Kagiso Media is placing a big bet on electronic sports and competitive videogaming with the launch of Mega8 eSports, which will host regular tournaments and offer “ample” prize money to players.
The gaming platform was acquired by Kagiso Media from Cape Town-based software developer Critter, which is now a shareholder in Mega8. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.
The launch of the platform should “further grow and legitimise the competitive gaming industry in South Africa”, said Kagiso Media chief innovation officer Vincent Maher.
Maher said e-sports is still a relatively young industry in South Africa. “It is poised for an explosion in growth with improved Internet speeds now more widely available. Predictions from PwC suggest that by 2019 it will be a R3bn industry.”
Mega8, with headline sponsor MTN, will stage its first tournament, The Summer Invitational, from 2 to 4 December to give the top Dota 2 teams across South Africa the opportunity to participate on the new platform and compete for R50 000 in prize money. The online tournament will also be streamed live via Twitch.tv and YouTube.
After that, Mega8 will launch official seasons and regularly host tournaments, starting in 2017.
“With direct links to large media and broadcasting corporations, Kagiso Media intends to grow the local audience. We also hope to turn our local gamers into sports icons, much like top gamers are viewed in other parts of the world,” said Maher. — © 2016 NewsCentral Media