Betway Opens eSports to South Africans
Betway leads the way for eSports in South Africa
Electronic sports, or eSports, have existed for many years. However, the competitive video gaming tournaments have recently garnered a lot more attention. The technology involved in the detailed games is impressive, and to win a tournament contestants usually need to spend years honing their skills.
Increasingly, the sector is recognized as a legitimate sport and gamers are respected as serious athletes. University courses are being run on eSports management, and in America some colleges are even offering eSports scholarships alongside the bursaries that are given to athletes in physical sports. Now bookmakers are getting involved and brands like Betway are making massive strides forward in the local iGaming and sports betting industry.
Massive eSports Industry Potential
Viewership of eSports is rising exponentially, thanks in large part to live streaming of competitions on platforms such as Twitch. The 2018 League of Legends World Championship Final drew more than 99 million viewers, and has been included as a 2022 Asian Games medal event.
With more viewers come lucrative sponsorship deals and massive prizes; the Fortnite World Cup of 2019, for example, paid the winner $3 million in July. The rewards are not quite as high as at the top levels of physical sports yet, but the way they are growing suggests that they will be before long.
eSports in Africa
The eSports industry in Africa is not yet as big as it is in America, Europe or Asia, but it is certainly mushrooming fast. The biggest community on the continent is currently in South Africa, where a total of R3.78 million in prizes was paid out to professional players.
More and more teams are being formed across the country, and even the popular Orlando Pirates Football Club is capitalising on the trend. The Buccaneers were represented by their “eTeam” in the FIFA20 Football eSport championship.
Johannesburg’s rAge Expo shows how quickly electronic sports is expanding, and caught the attention of communications giant Vodacom. The company is now the event’s main sponsor, and renamed it the Vodacom rAge.
Betway Commits to eSports South Africa
Betway has been operating in South Africa since 2017, and has supported up and coming sports in several ways. This is the bookmaker’s policy worldwide; and over the years they’ve sponsored Football clubs, Horse Racing events, Tennis squads and more. From 2016, the sportsbook has been the headline sponsor of Swedish-based eSports team Ninjas in Pyjamas.
Betway is also the Mzansi Super League Cricket Tournament’s official betting partner. Currently the event is being played around the country, and being broadcast on the national carrier’s channels. Recently the operator, which already offers eSports markets to other countries, added these events to their South African platform. Currently, SA punters can bet on 6 different tournaments; Rainbow Six, Counter Strike, League of Legends, Dota 2, Rocket League and Starcraft.
Depending on the specific game, it’s possible to put money on outright winners, who will make the first kills, the difference in the final scores, and specific proposition wagers. As eSports and Betway’s commitment to developing teams across disciplines in South Africa both continue to grow, the bookmaker should soon add more coverage, markets and SA electronic sports squads to their portfolio.
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