BY REX MPHISA
THE Cape Town showdown, an e-sports tournament scheduled for the South African city, is one of the first major casualties of on-going xenophobic attacks in the neighbouring country.
Dubbed Tekken World Tour 2019, the tournament was expected to run from September 7 to 8 and Zimbabwe was one of the countries which had confirmed participation.
“Unfortunately, we have had to shelve plans to send our team due to the current situation in that country,” the founder and director of E-Sport Zimbabwe, Thomas Arnold Phiri, said on Tuesday.
E-sport is a Fifa-registered sport involving computer games, and in Zimbabwe it is currently registered under the Sports and Recreation Commission.
“Nkosie Dlamini from Bulawayo was scheduled to represent Zimbabwe in the two-day tournament, but participants from all over Africa are concerned about their safety,” Phiri said.
South Africa has been rocked by widespread xenophobia attacks targeting foreigners.
Running battles between the South African Police Services and rioters have been reported in most big cities, where in some cases foreigners have retaliated.
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“We cannot risk although Dlamini’s travel arrangements had been concluded,” Phiri said.
The tournament in Cape Town was also in preparation for a bigger African tournament set for Kenya later this year.
Phiri said E-Sport Zimbabwe had a membership of 94 and was currently setting up a national league.
“We have a sponsorship challenge, and if we overcome that hurdle, our game will grow. We are determined,” Phiri said.