Building South African eSports

Building South African eSports

Postby BudgetChrispy » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:04 pm

South African eSports

How does it present itself?

Perusing through interviews with the South African gaming community alumni, one question appears to repeat itself time and time again: “How can we advance the South African eSports community?” And without failure, the same answer is echoed like a gaming mantra: “More sponsorships.”

Unfortunately, this answer is partially correct. This is because it equates to only one small piece of a much larger eSports puzzle.

Please allow me to explain because the request for sponsorships works as follows:

Large corporate companies with an interest in eSports are requested to sponsor events, which is then in turn utilized to increase the prize pool available to contestants with the aim of attracting new players to the community. The irony is, that this approach only attracts a few new gamers into the tournaments for the period that the sponsorship is available. Once the sponsorship ceases the community reverts back to its previous state.

A further consequence, is that the corporates sponsoring the events slowly become less willing to fund events or tournaments. These corporates provide sponsorships with the express intention of realizing increased revenue, and ultimately profitability through accelerated sales, as a result of the goodwill and exposure they purchase. Should these sponsorships not ultimately lead to increased profitability, they will begin to erode their stakeholder value, which will result in the sponsorships ceasing.

What is required?

In order to deliver a successful South African eSports community, we have to follow those that came before us such as Major League Gaming and Turtle Entertainment and deliver successful sustainable businesses.

That's right, eSports is a business and therefore has to adhere to business principles. The simplest of these rules is as follows: shareholders expect on an annual basis, increasing revenue figures and increasing profit margins as the business scales.

As with establishing any business, in this case an eSports business we need to begin with the basics, such as what is the vision for the South African eSports community. This vision is hidden in the dreams and actions of the South African gamers who love their eSport and requires a mechanism to extract it, which is a business designed to deliver eSports.

What business infrastructure is required?

Just like for any other business enterprise, you need an accountant. Someone to perform the financial modeling, someone to determine the budgets and someone to track the financial actions of the endeavor, ensuring that shareholder expectations are delivered, and if possible, exceeded.

There will need to be researchers. The current gaming community is a diversified one with tournaments, events and gamers spread throughout the country. Individuals will be required to investigate and record, not only the current community structure but also the community’s vision for the future. This research will provide the strategy for the eSports business for the future. In addition, the current role players will need to be documented and all their various contributions detailed, allowing for networking growth opportunities to be explored.

Business relationships will need to be established with all the role players in the community, both local and abroad. These relationship builders will be responsible for unifying the community ensuring that the needs of the gamers, the licensed importers and hardware specialists are understood and are all moving forward in a unified action. They will also be responsible for delivering tournaments, cross platform unification and negotiating those all-important sponsorships. Yes, we still require sponsorships but as a community we need ensure that those sponsorships are converted into sustainable solutions that enhance the community and lead to increased stakeholder value for the sponsors and gamers alike.

Being an electronic environment, you are going to require information technology experts. The gaming infrastructure is going to need the advice and skills of those who can set up local host servers, who understand what impacts on local and international gaming and those who can setup up a local electronic ranking platform allowing all South African gamers to actively compare themselves to their peers.

Delivering an infrastructure will allow the current community to be documented and understood and the vision of the community to be defined as an attainable goal. Combining an understanding of the community’s external influences with an understanding of its available resources and capabilities, an eSports business strategy can be defined and implemented.

But why go through all this effort?

According to an article published on Dailydot.com in January 2014, the eSports leader Major League Gaming has taken twelve years to finally reach the point of profitability. Meaning, if you enter the eSports arena you have to be in it for the long haul. But then, why go through the effort?

According to Newzoo and Repucom talking to the 2014 calendar year:

Esports revenues totaled $194 million last year and will more than double to reach $465 million in 2017.

Now, this is a piece of humble-pie that businesses should be fighting over and any gamer should want to be a part of.

Who am I, to propose this change in focus away from requesting sponsorships?

I am a husband. I am a father. I am a gamer. My twenty seven year gaming career has spanned everything from Space Invaders on our second generation Atari 2600 to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on our eighth generation Xbox One. It even includes trying to play multiplayer over a dial-up connection, but hey we learn, or do we, trying to play first-person-shooters with a two-hundred millisecond latency.

During these twenty seven years I have completed an undergraduate degree, an honors degree and articles at a big-four auditing firm. By twenty-eight, I was the group financial manager for a proudly South African company listed on the JSE’s AltX and I’m currently the group financial manager of a national South African organization reporting into two prominent listed South African companies.

Does this make me an expert? I don’t believe so. It means that I have much to learn but maybe up until now I have acquired some skills. What it does make me, is like many of you, an individual with a business orientated skillset who is passionate about delivering eSports to South Africa.

This is because, we are gamers.

So what are we asking for?

What we are not asking for, is small sponsorships to boost the tournament attendance at local events. What we are asking for is for something much, much bigger. We are asking for a business infrastructure which can deliver sustainable eSport in South Africa.

We are asking for the Gaming League of South Africa (an eSports initiative).
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Re: Building South African eSports

Postby Cyber Ville » Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:07 pm

It warms my heart, to read such a positive and informative post. While there are gamers such as yourself driven by passion for e sports development in SA, then the future of SA e sport is growing brighter by the day.
I to am a die hard e sport fan, so much so that I have invested a large sum in creating a e sport venue in Boksburg. Cyber Ville, has taken myself, my son ( ghoste.com) and my daughter, 4 month to create, the venue is 300sm in size and consists of a cafe, coffee shop, resturant, computer shop, 3D printing service ( making fan art affordable), business center, sony PS4 consoul lounge and most importantly a pc e sports gaming arena, yep! Two five vers five profesional gaming platforms, Bitco 100mbs fiber optic internet. Full sound and video capture and live twitch streaming equiptment capability.
I hope our small contribution to the e sport community helps make a differance in promoting e sports in SA.
Please comment on what you feel we can do to ensure this venues sucsess and any help regarding networking with clans, sponsors( MSI already aboard) or corparate advertising would be highly appreciated.
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Re: Building South African eSports

Postby henzero » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:33 am

Maybe try and host a competition with the final at the venue, dota/CS

advertise on all local FB pages for BF, CS for a start, maybe have a look at where Jukes went wrong and try and improve on those areas

maybe grow social platforms with a skin giveaway

but will think first call is awareness, first time i seen the name but now i have found the site and looks lekke

all the best with this

Cyber Ville wrote:It warms my heart, to read such a positive and informative post. While there are gamers such as yourself driven by passion for e sports development in SA, then the future of SA e sport is growing brighter by the day.
I to am a die hard e sport fan, so much so that I have invested a large sum in creating a e sport venue in Boksburg. Cyber Ville, has taken myself, my son ( ghoste.com) and my daughter, 4 month to create, the venue is 300sm in size and consists of a cafe, coffee shop, resturant, computer shop, 3D printing service ( making fan art affordable), business center, sony PS4 consoul lounge and most importantly a pc e sports gaming arena, yep! Two five vers five profesional gaming platforms, Bitco 100mbs fiber optic internet. Full sound and video capture and live twitch streaming equiptment capability.
I hope our small contribution to the e sport community helps make a differance in promoting e sports in SA.
Please comment on what you feel we can do to ensure this venues sucsess and any help regarding networking with clans, sponsors( MSI already aboard) or corparate advertising would be highly appreciated.
*Even sober, I've come to the conclusion that I am super K@K*
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