Esports in South Africa sometimes appears to be an under-explored arena, with a general lack of education and understanding as to what it actually is, even though it’s grown prodigiously in other parts of the world. A good example is the rise of Dota 2’s The International, which is now vying to be one of the most lucrative sporting competitions across any code on the planet.
Although there are myriad reasons for this, some of the major issues stem from simple miscommunication, a lack of infrastructure, and a basic misunderstanding of what exactly esports is. The somewhat stunted growth of this market locally has done little to inspire confidence in investors. While a few highly professional local events and tournaments have paved the way for a bigger esports environment in SA, we’re not quite there yet.
Enter Bravado Gaming and NAG
This year’s rAge will see Bravado Gaming and NAG stepping up to the proverbial plate, ready to pitch their ideas on unifying this phenomenon for South Africans, so that a central point of communication and awareness may one day be achieved.
In a joint collaboration, NAG and Bravado Gaming will be running an esports activation at rAge, with three days of scheduled talks that’ll be open to anyone and everyone to attend.
“As an individual who has worked with some of the best esports athletes, brands and businesses on this continent, I’m happy that we’ll be working side-by-side with NAG to establish and perform a three-day activation that will be aimed at creating awareness in a variety of gaming and ecosystem topics. We want to ensure that we can push out different messages from different angles in order to answer a lot of unanswered questions. We want to build an interactive environment that will allow people not to just see, but to listen and experience,” comments CEO of Bravado Gaming, Andreas Hadjipaschali.
“I’m very happy to announce the NAG partnership with Bravado. We’ve seen these guys and girls grow from participating in the very first Counter-Strike tournament that was hosted at rAge by Arena 77 many, many years ago, to become one of the top teams in South Africa and beyond. Who better to guide and teach a new generation of esports professionals? I’m excited to see what comes of this initiative,” says Michael James, Senior Project Manager, rAge expo.
The fun starts here
The format of these activities will be from an educational and informative aspect, and will include 20-minute talks on different subjects like the business behind running an esports team, the benefits of becoming a pro-gamer, team dynamics, accessing sponsors, and more.
During the breaks, visitors will have the chance to jump on the Alienware PCs and monitors (and if you know anything about Alienware hardware, this should turn your legs to jelly), as well as pick the brains of the pros to take their first steps toward bringing their bravado.
“Bringing Your Bravado” is about more than the simple whittling away of hours behind a screen. It’s about learning a new culture and adapting to its rules. It’s about educating people about a platform that the modern world is fast embracing. It’s about being the best you can be in a new world.
Hadjipaschali adds: “I believe that general social and competitive gaming is understated in our country. The problem isn’t the market, it’s the collectivity of the market and the way this information is portrayed. Together with NAG, we’re going to work on this initiative in which social and competitive gamers, semi-professionals, esports athletes and tech enthusiasts will understand the message in clear light on how to further whatever bravado they want to achieve.”
Notre Dame, Scoop Makhathini, GoT, top week in search
From fire disaster to social media disaster, the top Google searches this week covered a wide gamut of themes.
Paris and the whole world looked on in shock as the 856-year-old medieval Catholic cathedral crumbled into ash. The tragic infernal destruction of this tourist attraction of historical and religious significance led South Africans to generate more than 200 000 search queries for “Notre Dame Cathedral” on Monday. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire that razed the architectural icon.
In other top trending searches on Google this week, radio presenter Siyabonga Ngwekazi, AKA Scoop Makhathini, went viral when it appeared he had taken to Twitter to expose his girlfriend, Akhona Carpede, for cheating on him. Scoop has since come out to say that he was not responsible for the bitter rant and that his account was hacked. “Scoop Makhathini” generated more than 20 000 search queries on Wednesday.
Fans generated more than 20 000 search queries for “Sam Smith” on Tuesday ahead of the the British superstar’s Cape Town performance at the Grand West Casino. Smith ended up cutting his performance short that night due to vocal strain.
Local Game of Thrones superfans were beside themselves on Sunday, searching the internet high and low for the first episode of the American fantasy drama’s eighth season. “Game of Thrones, season 8, episode 1” generated more than 100 000 queries on Google Search on the weekend.
As the festivities kicked off in California with headliners such as Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande, South Africans generated more than 2 000 search queries for “Coachella” on Saturday.
South Africans generated more than 5 000 search queries for “Wendy Williams” on Friday as it emerged that the American talk show host had filed for divorce from her husband Kevin Hunter after 21 years of marriage. Hunter has long been rumored to have been cheating on Williams, which reportedly finally led to the divorce.
Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40
5G smartphones to hit 5M sales in 2019
According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Early 5G smartphone models will be expensive and available in limited volumes. Samsung, LG and Huawei will be the early 5G smartphone leaders this year, followed by Apple next year.
Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “We forecast global 5G smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Less than 1 percent of all smartphones shipped worldwide will be 5G-enabled this year. Global 5G smartphone shipments are tiny for now, due to expensive device pricing, component bottlenecks, and restricted availability of active 5G networks.”
Ville Petteri-Ukonaho, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Samsung will be the early 5G smartphone leader in the first half of 2019, due to initial launches across South Korea and the United States. We predict LG, Huawei, Xiaomi, Motorola and others will follow later in the year, followed by Apple iPhone with its first 5G model during the second half of 2020. The iPhone looks set to be at least a year behind Samsung in the 5G smartphone race and Apple must be careful not to fall too far behind.”
Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The short-term outlook for 5G smartphones is weak, but the long-term opportunity remains huge. We forecast 1 billion 5G smartphones to ship worldwide per year by 2025. The introduction of 5G networks, by carriers like Verizon or China Mobile, opens up high-speed, ultra-low-latency services such as 8K video, streaming games, and augmented reality for business. The next big question for the mobile industry is how much extra consumers are really willing to pay, if anything, for those emerging 5G smartphones and services.”
Strategy Analytics provides a snapshot analyses for the outlook for 5G smartphone market in this Insight report: 5G Smartphones : From Zero to a Billion
Strategy Analytics provides a deep-dive into the air-interface technologies that will power phones through 2024 across 88 countries here: Global Handset Sales Forecast by 88 Countries and 19 Technologies : 2003 to 2024