Following the news that South Africa’s Overwatch team had bombed out the European qualifiers without winning a game, we thought it was time to take a serious look at eSports in South Africa.
There are a number of reasons why our eSports teams may not be performing up to an international standard.
We asked nAvTV’s De Wet Lombard-Bovey about where South African teams go wrong on the international stage and how we can fix it.
Firstly, Lombard-Bovey believes one of South Africa’s biggest issues is geography.
“South America has got a connection to North America directly,” said Lombard-Bovey.
“Australia connects to the South East Asia scene, and South Africa, well we have to connect to either EU or NA, which puts us at the furthest reaches.”
“The reason why this is one of the biggest reasons in my opinion is that the only way to get better as a team, is to play against better teams and learn from your mistakes.”
But because of natural latency, South African teams are already at a disadvantage, which changes your entire game style, said Lombard-Bovey.
“We have been getting better each year, but I feel until we have either international leagues here in SA, or our teams can play in more international tournaments (either with SA qualifiers or LAN events), this will continue to be the case.”
The other big issue is personnel.
“People don’t take into account that our players are students and players with full time jobs.”
“Where with the international scene (top teams) play for a living. Which means more practice time, and more incentive.”
So what can we do to improve this?
“The scene is growing faster than anyone would have thought,” said Lombard-Bovey. “The teams are actually chasing each other pushing each other and also spending more time practicing”.
“At the moment, without international events here or more tournaments that have African qualifiers, this is all we can do.”
There is of course a much more obvious answer – getting sponsors involved to sponsor teams to play full time.
“I think if we can get that done, then that is a completely different story.”