When Ezra Anecho is away from his desk at the Uganda Cancer Institute in Mulago where he works as a Grants Manager, the likeable youthful lad is out there reliving and sharing his love for gaming with a whole different dimension.
Every Friday evening, he hosts a gaming fellowship at Akamwesi Mall, Gayaza Road, where sports fanatics and gamers gather at Next Level Experience which is Uganda’s first E-sports gaming hub. “Competitors from different leagues or teams face off in the same games that are popular with home gamers. E-Sports competitive video gaming watched by spectators is big.
It’s not only a sport, but also one of the most popular and profitable forms of entertainment globally today,” says Anecho, the business manager. Last Friday, about 100 gamers made their way to Akamwesi Mall for the event that kicked off at 7:30pm with a 30 minutes practice session on how to operate the simulators. At around 8pm, the business end of occasion gathered moss as gamers were grouped into different teams for a taste of formula one racing.
A quick team meeting deliberates which individual takes the wheel depending on the track for the day as the rest of the driver’s peers look on in a restaurant across while following proceedings on screens with live online streams. The drinks, food and music among different forms of entertainment get the gathering going through a charged environment with pressure similar to that witnessed in formula one. “This fellowship is to enable gamers practice for Uganda’s first Formula One E-sports Championship slated to start later this month,” explains Anecho who remains positive the initiative will be a big hit.
Anecho has plans of having the games televised on different local television channels to help grow the e-sports industry in Uganda but for now, they are streamed on their youtube channels where a following from across the globe gets entertained. Anecho’s mission is to demystify the myth that video gaming is only for children but that adults too can make a worthy meal of it.
“There is clearly an opportunity here but many companies are not taking it because many don’t take gaming seriously, this is why we have started a ‘gaming fellowship’ to get more Ugandans into gaming and e- sports,” he says. For now, the enterprise is taking shape with a bright future ahead- By Deusdedit Bugembe