What are Esports Athletes?

By: Patrick Wendo
Date: 2020-06-23

Right off the bat, let me say that the word athlete originates from ancient Greece and in its original form, referred to a person competing for a prize. Therefore, eSports players competing to win a prize do qualify as athletes. The market for eSport athletes has grown in tandem with eSports as a whole. The athletes play solo or within a team depending on the game. Furthermore, they play one specific game or multiple games in one specific game genre. For instance, Dominique McLean, alias Sonic Fox, competes in multiple fighting games like Injustice: Gods among us and the Mortal Kombat Series. The eSports market is wildly profitable with some athletes earning upwards of 3 million USD and the teams earning up to 24 million USD.

Each eSports title tends to have its own league with its select athletes. Within East Africa, the game Call of Duty has a couple of teams that participate in the sport. At last year’s PSG elite tournament held at NAICCON, The Watchmen eSports team(Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1jEkCyBwuR/ ) took the trophy. The team consists of the following athletes: Hirsi Ali, Tej,  Shahim Ali, Fahad Vayani, and Suhail Woods. Aside from them we also have Meta KE, Tex Clan, and Toxic, all teams who also participated in the aforementioned tournament.  

Call of Duty Athletes in Kenya

The fighting game league is also vibrant within the region with games like Tekken and Mortal Kombat being played. Tekken especially has a lot of players to its name. Most noticeable are DVK, PR1EST, XiTQueenArrow, Frost, Shoryuken, Stanley Styler, and AP|Mickey. All of whom took part in last year’s televised Africa eSports Championship.  Mortal Kombat has players like Aryba Stacks (reigning champion of Mortal Kombat), MOM| Kamsville, and Bilal Mwiti as their stellar athletes.

On the FIFA side, we have a number of athletes who stand out, specifically, with the recently concluded season of the PSG FIFA FAN FEST, we had a lot of names put up on the board like MoM_Mauwano, Azbak, the current FFF champion and his adversary Collins Oyindo. We also have Aziz, the 2015 FIFA world champion.

      

FIFA FAN FEST Pool 1 and 2 winners: MoM_Mauwano and Abzak

It should be noted that eSports athletes devote a lot of time into their craft. In a 2019 interview with a member of the Watchmen Call of Duty team, they said that they would spend up to 8 hours a day practicing in preparation for the PSG Elite tournament. It then comes as no surprise that they won that tournament. Care to try your luck at a career in eSports? Well, participate in our multiple tournaments. Check out our social media to be informed about the latest tournament.