In the fast-paced world of esports, where competition is fierce and the stakes are high, one name that stands out in the African gaming community is Kingnee.
From the early days of African esports to representing top teams like EG, Team Aurora, and now RAZE, Kingnee has left an indelible mark on the scene. Beyond his prowess as a competitive player, he’s also found success as a content creator, demonstrating the versatility and dedication that defines his career.
In this exclusive interview with Onward Gaming Republic (OGR), we dive deep into Kingnee’s journey, the challenges he’s faced, and his vision for the future of African esports.
You’ve been a competitive player since the early days of African esports. How has the scene evolved since you first started competing?
Apparently, there have been significant changes between those early days and now. Back then, we had few players with good devices and limited experience.
Nowadays, there’s a noticeable increase in players with exceptional experience and access to high-quality devices. This has made the scene more competitive and accessible, allowing players to practice and elevate their gameplay.
You’ve represented several top teams like EG, Team Aurora, and now RAZE. What has been your favorite team to play for and why?
My favorite team to play for has to be EG. It was during my time with EG that I achieved significant victories in tournaments like ABC, and ZER.
We virtually won every tournament available, and winning always makes it special. So, EG holds a special place in my heart.
As an OG player, what advice would you give to up-and-coming players trying to go pro in Africa?
I’d advise new players to stay calm and not rush into signing contracts. It’s essential to understand the type of gameplay that suits them best. Finding their style and playing to their strengths is crucial.
You’ve found success as both a competitive player and content creator. How do you balance practicing and creating content?
Balancing competitive play and content creation is challenging, but I focus primarily on streaming. Whether I’m playing professionally or creating content, it’s the same game.
I record my gameplay during professional matches or streams, which allows me to create content. It’s not easy, but my passion and determination drive my success.
What do you think are some of the biggest challenges facing the African esports scene today?
The most significant challenge, in my opinion, is the lack of sponsorship. Many community-organized tournaments lack sufficient funding.
With more financial support, these tournaments could attract pro players, leading to more competitive matches and growth in the scene.
Last year, you and some of your teammates were banned from ABC amid hacking allegations. How did you handle those accusations and what lessons did you learn from that experience?
First, I want to clarify that I did not take those accusations lightly. I knew I wasn’t hacking, and I believe the accusations stemmed from personal animosity.
The tournament in question was not community-sponsored, and it was hosted by individuals outside the community.
I don’t have any regrets, but I learned to be cautious about who I team up with in tournaments and choose my friends wisely.
Do you feel the allegations and ban were justified? Why or why not?
I’ve already mentioned that the allegations were not justified. There was no evidence to support them, and it was an event outside the community’s scope.
It was unrelated to the broader esports community, so I believe they should not have intervened.
How did this controversy impact you mentally and emotionally as a player?
Psychologically, I felt frustrated and angered by the fact that people were looking at me with suspicion. It was a challenging period, but I decided to focus on self-respect and maintaining my integrity. This approach has worked well for me.
What criticisms do you have about how ABC handled the situation?
My main criticism is that ABC should not have gotten involved in the first place because the tournament was not community-sponsored. They should have respected the boundaries of events hosted by individuals outside the community.
Do you think there’s a hacking problem in the African esports scene? If so, what can be done to address it?
Yes, I believe there is a hacking issue in the scene, but it’s challenging to address because it’s difficult to prove. Players should continue working hard and creating content to showcase their skills. In the end, hard work will speak for itself.
How has this experience affected your reputation and relationships within the community?
I’ve chosen not to let this experience define me in the community. I no longer seek validation from others and focus on doing what I love. As a result, my reputation and relationships have improved as I maintain my self-respect and integrity.
What advice would you give other players who face similar hacking allegations?
My advice to players facing similar allegations is to stay true to themselves. If they know they’re clean, they should continue doing what they do best and create content to showcase their skills. Ultimately, hard work and dedication will vindicate them.
You’ve won trophies in major leagues like OGR and ABC. Which win are you most proud of and why?
The win I think I’m most proud of is winning the African Battle Royale Ranking 10times. The reason is that we put on all our effort to win 9times before we started having issues with players and all, so the 10th one was rough and after all the distress and the stress, we still managed to come through and we got the 10th win.
I think that’s the most win in the African scene and I am proud to be there and part of the players that made it happen.
How has being part of the African esports community shaped you both as a player and person?
Being a part of the community has shaped me in a way. I no longer see COD mobile as just a game anymore, but I see it as an avenue to a lot of things.
it’s a whole new system of exploitation, so I think as a player, I have gained a lot of experience and as a person, the community has boosted the way I think and my perception about gaming.
Where do you see African esports heading in the future in terms of growth and opportunities?
To be very honest, this is the most important question because when we started, it was basically just ABC and it was just a bragging right but now we see good players.
We’ve witnessed positive developments, and with continued momentum, I expect more growth and opportunities for players and content creators alike.
If you could change one thing about the African esports scene, what would it be and why?
I would change the lack of funds in the community. With more financial support, players would be incentivized to practice and take the scene more seriously. This would lead to increased competition and raise the stakes beyond bragging rights.
Kingnee’s journey in African esports is a testament to dedication and resilience. From his early days as a player to his success as a content creator, he continues to leave a significant impact on the community.
While facing challenges head-on, he remains focused on pushing the boundaries of African esports, fostering growth, and striving for excellence.