The most popular cybersports in Africa

Competitive video gaming, also known as esports, has exploded in popularity across Africa over the past decade. With improving internet connectivity and a massive youth demographic, Africa represents one of the world’s fastest growing esports markets. This article explores the top 5 most popular competitive video games and cybersports titles in Africa right now.

League of Legends

League of Legends (LoL) stands as Africa’s most played esport game. This multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game developed by Riot Games has become a worldwide phenomenon, with an extensive professional league. Key reasons for League of Legends huge popularity in Africa include:

  • Free-to-Play – LoL is free to download and play, crucial for Africa’s price-sensitive market.
  • System Requirements – The game has low minimum system requirements to run smoothly.
  • Competitive Team Play – LoL is built on competitive five-versus-five team matches, either casually or ranked.
  • Evolving Strategy – With over 140 champions to choose from, LoL gameplay involves constantly evolving strategy and skills.
  • Spectator Appeal – Major LoL tournaments attract huge live streaming audiences in Africa to watch top professionals battle.

The LoL Pro League and World Championships compel massive interest and participation from African esports fans.


EA Sports’ phenomenally successful FIFA football video game series has cultivated an enormous following across Africa. Reasons for FIFA’s leadership in African esports include:

  • Global Brand – FIFA enjoys instant brand recognition and loyalty as the world’s leading digital football experience.
  • Accessibility – Simpler gameplay mechanics make FIFA accessible to new gamers. Matches are quick and exciting.
  • Local Passion – Digital football resonates in football-mad nations like Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.
  • Competitive Formats – Head-to-head, tournaments and pro circuits like FIFA Ultimate Team Championship give players competitive formats.
  • Transferable Skills – FIFA gameplay skills somewhat transfer to real-life football.

With football being Africa’s number one sport, FIFA offers the perfect convergence of digital and real sporting passions.


Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle Royale has become a cultural sensation thanks to its unique blend of shooting, building and strategy. Key factors driving Fortnite’s popularity in Africa include:

  • Free Access – As a free-to-play game, Fortnite’s accessibility is a massive advantage in Africa.
  • Casual Appeal – Fortnite’s blend of action, construction and humour provides mass casual appeal. Matches are short and colorful.
  • Cross-Platform – Gamers can play together across PC, console and mobile.
  • Regular Updates – Frequent updates with new weapons, skins and in-game events maintain enthusiasm.
  • Major Events – High-profile Fortnite tournaments and content creator events attract huge interest.

Fortnite’s vibrant aesthetic and diverse gameplay make it an easy esport drawcard for African fans.

Pro Evolution Soccer

Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) by Konami provides stiff competition to FIFA as Africa’s leading digital football experience. Reasons for its success include:

  • Console Focus – PES emphasizes console and PC gameplay, platforms growing quickly across African middle class.
  • Realism – Gameplay focuses on tactical thinking and player skill over arcade-style play.
  • Licensing – Official club licenses like FC Barcelona and player likenesses appeal to fans.
  • Competitive Scene – PES League World Tour events are growing in stature across African nations.

While PES faces an uphill battle versus FIFA, its emphasis on technical gameplay gives it an esports edge.

Call of Duty

Activision’s hit first-person shooter (FPS) series Call of Duty (CoD) has cultivated a strong following across Africa’s FPS esports subculture. Explanations include:

  • Multiplayer – CoD offers heart-pounding online multiplayer modes and maps.
  • Premium Experience – High-quality audio, visuals and gunplay provide an immersive experience.
  • Cross-Play – Fans can battle together across PC and console.
  • Established Structure – Major circuits like the CoD World League give competitive structure.
  • Big Events – Headline tournaments like the CoD World Cup Finals generate excitement.

CoD’s slick FPS gameplay and progression systems make it Africa’s premier esport shooter.

Global accessibility, quality, competition and spectacle drive the appeal of these cybersports for African fans. With esports still in its infancy in Africa, these top titles provide a strong foundation for future growth of competitive gaming across the continent.

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