Oct 2, 2019
Welcome to Hearo Roundtable. Today we feature our Q&A with Emmanuel Oyelakin, President of Esports Nigeria. Oyelakin is a Business Technology Development professional with extensive experience in Banking and Technology. We cover his background, his passion for gaming, and his journey to founding Esports Nigeria.
1) Emmanuel, please give us a short and sweet profile background of yourself.
I'm a Business Technology Development Professional with extensive experience in Banking and Technology spanning over 12 years. I believe in Africa's potential and the opportunities possessed therein. I am passionate about seeing African youth rise up to bring about development on the continent and on the global stage while strategically driving the narrative straight from an African perspective.
Because of my passion and commitment to gaming and esports in Nigeria, I was recently elected as the Founding President of Esports Nigeria. I also serve as an executive member on the committee for the Africa Esports Championship. I am also on the board of the World Esports Consortium (WeSCO) as a member of the African Advisory Board.
2) Tell us a little about your company and its vision.
Esports Nigeria is a non-profit looking to use esports as a tool to tackle socio-economic issues in Nigeria. Engaging our youth with esports and helping them to make a living from their passion is sure to benefit the individual first, then their families, next their community, and then the nation as a whole. We also want to use esports to bring glory to our fatherland, as we have always done with traditional sports.
But I wear four hats. I founded the League of Extraordinary Gamers in 2016 and had it incorporated in 2017. There was a need to have a platform to bring gamers together so they can test their skills against one another and get rewarded while at it. This has led to so many tournament organizers sprouting. Sometime in 2017, the efforts of LXG was recognized by Paris, France-based Toornament, which officially endorsed LXG as an official tournament partner, the first and only such endorsement in Nigeria and just about the 3rd of such in Africa.
I am also involved with Esports Africa, a continental body raising the profile of esports across Africa. The Africa Esports Championship currently has about 30 countries signed up to be a part and we see the story of Africa being heard around the esports world. I serve as an executive committee member, the highest-ranking decision-making body of the federation.
Last but definitely not the least, I am an executive member of the Africa Advisory Committee for the World Esports Consortium (WeSCO).
3) Who are your clients and/or targeted demographic today? How large is the community?
We have three audiences. Our Esport Nigeria audience consists of young players hoping to make a living from their gaming passion. Our LXG audience is young, tech-savvy, upwardly mobile individuals, who split into casual, hardcore, and pro gamers. Our third audience is stakeholders like brands and media houses inclusive.
4) What are the three top challenges you see in the industry you are in today?
Our top 3 challenges include:
- Funding (sponsorship)
- The cost of equipment
- The stigma associated with gaming
5) How are you addressing them?
- For now, esports events are being self-funded out of pocket with no profits.
- We buy used gaming equipment due to the high-cost of purchasing new hardware, which of course, we really prefer.
- We are working to educate the public on the benefits and potential of gaming. We have seen humongous industries grow out of nothing in the music, movie, comedy, and fashion industries in Nigeria. We see Esports and gaming as another big arm of entertainment that stands to rival these more mature industries.
6) Why did you choose Hearo.Live?
Pretty simple. It’s the best app for connecting friends to live events we have seen out there.
7) How do you see your Esports Nigeria and LXG using Hearo.Live to address the problems you have identified?
- We can generate some much-needed revenue from Hearo.Live using the CTA feature.
- We can get more people to believe in esports with the level of traction we will be able to achieve using Hearo.Live.
8) In your own view, how different do you think Hearo.Live is compared to other platforms in the market today?
Hearo.Live is different. Way, way different. It carries streams and at the same time, allows friends to share the excitement of enjoying an event together.
9) How do you think the esports space will evolve from a consumer/mass market level? What about from a pure business/industry growth standpoint?
There definitely will be an evolution. There has to be a feature for video where people can connect to see each other online, real-time, and be able to play games together. This will definitely help the solution become a video conferencing app gamers and non-gamers alike can use. This will help with different use cases.
10) Word of advice for industry professionals and those who are interested to enter the game?
Esports hasn’t hit its peak yet and so this is the time to get in the game.
Thanks to Esports Nigeria and Mr. Emmanuel Oyelakin for sharing this insightful interview with us. Please visit the Esports Nigeria Website to learn more about the cool things they do!