10 Countries, 5 competitions, $15,000, 1,000 Esports players, 4,000 attendees and 2million viewers. The Esports tournament that shaped the future of African gaming.
Esports in Africa are on the rise no matter where you choose to look. From the number of gamers to the growing esports economy and the increasing interest from stakeholders globally. Competitions have been held for gamers in their country of origin. With several players trying to stake their claims as undisputed champions in their respective countries. Nevertheless, there hasn’t been a tournament designed to feature these players from different countries to stake their claim as the best in Africa. Looking at the barriers, it is easy to throw in the towel and say it is understandable why it has never been done or why some think it can’t be done.
In-stepped GAMR AFRICA. On the 2nd of April, 2022 Africa’s leading esports organization made history by hosting the first edition of GamrX. After several months of planning, GamrX was finally born. An iconic tournament created to showcase the skills of African esports players. A cash prize pool of $15,000 was on the line as esports players from 10 countries converged at the Eko Convention Center in Lagos, Nigeria to compete against each other in FIFA22, Mortal Kombat 11, PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile, and Streetfighter. Before the finale in Lagos, there were several qualifying rounds held across the participating nations which included Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Benin Republic, Ghana, Kenya, Cameroon, Senegal, South Africa, Algeria, and Nigeria.
The finale was an experience like never before as Esports was fused with African pop culture. Performances from famous African artists like BNXN and Blaqbonez thrilled the crowd present at the event as well as those that were streaming it live. GamrX was an event that was crowned with great knockouts, takedowns, counterattacks, and finishes that will definitely live long in the hearts of those present. As expected, the winners of the different tournaments were from different countries with Tanzania winning the FIFA22, Cote D’ Ivoire winning the Streetfighter battle and Nigeria winning the Call of Duty battle.
Before the finale, an Industry Night was organized by Gamr to celebrate the stakeholders and key players in the African esports industry, Popular faces in the entertainment space from across Africa were also present at the event. Revered individuals like Bizzle Osikoya, Mozez Praiz, Dr Sid, Ronny Lusigi and Ivan Kibuuka.
According to the COO of Gamr Africa, Kunmi, GamrX would be held annually and there is a plan to increase the number of participating countries and players in the next edition. He said in an interview that the level of acceptance and support the brand got during the planning and course of the entire event showed how much Africans have been yearning for an Esports event of this size.
From all indications, X as it is popularly called is here to stay and that is great news for the African Esports Ecosystem.
Written by Olamide Olawale