NESA wants to take Esports to schools

By Michael Uugwanga

NAMIBIA Electronic Sports Association (NESA) has a plan in place to introduce the newly emerging sport (Esports) at school level, as a way of creating awareness of the sport.

NESA is the governing body of electronic sports in Namibia and was founded in 2010. It is affiliated to the International Esports Federation (IeSf), a global organisation based in South Korea whose mission is to have electronic sports recognized as a legitimate sport.

NESA organises various Esports leagues and supports the Namibian national Esports team.

In 2012, NESA was closed due to lack of community interest and participation before it re-opened in 2013 after a new board was created with a mixture of experienced board members and community members.

NESA serves as the governing and representative sports body for electronic sports (Esports) in Namibia and also governs, facilitates co-ordinates and administrates the primary and secondary objectives relating to Esports in Namibia.

NESA treasurer Salomé de Bruyn told Confidente Sport that the federation has over the years been working tirelessly to ensure the sport reaches all regions, despite lack of funding.

“We are all full time workers and work a lot of times till late in the evenings. We are purely working on the NESA executive committee as volunteers when we have the time. In 2020, we are aiming to expand our pilot projects, involving taking Esports to schools and we are looking at incorporating new titles, as well as increase our current player base of Esports as far as possible.

“We are also looking to increase the number of friendly test matches against international countries. We also wish to expand to new platforms. NESA only gets funding from sponsors and partially the membership fees, as well as tournament entry fees. In terms of taking the sport to different areas of Namibia, we are always striving to produce new content and thinking of new marketing strategies to present the sport to those that are not familiar with it, along with educational programs which we wish to implement in the next few years for parents and teachers. We also want to produce rich, quality Esports videos for Esports and non-esports persons.”

Namibia has been taking part in international Esports events and NESA is trying to set up clubs to promote the sport, NESA vice-president Flip de Bruyn is currently in South Korea for the Esports World Championship.

“As mentioned before, the sport is growing at a tremendous rate with new involved parties every year. But we are nowhere near the size in terms of player and supporting industries that we can be. NESA has reached quite a few milestones such as the affiliation with the International Esports Association, more international participation, and the incorporation of more and more titles for the Namibian Esports Team every year.

“Along with a steadily growing player base and more interested sponsors with growing supporting facilities and industries, such as content creators and opportunities for media. We can see that Esports is still growing and in relation to other sports it is growing quite well, with many untapped resources still available to NESA, which should be developed within the next couple of years.”

As to how many competing clubs there are, she said: “This is somewhat of a complicated question as we do not fully utilize all of the available resources as of yet. Unlike normal sports codes, esports has a much more diverse structure when it comes to Esports teams as almost every game title has its own teams and some teams compete in multiple titles, thus effectively or accurately saying how many clubs we have or can we potentially have is hard to say. NESA is however in the process to formalize the registration of clubs so that we will be able to better know how many clubs there are in the country.”