. People, and mostly parents, have started to realize that this is not just a waste of time and the young generation spending hours on their computers can actually make a living out of it. Not right now, but soon. I’m honestly going to give it two more years before we’re at a similar level to our counter-parts, but that requires us to work together to fix the issues which are currently plaguing our local scene.

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Last Updated: December 14, 2016


  1. HvR

    December 14, 2016 at 14:50

    Just not pulling me in.

    Maybe more in deoth articles on the SA teams running up to local tournament. If there is an all Cape Town team it is someones I will support.

    Or maybe give a heads up on LG when you are shoutcasting if anything that might interest me (and maybe others) to start watching and engage with you in the comment section.


    • Craig "CrAiGiSh" Dodd

      December 14, 2016 at 15:12

      Time to move out from under that rock your living under …


  2. Craig "CrAiGiSh" Dodd

    December 14, 2016 at 14:50

    “We’re still lacking the infrastructure and financial interest”

    Agree on this point and this is the biggest hurdle that once we break through, will mean BIG to SA eSports.


    • Lu

      December 14, 2016 at 15:32

      I think they can easily and cheaply start on a high school level (granted most our schools generally suck in the tech dept) with a school eSports team. IT classroom pcs can run at least league, dota and counter strike, so why not have local high school leagues (like other school sports), and then migrate to university/college teams.


      • HvR

        December 14, 2016 at 15:48

        Problem is schools will only work with “officially affiliated bodies” when it involves school property and equipment.

        And MSSA is too busy to be bothered by anything like setting up school leagues and sport promotion


      • Craig "CrAiGiSh" Dodd

        December 14, 2016 at 15:52

        Unfortunately I don’t think this will work Lu – especially because of how our education system is in SA. I mean lets be honest, its a massive joke.

        Some schools to this day, don’t even have certain sports and never will, no matter what.

        And I mean, look at the MSSA, they are involved from a school level point of view and we all know how terrible they are.

        With schools also being +- half day, students will most likely find more time to game/practice at home and with access to probably better internet.
        Also can you imagine 50 students all trying to play on 20 PC’s … (just giving an example).

        For SA, we jumping into the deep end when it comes to eSports so we have to think big straight away, as we playing catch up with the rest of the world 🙂

        Sorry … I get passionate when it comes to eSports and SA 😛


        • Lu

          December 14, 2016 at 16:03

          Yeah the school system is busted. But that being said even if a school just acknowledges a student eSport team (that play on their own pc’s and internet), and pits that team against another schools’ teams, we can at least have a toe in the door.


          • Craig "CrAiGiSh" Dodd

            December 14, 2016 at 16:26

            “we can at least have a toe in the door”

            ‘Right’ toe but ‘Wrong’ door bud 😉

  3. iusedtobe(a)regular

    December 15, 2016 at 08:36

    Honestly, I dont really care much for eSports. If I channel surf one day and I happen to come across it i will probably watch it but I wont set reminders and look out for it, let alone go to a live event.


  4. Magoo

    December 15, 2016 at 09:56

    I’m a bit late to the party. There is plenty of action in SA which isn’t covered on here. It seems the criteria for coverage is either “going overseas to compete” or “high prize-pool tournament.” There’s not much of that around here yet, but still, there are a lot of people, playing a lot of games, with a lot of skill.

    I might like to see a general update every once in a while. Which SA teams are doing well in which areas, maybe some clips of amazing plays and feats. We have a really great pool of Battlefield players for example. For those who play BF4, can you even comprehend this guy? http://battlelog.battlefield.com/bf4/soldier/xTc-JordanL/weapons/541715659/pc/

    To answer your question, all of the games.


  5. For the Emperor!

    December 15, 2016 at 10:07

    I was getting into the whole eSports thingy with HotS. Joined a team and even played a match in the one tournament the team was in. I was researching, watching live streams and replays of the overseas tournament. Everyone was like “yeah we gonna be the best in the country” and “not gonna let this game die”…then most of them took an Overwatch to the knee and dropped the team. Left a bad taste in my mouth that some of them didn’t even say anything about changing games, they just stopped logging into HotS. I have not played a game of HotS since. Was very disappointed. Hopefully the local scene grows (up a bit) over the next couple of years, but I will not be sucked into it again.


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