In a historic afternoon on Wednesday, 8th of December 2021 as the University of Lagos hosted the Nigerian University Games Association’s (NUGA) first Varsity E-sport tournament in collaboration with GAMr,  a technology company with a specialty in Electronic Sports (eSports), Tournament Organization, and e-Sports talent development. The tournament lasted between the 8 & 9th of December and had over 400 registered players from the University of Lagos and 144 players in the preliminary stage who battled for the $200 grand prize.

After a series of extended gaming in the University of Lagos indoor sports hall, Olawole Adetoye from the Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences became the first NUGA Varsity E-sports Champion. In 2nd place – Haneef Olabuntu from the Department of System Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, and in 3rd place – Adepoju Paul from the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science.

Olawole Adetoye popularly known as “Wolevation” by gamers gave a remark after winning the cash prize, high: “I had a very tough draw, I played against people I’ve met in other competitions that are tough competitors. It’s a game I play regularly, so I stuck to my tactics and I played well.”

“I want to thank God for helping me go through this phase and playing well. I would also like to thank the organizers of the competition, and I hope for better rewards in the future.” He added.

E-sport is a growing industry across the world especially amongst young people who find the world of pads and electronic simulation more alluring than playing on the fields or courts. NUGA embracing e-sport is a testament that the Nigerian university sports scene isn’t left behind as the world tilts towards competitive gaming. It is also a step towards inclusion as students who prefer playing football with a PlayStation or Xbox can find self-actualization and recognition as student-athletes.

The NUGA Media and Marketing Manager, Miss Chidiebere Ezeani explained that the e-sport tournament hosted by the University of Lagos will herald subsequent tournaments across other Nigerian universities. “The idea is to carry on e-sport tournament across Nigerian universities and to invest more into getting students interested in the sport. It also creates opportunities for students who are not physically inclined to go out and play sport to find their talent playing e-sport which is a viable sport itself.” 

She further explained that investors will be needed to expand the E-sport operation in Nigerian universities. She said:  “NUGA hopes to help propel this with organizations like GAMr and hoping that corporate bodies will be willing to invest and we will find ourselves playing international tournaments, basically engaging the students beyond the classroom and the field for those who are not capable or inclined to play in physical sport.”

E-sport competitions have come to stay and the onus lies on university sport managers to move with the tide by creating e-sport infrastructure in their respective universities.