Africa needs more time for esports to truly take off

The esports vertical could very well be the next evolution of sports betting, but how will that affect Africa? The SBC Digital Summit Africa confronted that question in a panel, and looked at how the coronavirus pandemic forced the industry to explore new sectors, with esports coming out a big winner.

While the impact of esports is yet to be fully absorbed in the African betting industry, the panel took some time to explore the growing popularity of esports in Africa. Managing Director of Paradise Games, Sidick Bakayoko, believes the industry in Africa is going through an evolution right now:

“There are going to be a lot of changes in the way people can view video games and the way they can view regular entertainment. I think it’s going to have a positive impact on our industry, which is video gaming, as a whole. I think betting is going to benefit from the new trends.

“For esports betting to explode in Africa you have to have the population and I think we have the numbers, and you have a population that’s growing, and you have a middle-class population that’s growing. I can see a real big parallel between what you can see in Europe or the US. What you can see here is just that it’s going to take a little bit more time, just like seeing the movie industry more than 15 years ago, which is now starting to work very well,” he added.

Kwesi Hayford, Ghana Esports Association’s president, believes there’s a strong appetite for esports being across Africa. 

“We have known betting in gaming at grassroots, but we didn’t even refer to it as betting. It was between the gamers themselves. It’s called ‘loser pay and winner stay’ and when you go to the small game centres in Ghana, it is there. it is their form of betting, people bet on two players playing. They could bet and put money together and say ‘the winner who’s able to stay and play and the matches take the money. The elemental of betting has been within the ecosystem in Africa.”

Also covered at the SBC Digital Summit Africa was a discussion of how Africa needs to be wise in how it treats its VIP segment. Stay tuned to for the biggest stories from the event, and don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel so you don’t miss any interviews from the conference.