April 25, 2024

Commonwealth Esports Championships — Our Kenyan esports Contribution (Journey to Professional Esports)!

This article was originally posted on medium by Douglas Ogeto

Like my Great Friend, Business Partner & Mentor Eyram Tawia like’s to say:, “We are not just creating a company, we are building a whole new industry. Nobody has had job titles like ‘lead illustrator’ or ‘game developer’ in Ghana before. Now when I go to conferences, I meet lawyers, doctors, I say I’m a ‘game developer’ — it feels good!”

Esports fits very well into the above tagline as it’s a whole new industry out here that we’re building!

Being a professional e-athlete is something that’s quickly gaining traction!

Esports for us as a company goes way back, organising LAN parties even before Home fibre was a thing!

World Cyber Games

In 2009, My Co-Founder Nathan Masyuko (now exited) held the Kenya World Cyber Games National Finals. Nathan took a delegation of 1 player (Starcraft 2) beside himself to the Grand Finals that was held in China back then.

This was the first time Kenya sent a team to participate in an international esports tournament!

After the global tournament participation, Nathan went on to run esports events and tournaments for the next 5 years, which culminated in the Intel Gaming Challenge in 2014.

Africa Esports Championships — Kenya National Qualifiers

In 2019, We (LudiqueWorks) in partnership with Whats Good Studios, hosted the Kenya National Qualifiers event which was part of the Pan-African Africa Esports Championships that was hosted in 16+ African countries.

The event featured 3 titles: Tekken, FIFA & Street Fighter. This event broke a milestone on the continent as it was the first-ever event on the continent to create local African content that was hosted on Kenyan FTA (Free-To-Air) and the content sponsored by Kenya’s largest telco.

Commonwealth Esports Championships — Kenya National Qualifiers

The Commonwealth Esports Championship is a result of the collaboration between the Global Esports Federation and Commonwealth Games Federation.

The Commonwealth Esports Championships was sanctioned by the CGF Executive Board to be held at the same time as the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The games were held independent of the Commonwealth games and which run from the 1st to 8th of August.

The Commonwealth Esports Championships had separate branding, medals, organisation, and governance.

The championship featured participation across 3 different titles: eFootball, Rocket League and DOTA2.

Kenya National Qualifiers

Kenya was fortunate to organise qualifiers for all 3 titles (eFootball, Rocket League & DOTA2) through the able sponsorship of Liquid Intelligent Technologies.

Kenya is the only African country to have live-streamed its matches and for the first tournament of it’s kind, we saw great really encouraging number of concurrent views: Semi finals and finals for eFootball.

We had the pleasure to have Mr. Taiwo Atieno, the Commercial Director at the Kenya Premier League and former Kenya International Footballer who graced our event as the Chief Guest and motivated the audience by sharing his experience and how sports can elevate one to the next level professionally alongside Mr. Ben Roberts, Group Chief Technology & Innovation Officer at Liquid Intelligent Technologies, the event sponsor.

All titles except DOTA2 in Kenya featured both the Open & Women’s category thus allowing more inclusiveness & diversity in esports (Another Win for Kenya).

The National qualifiers was a competitive event with participants coming from several counties across the country including from as far as Kilifi county, which is over 500kms from the capital city (Nairobi).

The grand finals event for efootball brought together the top 15 men & 10 women players for the efootball title and top 6 players for the Rocket league title to compete head-to-head for a chance to grab the top spot and represent Kenya in Birmingham.

· Kenya National eFootball National Qualifiers:

· Kenya National eFootball National Grand Finals:

Elias Onchari and Mary Njogu emerged as the Kenyan winners respectively for the efootball title.

Kenya was placed in Group C for the Open Category and played against Pakistan, Maldives and Malaysia. In the eFootball Women Category, Kenya played against Pakistan and Wales.

eFootball Game Groupingshttps://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Wf2x4BoGBrjQTlej0WJCTYzZsRDqrlBbFgc1BHwTVrQ/edit#gid=380323334

The second title: “Rocket League,” saw Kenya lined up in the regional qualifiers competing against Malawi, Ghana, South Africa.

Kenya emerged Top 2 after South Africa to represent the continent on a global level stage.

Kenya Rocket League Regionals Qualifiers

Rocket League Groupings:

Ryan Mudibo, Victor Allen & Abdulfattah Mohsen represented Kenya in the Open category while Yvonne Meta, Caroline Kwinga & Abbielily Lulu represented Kenya in the Women’s category. The substitutes are Samuel Mathagu and Michelle Khamala respectively.

The third title: “DOTA2,” saw Kenya lined up in the national and regional qualifiers competing against Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa. Kenya emerged Top 2 after conceding to South Africa. Unfortunately, Africa only had one slot for DOTA2 to proceed to Birmingham — thus Kenya missed out.

Building Coaching Talent

Coaching Talent is also paramount for the growth of the local esports tournament. With the able support of passionate and well-versed coaches: James Karanu (Tribe Simba) and Nick Kanungi (Alpha Esports)

Promoting Diversity

If you’re a Brand, Investor, Publisher or Interested party in esports, feel free to reach out to the author’s organisation via their esports partner, Africa Esports Championship to explore partnership & collaboration opportunities: [email protected]

LudiqueWorks is a Pan-African video game publishing and video game development company based out of Africa. With a network of 150+ studios in 30 countries across Africa.

LudiqueWorks invests in nascent video game development studios on the continent through training and funding, as well as building a growing video gaming community through the Africa Game Developers network.

For more information, Follow them: TwitterFacebook & reach them via email on: [email protected]