Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives.
Teams are the backbone of the esports industry, and the professional players are the athletes who are front and center to the audience. In episode 2 we talk with Sylvia ‘Queen Arrow’ Gathoni from Kenya about her fighting game career, where she started, and how she sees the esports landscape in Africa today.
Queen Arrow began her fighting game career on PS2, playing with family and particularly with her brothers.
Her interest in fighting games was inspired by her interest in martial arts, which demonstrates the ability of this genre to lend itself to the “real world”.
In 2017 her participation in the East Africa Gaming Convention led her to become a professional player, specializing in Tekken.
An esports team provides a platform for players. And a professional team gives the players more resources to develop their talent and skills.
Some of the attributes Queen Arrow looks for in a team includes a group that works together well, has ambition, a willingness to learn and to ask questions.
Training to Queen Arrow is described as the focus on quality, and not quantity. Watching others play is also important, especially when she is coming up against a particular opponent.
One of her keys to success has been to be continuously curious, asking questions, and watching others. Even just 30 minutes of watching the right YouTube videos can make a difference.
The Business of Esports
Sylvia is completing her law training in Kenya and hopes to use that background to work further in the business side of esports in the future.
In particular, she describes how contracts are important throughout the industry. And she describes more opportunities for individuals to become more involved in the business side of the sport.
Her best advice is to “trust your gut” when making business decisions as a professional player, and to always feel confident to contact an esports attorney for advice when needed.
At the Gamers Change Lives Podcast we want to focus on the jobs that can be created.
Queen Arrow described many opportunities in the industry outside of being a professional player, such as developing policy, marketing, content creators, producers, graphic designers, managers, coaches, and more.
The Challenges of Esports in an Emerging Market
There are many challenges facing the esports industry in Africa. These include the lack of servers on the continent, developers not paying attention to Africa, infrastructure challenges particularly outside of the major cities and markets.
She recommends that the industry can be more creative in organizing esports events in Africa.
Queen Arrow agrees with our previous guest Kofi Sika LATZOO that mobile is going to be increasingly important in esports in Africa. In particular the younger population will help that growth.
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FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE:
Sylvia ‘Queen Arrow’ Gathoni – Kenya
Queen Arrow is a fighting game superstar, who is best known for playing Tekken 7. She has been part of multiple organizations, such as XiT Woundz and now UYU as a content creator and Tekken player. She also just recently graduated from law school in her native Kenya and is currently enrolled in the Advocates Training Programme at the Kenya School of Law."
Sylvia is well known as the first African female esports professional.
She recommends the book “The Will to Keep Winning” by Daigo Umehara as an inspiration for her success. https://www.amazon.com/Will-Keep-Winning-DAIGO-UMEHARA-ebook/dp/B01JOEKKWU
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