Thabo Moloi becomes Africa’s first esports athlete
By Yasmine Jacobs 1h ago
Cape Town – Thabo “Yvng Savage” Moloi’s gaming journey has been nothing short of impressive. From being an aspiring FIFA player at home, to tournament winner, to being announced as the first Red Bull Esports Athlete on Africa – this is the perfect underdog story.
Moloi burst onto the scene at the VS Gaming FIFA Festival in 2018. This was his first competitive esports tournament. Little did he know this was going to be the start of his exciting journey.
Despite being relatively unknown on the gaming scene, he beat a field of 512 competitors to claim the top spot on PS4 and was awarded a staggering R400 000 cash prize.
Grabbing the attention of the esports community, he was then quickly offered a spot with South African esports team, Goliath Gaming.
Moloi showed off his prowess in the game, playing alongside Red Bull athlete Kagiso Rabada, musician Cassper Nyovest and Mamelodi Sundowns player, Sibusiso Vilakazi as a member of the eBafana Bafana team in the FIFA eNations Stay and Play Cup.
As every rise-to-the-top story goes, Moloi had worked hard to build a name for himself and faced a number of obstacles. Leading up to the VS Gaming FIFA Festival he was purchasing his own data to ensure he got in the FIFA practice he needed and watching online tutorials to help him improve.
“I play online every single day of my life,” he added. “Leading up to the VS tournament, I trained with a good friend of mine who is a strong and established FIFA player himself. We would play and I would beat him, but when I started beating him consistently, I decided I was ready to compete.”
He would later be placed first in the official FIFA rankings for PS4 in South Africa, which earned him his place to represent South Africa and lead the eBafana Bafana squad against 23 other countries in the FIFA eNations Stay and Play Cup.
Earlier this year, Moloi and his Goliath Gaming teammates headed to the Middle East to compete in the FIFA eChampions League Qualifiers. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 and lockdown, he wasn’t given the opportunity to prove his skills as the competition was halted.
However, this setback did not stop Moloi from achieving great things. Moloi continues to look forward and set his sights on the events ahead, including the launch of the new FIFA 21 game in October.