The absence of any African representation in the CPT’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) leg struck me. This fosters the false perception that there is no esports scene in Africa, which is untrue. Understandably, not everyone agrees.
However, when it comes to Africa, a lot of the world seems to think we’re one country, so knowledge of individual countries’ esports scenes is limited.
As a Nigerian, I am especially curious in how the world perceives my FGC scene. Also, to keep everyone updated on what’s going on in that region of the globe, I decided to go check out the situation.
The Nigerian FGC
So, how is Nigeria’s fighting game scene now? ‘Disjointed,’ said Samuel Keri, a tournament organizer in Abuja, Nigeria.
Small-medium entities are organizing tournaments and attempting to build a community, but they are unable to do so for many reasons. Players and tournament organizers eager to help elevate the medium in Nigeria abound. I got to talk to Samuel Keri of Adeiza Gaming and Uzoma Odinu of Goodway Gaming. They claim that although the Nigerian scene is not at its best right now, there are indications of improvement.
Goodway Gaming was founded last year, although Uzo has been hosting events since 2011 with his ‘Shaolin Rambat’ competition. Since then, more people have joined the competitions, and his effort has been recognized. Similarly, Adeiza Gaming has seen a substantial increase in tournament attendance, with regular events attracting over 30 individuals. These figures are even more amazing when you consider how new esports is in Nigeria.
This growth has also occurred despite numerous obstacles faced by TOs and gamers in the country, such as poor internet service, epileptic power, and lack of support.
The Nigerian FGC’s main issues
While there is plenty to be pleased about in Nigeria, there are also substantial difficulties that the community must overcome in order to achieve competitiveness. You must realize that Nigeria is a conservative culture. To cease being demonized by the police and murdered just for being different, the #EndSars campaign was launched. Because law enforcement doesn’t seem to comprehend how the world is evolving, vocations like coding and content production are considered illegal.
A society that refuses to progress scorns people with tattoos or braided hairstyles. In addition, Nigerian parents do not grasp the notion of playing video games for money.
There’s still hope.
The issues listed above are not insurmountable, and some steps are being taken to improve esports in Nigeria. For example, favorable media coverage is still an issue, although there is some good news as esports is getting some attention. The esports sector is worth over a billion dollars, and the Nigerian government is aware. This implies delivering help to stakeholders is less difficult. Educated parents allow their kids play video games and look for a suitable niche.
Also, Ernesto Lopez’ recent interview with Uzoma of Goodway Gaming drew worldwide FGC attention to the Nigerian scene. Since then, Uzoma has arranged a tournament called Batallas De Redençion (15th November 2020), for which he received financing from FGC members worldwide.