Last weekend I was gaming with a couple of my friends, blowing off steam as is the norm. These guys play FIFA religiously and compared to them, I am the stellar definition of a noob. At some point, I asked them why they never play for professional tournaments, and their response oscillated around the fact that ‘The tournaments are not available in Kenya’. At first, I thought they were joking but turns out, they were dead serious. They actually didn’t believe that Kenya had gaming tournaments. So I had to stop all the gaming and tell the boys to go on Instagram and look up Tric Gaming. Their face, when they saw that Tric is planning a FIFA pro-league in August, was very meme-worthy. Turns out Kenya actually do hold tournaments for games and it does have a very vibrant gaming community, but why don’t people know about the community?
2018 PSG MK Tournament 3rd place Zaza, Winner Mr.5000 and 2nd Pr1est
First of all, most gamers who want to compete think about competing against international pro players like SonicFox for MK lovers like me. This probably stems from the fact that when you go online and look for tournaments, you will find the tournaments are almost never in the continent, let alone the country. I remember when I first discovered there was a pro-Mortal Kombat circuit; all I wanted to do was get a ticket to the States and challenge SonicFox, instead of hunkering down and deciding to challenge Pr1est (MK Champion Kenya), simply because there is a lot online/ about SonicFox as compared to Pr1est. The truth of the matter, however, is that to be any sort of pro gamer, you have to start at the home tournaments. That means, when Pro Series Gaming (PSG) Kenya throws an all-nighter LAN party you go, or when Masters of Mayhem (MoM) and Africa Esports Championships (AEC) hold tournaments at K1, be present.
PSG FEB LAN Party 2019 MoM at AEC 2019
FIFA Wild Card Tournament at AEC
This, however, doesn’t mean you need to go to all gaming competitions. It’s the 21st century where the internet has made it possible to game and challenge people online. According to VoiD clan Captain, Apollo Musibi,
“...some of the things which can be beneficial to the esports scene in Kenya is to hold more online tournaments. I say this because; you find that some of these gaming organizations hold tournaments in some areas such as K1 or in other places. It's is a good idea, yes, but I’d like to see more online tournaments coming up for different games like FIFA, Fortnite, Apex, Call of Duty, etc… where people can compete from the comfort of their homes, their preferable setups… You know, like Friday Fortnite”
I cannot help but agree with Apollo. Especially now that most games are cross-platform and internet speeds are increasing every day, which means that we should be able to hold proper online tournaments and strengthen the community further. The VoiD clan focus mostly on Fortnite but also have a select number of gamers who play FIFA, Apex, and Call of Duty.
The plus side of all this is that we are without a doubt getting better. Musty, the captain of Mean Mechanic (a Kenyan eSports gaming team that focuses on FIFA), says that,
“We have a lot of potential. Guys, especially in FIFA should be more serious and create good teams and play in the WL to get a chance to take a couple of us to the international tournaments. If South Africans can, so can we. eSports will be a big thing in Kenya in the near future”
So what do you think we can do better to strengthen the community in Kenya?