If you’re not familiar with the world of eSports, prepare to have your mind well and truly blown. Online gaming has gone mainstream and video gamers all over the world now battle against one another in huge events and tournaments. Millions of fans eagerly watch professional gamers compete in popular games, such as Arena of Valor, Fortnite, League of Legends and Call of Duty.
The numbers involved are staggering, with the market heading towards the $2 billion mark in terms of value. Top players can earn prize money in the millions of dollars and reach multi-million audiences. For example, the forthcoming Arena of Valor World Cup will offer a $10 million prize pool. Fortnite’s 2019 World Cup Final was even bigger – $30.4 million. And while you might expect these tense finals to be something viewers enjoy from the comfort of their couch, eSports tournaments are routinely held in huge arenas, attracting thousands of fans, who gasp, cheer and perch on the edges of their seats. To give you an idea of the seriousness with which eSports is being taken, the International Olympic Committee are thought to be studying their success, triggering much debate about their validity in such an event. And like all sports, eSports have their megastars, who are followed by armies of fans.
Two such celebrities joined thousands of spectators at the Pro Series Gaming (PSG) ‘Fatalis’ – a Mortal Kombat tournament held recently in Nairobi, Kenya and sponsored by Canon Central & North Africa. Sylvia Gathoni AKA ‘Queen Arrow’ found fame as the first the first woman in East Africa to be signed by a professional eSports team and was subsequently honoured by Forbes Africa in their respected ’30 Under 30’ list. With her was Brian Diang’a or ‘Brianthebeast19’, as he is known to his fans. Brian has been gaming professionally for nearly ten years and now organises tournaments around Kenya, as well as mentoring young gamers. Their role at PSG Fatalis was to keep the audience hyped as they followed the matches to their finale. They were also able to spend some time talking about their experience as pro-gamers and the kit they recommend. This included the same Canon EOS M50 Mark II camera that was used to capture and livestream the PSG Fatalis finale.