Coast-based gamers to compete for Kshs100,000 prize pool in BLAZE contest




BLAZE by Safaricom has hosted the fifth BLAZE Be Your Own Boss Summit of the year at Pwani University in Kilifi County.

The summit comes shortly after the launch of the BLAZE E-Sports Tournament, which gives opportunity to Kenyan youth aged between18 and 26 years who would like to take up gaming as a career to engage and learn from various professional gamers.

(TOP: Rebecca Wambui, Center, Receives a dummy cheque Kshs 10,000. This was after participating in E-Sport gaming tournament held at Pwani University in Kilifi. Awarding her are Paula Kerre, Senior Officer Blaze Segment, – right – and Brian Diang’a “Beast” – left).

“As has been our mission since we launched BLAZE in 2016, the fourth edition of BLAZE Be Your Own Boss (BYOB) continues to empower Kenyan youth by providing access to a platform that allows them to connect, learn and showcase their talents,” said Michael Joseph, Safaricom CEO.

The regional engagement will culminate in a creation camp in Mombasa between August 28 – 30. 2019 where entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to pitch their business ideas, with 24 entrepreneurs, broken down into the top 3 in 8 categories, sharing Kshs 800,000 in business support. The creation camp will be followed by the Coast regional finals of the BLAZE e-sports tournament on August 31, 2029. Both events will happen at the Kenya School of Government in Mombasa.

The e-sports tournament consist of FIFA 19 and Tekken 7 knockouts running on Play Station 4 and is broken down into 10 grassroots knockouts and 5 regional finals. The tournament targets both casual and avid gamers across the country with a Kshs 100,000 prize pool up for grabs in each region. Regional winners take home Kshs 50,000 with the first and second runners up winning Kshs 30,000 and Kshs 20,000 respectively.

“Sports is one of the major events that define Kenyan culture. With the introduction of the BLAZE e-sports tournament, we want to provide a platform for our youth hone their talents and possibly earn a living from it,” said Mr. Joseph.

Like in previous editions, the Kilifi summit saw youth interact with local mentors and industry experts through interest-specific pods and workshops. The Kilifi Edition featured mentors such as Naiboi (musician), Brian Diang’a (pro-gamer), Caleb Karuga (Agripreneur) and Joanna Kinuthia (Digital Content Creator), among others.

Besides the mentors, BLAZE has partnered with Google, IBM and Wezesha to provide a mix of content, training and employment opportunities to BLAZE subscribers who attend the summits.

BLAZE is a sub-brand of Safaricom and was created to give youth aged 26 years and below products, services and benefits tailored specifically to meet their everyday needs. A first of its kind platform in Kenya, East and Central Africa, BLAZE was founded on what Kenyan youth say is most important to them: freedom, empowerment and the journey to self-discovery, ultimately leading to success.

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