The Global Assembly Marketing eSports (GAMeS) will be launching Africa’s first eSports Branding Summit at the annual rAge gaming expo.

While rAge takes place over three days in the beginning of October, the branding summit will be a half-day event, with the main aim being an exploration of how South African business can benefit from eSports – and possibly work together.

“Despite these impressive figures, for many, eSports remains the biggest thing most people have never heard of. The goal of the Summit will be to unpack the trends which are happening internationally as well as locally and expand brands’ horizons around the potential of eSports in an African context,” said Mlondi Mashinini, GAMeS summit programme director, in a media statement.

Mashinini explained that even though South Africa’s gaming sector is estimated to be worth R2.6 billion, players are largely an untapped market for local businesses.

“While millions of gamers across the country buy games every month and fill up local servers every night competing against their online adversaries, for the most part, they have remained a market segment which is largely unidentified nor targeted by South African business.”

Naturally, the target market for the branding summit are millennials.

“eSports provide brands with a huge opportunity to shift with this audience and connect with a passionate and digital audience that’s unduplicated against traditional media channels. The eSports Branding Summit will help brands understand and navigate this opportunity.”

If you still need convincing about the power of eSports, just have a look at the annual Dota 2 competition called The International.

SA has seen many eSports competitions and championships over the last year or so, but The International just takes the cake.

Besides for record attendance numbers, the prize pool for last year’s event was over $18 million, and the cash up for grabs at this year’s event was $2 million more.

It would be fantastic if eSports in South Africa could achieve a similar level of success and publicity.

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.