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Hello friends! I think it’s time we had a heart-to-heart discussion about South African video game streaming and why you aren’t helping.

That was sort of blunt, wasn’t it? Believe it or not though, I’m actually trying to help you… and me… and local eSports teams… and local organisers… and, well, everyone.

The thing is, I get it. Let’s be realistic here: why would you want to watch South African gaming streams on Twitch when you could watch Evil Geniuses versus Secret in a grudge match worth $100,000? Huge spectacles like The International make for amazing viewing, and more and more couch potatoes are turning into Twitch chat spammers.

Twitch has some staggering numbers attached to it. Did you know that in 2015, people spent 241,441,823,059 minutes watching gaming streams? That’s 460 years! With 550,000 concurrent viewers on average, the average person spends more time watching Twitch than they do watching YouTube. Yay stats!

eSports make up a significant portion of this and it’s growing steadily every year. In time, we can expect titles such as Dota 2, League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to compete with the likes of cricket and rugby insofar as fame and finances go at least. Perhaps the thought of a Chelsea League of Legends Club isn’t too ridiculous a dream either.

Local talent is also growing alongside the international circuit. We have teams that have attended international events, shoutcasters and statisticians who are now finding their way into the likes of the Dota 2 International, an event with an $18 million prize pool in 2015.

Local events have also exploded. Long gone are the days when you attended a LAN with four buddies in the hopes of winning your share of whopping prize pools of R100 a person and a burger voucher. Recently the Gamer’s Fest event, sponsored by Vodacom, had a prize pool upwards of R150,000. Think of all the burgers you could buy with that! At least three… made personally by Gordon Ramsay.

Sounds good right? It could be so much better.

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One of the major shortcomings of South African gaming, is you. “Hey man, that’s not cool, don’t blame me you jerk!”

Fine, fine, it’s not entirely you. It’s me too, but I figured these rude words would keep you interested.

South Africa’s major issue right now is stream viewers. It’s completely common for a local CS:GO or Dota 2 match featuring the top two teams in the country, playing for a considerable prize pool in the region of R100,000, to have a mere 100 viewers. In Dota 2, often those viewers aren’t even logged since they watch via the in-game client and not on Twitch or Hitbox. Now, here’s a scary thought… at the time of writing this, there are likely around 200,000 South Africans who watch Twitch. Realistically, if just 5% of those individuals supported local streams, South African eSports would skyrocket.

Sponsors and organisers often use Twitch numbers (among many other things) to justify the tournament prize pools. Money has to come from somewhere, and for the die-hard supporters of SA eSports who are making this happen, it would be so much easier to report back with 10,000 viewers for a final, than the 100 or so we get at the moment.

So, remember the statement I made at the top of this page: “I’m actually trying to help you… and me… and local eSports teams… and local organisers… and, well, everyone.”

How does this help you? Well, those international teams you love, those players who inspire you… imagine meeting them! The reality is, who wouldn’t want to come to South Africa – one of the most beautiful countries in the world – and play a competitive game at Green Point Stadium or the TicketPro Dome? Who knows, you could be the person giving that international player a hard-luck pat on the back after losing to some of our local talent. <‘;…;’>

Be the difference. Subscribe and support. Check out these streams:

www.twitch.tv/team/dgl

www.twitch.tv/team/navtv

www.hitbox.tv/nAvTV-Dota/team

www.hitbox.tv/nAvTV-CS/team

www.twitch.tv/orenaza

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