Fifa esports athlete, Thabo Moloi, becomes the first ever person born in Africa to sign for Red Bull Gaming.
Red Bull Gaming has signed 18-year-old FIFA esports star, Thabo Moloi, as he becomes the first player born in Africa to sign with the giant organisation.
Thabo goes by the gamertag 'Yvng Savage' and is ranked 73rd in the world on FIFA, as well as being the highest-ranked player on PS4 in South Africa.
His career in FIFA esports began in 2018 where he used to purchase mobile data to practise before progressing into tournaments and winning. Thabo finally managed to afford his own console and internet.
He soon entered the official FIFA eWorld Cup Global Series Qualifiers, representing South Africa. In his first appearance on a global scale, Thabo won the qualifiers, booking himself on a plane to the eWorld Cup. However, never having had a passport before, his passport didn't arrive in time and subsequently, he had to pull out of the competition.
A similar theme occurred in 2019, where Thabo again won the qualifiers for the eWorld Cup, but couldn't make his way to the UK to compete.
In an article with Red Bull in 2018, he stated "In 2018, when I first started playing FIFA competitively, I didn’t have the latest console to practice on. I saved my lunch money and asked my parents to help me. That’s how I got a second-hand PlayStation 4".
Esports in Africa is evolving every day, as games like League of Legends announce an African Esports League, with a $15,000 prize pool to encourage players to compete and grow the scene. The African Cyber Gaming League supports tournaments such as the Mythic Royale Fortnite tournament series.
Individuals from Africa, and more specifically South Africa, have made it in the heights of esports before, with Cloud9's CounterStrike: Global Offensive team boasting many players from the continent.
Thabo begins his Red Bull career as an inspiration to many young African esports athletes and may become a leading face in advancing esports across the continent.
Image via Red Bull