Klerksdorp Midweek, Klerksdorp - Long gone are the days where school sports are limited to a physical field. North-West University (NWU) and Mind Sports SA (MSSA)’s NWU MSSA Online School League recently concluded and these are the gamers that came out on top - and took home some serious cash: Theunis van der Merwe of Hoërskool Klerksdorp won a R30 000 bursary in the individual category playing Street Fighter V. Dragon Gaming, a team of five from Monument Park High School in Cape Town won R10 000 for their games of Paladins.
PRG DOTA A, a team of five from Paul Roos Gymnasium in Paarl won R10,000 for winning the DotA 2 E-sports title.
The NWU MSSA Online School League started in 2010 with only three schools participating, but E-Sport has become so popular that the league had 60 participating schools for the 2019 event.
MSSA has also joined hands with national media partners and now offer bigger prizes than just medals and provincial colours - such as cash prizes and study bursaries awarded to the winners this year. And this is only the beginning.
E-sport has become the fastest-growing spectator sport in the world, and just like an athletic child can consider a career in rugby or one of the other team sports offered at schools, there are now similar career opportunities for children gaming their days and nights away.
According to Business Insider, South Africans earned R3,78 million playing formal E-sports in 2018. This excludes sponsorship deals.