|Gamers in action|
Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) and Dr Rosa Naudé-Potgieter from the Tshwane University Department of Tourism Management have joined hands to embark to on an exciting journey to better understand eSports within the South African context.
eSports can be described as online gaming, with organised competitions that take place up until a professional level. These online gaming platforms have been identified as a relatively new form of sport participation that expanded vastly, thanks to Covid-19, which forced people into their homes, while having unlimited network coverage. eSports has further been identified as a platform that can significantly contribute to the South African tourism industry, especially with opportunities of participants from the African market.
The industry is therefore keen to better understand the concept of eSports, its participants, motivations and travel behaviour. Understanding this form of sport will inform the industry of the potential opportunities that can be capitalized on as well as the needs of the participants. Some of the envisaged sub-research topics will include the motivation and needs of eSports players, the motivation and needs of eSports spectators and the travel behaviours and economic spending of eSports participants.
“We are truly looking forward to the results of these unique studies as it can guide the tourism industry on what improvements can be made to hopefully capture this market and reap the economic benefits” Dr Naudé-Potgieter stated. The research is registered at faculty as a none-degree purpose and rigorously went through a rigorous process to be issued an ethical clearance certificate by the university.
The initiative is also one of the Department of Tourism Management drive to have a foot print in gaming research in South in preparation of the implementation of the new Diploma Casino Resort Management qualification which involves great element of gaming.
MSSA President, Colin Webster, is equally enthusiastic about the results of this study and stated, "The results will further clarify the esports landscape which will benefit all involved whether they be sponsors, spectators, and/or athletes".