April 21, 2024

MSSA and Tshwane University Join Forces for Groundbreaking Research


The world of esports is exploding, and South Africa is no exception. With online gaming competitions gaining popularity, Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) has teamed up with Dr. Rosa Naudé-Potgieter from Tshwane University‘s Department of Tourism Management to explore the world of esports within the South African context.

Esports is the latest buzzword in the world of sports, and it’s not hard to see why. With the rise of COVID-19, more and more people have been forced to stay at home, and online gaming competitions have filled the void. The industry has been identified as a potential contributor to the South African tourism industry, especially with opportunities for participants from the African market.

The partnership aims to get a better understanding of esports, including the motivations and needs of its players and spectators, as well as the travel behaviours and economic spending patterns of participants. By gaining a deeper understanding of this form of sport, the industry hopes to identify potential opportunities that can be capitalised on, as well as the needs of the participants.

Dr. Naudé-Potgieter is excited about the potential results of this research and stated, “We are truly looking forward to the results of these unique studies as it can guide the tourism industry on what improvements can be made to hopefully capture this market and reap the economic benefits.” The research has been registered at the faculty as a non-degree purpose and has been issued an ethical clearance certificate by the university.

Dr. Naudé-Potgieter revealed insights on collaborative research, highlighting the potential of esports as a game-changing platform to boost South African tourism, particularly for African market participants.

Dr Rosa Naudé-Potgieter, Lecturer at the Tshwane University of Technology’s Department of Tourism Management.

According to the Tshwane University lecturer, while tourism destinations are well-versed in hosting visitors for traditional sporting events, esports presents an entirely different world. Combining the competitive nature of sports with entertainment, hosting esports events requires a unique set of skills. To successfully organize esports events, tourism destinations must understand the basics of navigating the esports ecosystem and know where to start. If your city seeks to host esports events, learning these particularities is essential.

“Although esports have roots based on digital consumption, their transfer from virtual space to physical space occurs more frequently through the celebration of increasingly crowded competitive events with greater international repercussions. As such, it is imperative that, as an industry, we better grasp, through research, the concept of eSports, its participants, motivations, and travel behaviour,” said Dr Naudé-Potgieter.

The partnership is part of the Tshwane University Department of Tourism Management’s drive to establish a foothold in gaming research in South Africa. With the implementation of the new Diploma in Casino Resort Management qualification, the department is preparing to take advantage of the potential economic benefits of the gaming industry.

MSSA President, Colin Webster, is equally excited about the study, stating, “The results will further clarify the esports landscape which will benefit all involved whether they be sponsors, spectators, and/or athletes.” With the potential economic benefits that esports can bring to South Africa, this partnership marks an important step towards exploring and understanding this emerging market.

In conclusion, the partnership between MSSA and Tshwane University’s Department of Tourism Management is an exciting development for the world of esports in South Africa. As the industry continues to grow, it’s essential to understand the motivations and needs of its participants and spectators to identify potential opportunities and capitalise on them. With this partnership, South Africa is well on its way to exploring and reaping the benefits of the esports industry.