ESL has partnered with Kwesé Sports, Econet Media’s premium sports content platform, to bring a R2-million professional esports competition to the African continent. The ESL African Championship will welcome the top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams from South Africa, and top Hearthstone players from all regions, to battle for a total prize pool of US$150,000. ESL and Kwesé also plan to expand the CS:GO competition to include northern regions in the future.
The first series of the ESL African Championship will run from April to June. The Hearthstone qualifiers kicked off on April 15, and were followed by the CS:GO qualifiers on April 23. The second series will be held from July to October. The grand finals will take place at the annual rAge (really Awesome gaming expo) at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, where the top four CS:GO teams and the top four Hearthstone players will be in action.
“Kwesé is incredibly proud to partner with the ESL to introduce such an exciting tournament to the African continent,” said Joseph Hundah, President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Econet Media. “We know esports are growing in popularity on the continent so it’s important for us put esports on the map, and make it accessible for participants and viewers through initiatives such as these. We pride ourselves in being innovative in our approach to entertainment, and have a keen interest in making non-conventional sports and entertainment formats available on our platforms.”
“We are excited to bring the ESL African Championship to the local esports community,” said Malte Barth, Executive Board Member at ESL. “By giving gamers the opportunity to compete at the leading global leagues and tournaments, we help them pave their way to create legendary moments within the ESL esports universe. Together with our partner Kwesé, we are committed to making the ESL African Championship a great success!”