February 29, 2024

On Saturday, March 11, South African private school Centennial Schools held a tournament to find three of the country’s best gamers, aged 12–15, to award the country’s first-ever scholarships specifically in the field of esports.

30 children participated in the competition, competing in games including Overcooked, Minecraft, Aim Lab, and Superliminal. Thomas Williams, Jordan Harris, and Oluseeni Olusa placed in the top three, with Thomas taking home the top prize of an R300,000 scholarship to Centennial Schools, Jordan coming in second with an R200,000 scholarship, and Oluseeni getting an R150,000 scholarship.

From left to right; Oluseeni Olusa, Jordan Harris, Thomas Williams

Twelve-year-old Thomas Williams remarked after the competition, “I gave my absolute best during the competition and pushed myself to not give up. The competition was challenging, but I enjoyed every minute, and feel that I am leaving a more experienced gamer.”

After giving an outstanding performance in the final game of the competition, Minecraft, the young star said this: “My grandfather used to hide barrels from me when I was young, so perhaps that gave me a slight edge in Minecraft. I am super excited to start my scholarship at Centennial Schools.”

Shaun Fuchs founder of Centennial Schools also spoke about his dedication to the growing sport stating “Esports have become more inclusive than other sports, with boys and girls able to play on the same teams and participants coming from various social groups and demographics… Esports is incorporated into our overall approach to education as it teaches students valuable skills beyond the classroom.”

“Esports is incorporated into our re-imagined approach to education as it teaches students valuable skills beyond the classroom.” The school’s founder further stated

Centennial Schools back in 2022 opened their state-of-the-art 300m² esports arena that cost of R3 million ($188,147.01). The arena features 30 individual gaming stations, 70-inch TV screens, six Xbox motor racing stations, a spectator stand, a lounge area to relax, and backup generators during load-shedding.