They came they saw and they conquered. Zambia’s 2 most prominent Mortal Kombat XL eSports players Mr5000 and Zaza of eSports Team Gematrix got 1st place and 3rd place respectively taking home the coveted Championship trophy and a combined Ksh600,000 ($6,000) in prize money back to their hometown. The tournament held in Nairobi, Kenya at the Prestige Plaza Cinema is touted as the largest eSports tournament in Central Africa.
PSG held the tournament hosting esports players coming from Zambia, Kenya, Uganda and Malawi. They had qualifiers from 9AM Kenyan time(6PM GMT) that Saturday 7th April and the Finals for the Top 8 players began at around 2PM Kenyan time(11AM GMT). This is the first esports tournament PSG has had this year to date and the second esports tournament since its inception. PSG has been well known for its high quality experience and it made sure it delivered just that. The tournament was the most talked about Mortal Kombat XL event in Africa o news and social media even until people in the US and Europe were talking about it.
This is so fucking awesome to see.
A 1,000,000 Kenyan Shilling MKXL tournament next weekend in Africa – equates to almost 10K US Dollars. Glad to see additional areas keeping competitive MKXL alive!!! ?????? https://t.co/SGuWpcEfwe
— A.D. (@ADsolo3) March 27, 2018
Justin Banda aka Mr5000 arose from the land of Zambia, winning 1st place and crowned Mortal Kombat XL Champion, scooped the trophy and his prize winnings of Ksh500,000 ($5,000) and his compatriot Zaza got 3rd place taking home Ksh100,000($1,000). In 2nd place was the adamant High Priest of Kenya, William Omondi aka Priest who has been known to be a pro Tekken 7 player transcending into the Mortal Kombat XL Championship unexpectedly jumping all the way to win Ksh200,000($2,000). In 4th place is the feared Aryba Stacks who also happens to be a pro player of Injustice 2 and FIFA, who took home Ksh50,000. From Uganda, in 5th place was Gambit who also took Ksh50,000 and in 6th place, Kenyan veteran pro player Karach the Beast, also another Injustice 2 and Tekken 7 pro, took home Ksh20,000 together with his Kenyan compatriots, Adam McCloude aka Big Teeteez and Baraza aka Jay25Flow. Just to point out. Mr5000 went unbeaten in the whole tournament of 39 players.
The event was streamed on their YouTube channel, facebook, twitch and was also on Kwese TV Channel 350. The publicity on the event was sensational as it went viral all round people wondering whrther the Ksh1 million($10,000) prize pool was true. According to the Lusaka Times:
“Liquid Telecom Kenya participated by delivering free ‘gamer-quality’ internet connection, as part of its 5-year initiative to boost Africa’s gaming industry, under which the group is running and supporting launch pads, forums and training sessions continent-wide for game developers. In addition, Liquid Telecom Kenya had also provided free 250Mbps internet to support gaming and streaming from the East Africa Gaming Convention (EAGC), where a host of new African games were launched.”
“Gaming is emerging as an industry in Kenya and East Africa, now delivering growth of 25% a year or more, with African games and gamers moving into the global arena and the industry delivering globally over $100 billion of sales a year,” said Ben Roberts, Chairman of Liquid Telecom Kenya and Group Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for Liquid Telecom.
The Lusaka Times went on to add that:
“In Kenya, last year, gaming sales amounted to Sh2.7bn ($27m), placing the country among the top new gaming nations in Africa, behind the Sh19.3bn ($193m) Egyptian games industry, Sh17.3bn ($173m) Nigerian games industry, and Sh11.8bn ($183m) South African industry. Sudan has, likewise, made it into the region’s fastest growing gaming markets, with gaming sales in 2017 of Sh1.8bn ($18m), according to global research company Statista.”
The commentators finished off with a big announcement that the next event will be a FIFA online based event. This meant that it will be an FIFA Ultimate Team event based on seeded players applied based on certain criteria. This being just a tip of the iceberg of what PSG has in store for us this year just tells how esports and gaming has grown in Kenya and Africa. We are expecting more to come as we prepare for the upcoming events. Stay tuned.
You can catch the highlights on their livestream here.