Abidjan was, on November 11 – 12, 2017, the host to the first eSport event in Africa where 256 gamers gathered to compete over 2 days for cash prizes amounting to 8.5 million FCFA (13,000 Euros) at the Palais de la Culture. Street Fighter V, Naruto and FIFA attracted video game players from 5 African countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, and Burkina Faso.
Sidick Bakayoko, the event organiser and MD of Paradise Game stated: “This is the first time in Africa that gamers from African countries come together to compete on such a large scale. Beyond the show and the prizes, our objective was to establish a platform to emulate and also connect the industry players. Africa counts for only 1% of a 100 billion dollar industry so the opportunity is real. We want to make this event an annual meeting”.
The competition was commented by Abdoulaye Sarr and streamed live on twitch, Facebook and RTI mobile, the national TV web app. Close to 30 000 people watched the event online with a peak of 8000 simultaneous viewers during the finals.
Beyond the tournaments, thousands of visitors enjoyed a full range of exhibitions ranging from virtual reality games to speeches showcasing game developers and scriptwriters as well a dedicated gaming kids zone for the little ones. Emmanuel Yao from Ubisoft Singapore provided the audience with a full overview of the myriad of job opportunities that the gaming industry can provide.
Allou Morell dominated the FIFA tournament, Fan Henok won at Naruto and Gilchrist Boka succeeded on Street Fighter V. Two of them were rewarded with a seat to play at the international competition: the Africa Game show held in Morocco on Saturday November 18, 2017. This opportunity was offered by Orange, the official sponsor of FEJA.