Esports gets financial support from MTC for the next three years
Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) has entered into a funding alliance with the Namibian Electronic Sports Association (NESA) to fund NESA over the next three years to the tune of N$1,500,000 per year. The coalition is effective from 1 June 2022 until June 2025.
With a valuation of at just over 1.08 billion U.S. dollars in 2021 and forecasted to grow to as much as 1.62 billion U.S. dollars in 2024, Electronic Sports is a growing phenomenon, globally but remains largely untapped on the continent.
Although e-sports has seen dramatic growth in Namibia over the past 14 years, the progress has been albeit slow.
Granted federation status by the Namibia Sports Commission in 2010 – (NESA) has been at the forefront of advocating to make esports a legitimate sport in the country and continuously hosts various tournaments and events.
Announcing the funding agreement, MTC’s Chief Human Capital, Corporate Affairs and Marketing Officer Tim Ekandjo explained that “stable and affordable internet access is key to the gaming industry, and there is no excuse why this should continue to be an obstacle. MTC is committed to supporting NESA and the gaming fraternity and establishing esports as a valid sport code in Namibia.”
According to Ekandjo “This collaboration will help MTC engage with digital natives, create meaningful experiences, win lifelong customers and advocates.
While it will allow NESA to be more inclusive to all Namibians and make esports more attractive by providing support and substantial incentives to participants as competitive gaming takes hold, he pointed out. The growing mobile penetration in the African region accelerated in 2019 when during the year, over 270 million Sub-Saharan Africans started using mobile phones. This and the ever-improving infrastructure and affordable internet access are key drivers that promote the gaming industry.
“The gaming industry is expected to register a CAGR of 12% between 2021 – 2026. The Covid-19 pandemic had a positive effect on the African Gaming Market. The pandemic led to mandated stay-at-home orders, which resulted in the customers spending more time and money on various games and gaming consoles, which led to the growth of the commercial segment of the gaming market.
With MTC set to launch more gaming solutions soon, the partnership with NESA is befitting because it means that gaming will become more affordable and mainstream in the coming years,” he added.
“Starting in April, we kicked off the national qualifiers for six games selected by the IESF (International Esports Federation) for this year’s World Esports Championship, which are CS: GO, Tekken 7, eFootball 2022, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, DotA2 and PUBG Mobile,” said NESA President, Flip de Bruyn enthused.
“Therefore, this collaboration could not have come any sooner as the preparations for the 2022 World Esports Championship, slated for November to December this year in Bali, are ongoing,” added De Bruyn.
The 2022 World Esports Championship for the first time in its history has also included a women’s only category for the CS: GO, concluded de Bruyn.