Telkom has started a multimillion-rand gaming company that is set to tap into the potential in the sector.
The company, VS Gaming, was officially launched three months ago and is said to have cost Telkom about R150 million, according to a reliable source close the matter.
Telkom spokesperson Gugulethu Maqetuka declined to disclose the capital pumped into the company, but said it was large.
“The investment was significant, but relative to the market size,” he said, adding that the company planned to get most of its income from broadband uptake and streaming of gaming to audiences.
Maqetuka said that the company had 11 employees and its head was former Premier Soccer League chief operating officer and Telkom executive Cambridge Mokanyane.
The company was created using some of the services that were within Telkom’s Digital Gaming League operations .
According to Mokanyane, this new entity would have the backing of Telkom to further expand esports.
“The aim of VS Gaming is to grow the esports market while working together with other organisations to make it inspirational, profitable and professional.
"We continue the work of our former Digital Gaming League to provide gamers of all levels with professional platforms to grow, learn and attract international exposure.
"The existing tournaments and the masters league will continue as previously established. The rules and policies will remain in place for the 2017 season,” he said.
Mokanyane said VS Gaming had also signed a new strategic partnership with SuperSport to be the official broadcast partner of the upcoming Dota2 and CS:GO gaming tournaments.
“This is an incredible development for the esports environment. We have not had this kind of partnership for local tournaments before.
"This will ensure much-needed exposure for our teams and will place us firmly on the global map of esports,” said Mokanyane, adding that the company did not yet develop its own games.
VS Gaming is set to host what its calls the biggest “football e-tournament in Africa” later this month in Midrand.
Ashraff Paruk of Vodacom digital services said: “Vodacom digital business offers consumers a large games portfolio and gaming services from third parties.
"We also work with our partners to develop localised games for corporates looking to engage their customers.”