07 June 2021

University Sports South Africa (USSA) officially included eSport within its structure almost two years ago. It has since grown from strength to strength as more and more universities join and start to recognise eSport as a bona fide sporting code.

Simply put, eSports is competitive level gaming. Players participate in computer games against each other and are given a chance to compete from anywhere in the world. With sport changing and evolving due to the Covid-19 pandemic, eSport has been able to take a front seat.

UMP Sports and Recreation officer, Aggrey Mokoena, says eSports will also afford students who are not comfortable to physically participate in sports a chance to take part.

“Students are already involved in eSports; they are always playing games on their laptops or chess on their phones to blow off steam. This form of sport is giving them a platform to participate in formal competitions. We want to ensure that students participate in sports and recreation activities even the ones that do not want to be on the field.”

Mokoena adds: “USSA eSports will be using FIFA 2020 as a way of ensuring universities are able to compete, it is also one of the most popular and most played games. Since we are in the process of introducing eSports, it only makes sense to align ourselves with what is being done for 2021 through the USSA office. FIFA 2020 is a football game, and it can be played by anyone, it has different difficulty levels, which ensures that everyone is catered for.”

“After the first uptake, we will add more games and variety in the games, from sports, strategy games and first-time shooter games. We will also be introducing chess on an online platform using Lichess to ensure that students don’t only play chess physically on campus with other students but can also play with other users worldwide,” he adds.

“We have seen some individuals that have made a career from eSports and this is an opportunity for our students to utilise and have another income stream after they graduate. “

The University of Mpumalanga is pleased that students will be able to play at a recreational level; they will be able to play against fellow students at the campuses or even other people worldwide.

“USSA has planned for an eSports tournament this year and it be open for all students. This will ensure that students are not limited to participation. They only need to be confirmed registered students. We will also have our own campus and inter campus tournaments as the year progresses.”

Mokoena explains that eSports is played via different platforms, some of these include: Console (PlayStation), Personal Computer (PC) Games, you can use a laptop or desktop PC and also mobile phones,” he says.

@ Story by Cleopatra Makhaga. Pictures supplied.