Lewis Appiagyei, a UK born Ghanaian motor racing champion, who has captured the imagination of the entire continent of Africa, is steadily carving out a meaningful career as an up and coming global superstar.
The 17-year-old who was named the youngest on the prestigious Forbes ’30 under 30’ Africa list in 2020, has the aim to become the first Formula 1 champion of African Heritage.
His rise has been on an upward curve for over ten years. A recognised child racing protege in the UK, Lewis made history by being the youngest person in the world to set a motor racing simulator Gran Turismo Guinness World Record at the tender age of 10. A record that is still unbeaten to this day.
Lewis has attained another feat in addition to the ones he has accomplished in the past. He has accepted to become the patron of the Ghana E-sports Association.
Ghana’s e-sports gaming is on a steady rise with grassroots organisations like Ghana E-sports Association taking the initiative to encourage amateur gamers in Ghana to transcend through to a
Ghana E-sports Association’s move to secure a high profile sportsman such as Lewis Appiagyei could be one of the best moves Kwesi Hayford, the President of Ghana e-sports, has made to date to raise the profile of e-sports in Ghana and accelerate its growth on the continent. Hayford understands the potential of the medium, which can transcend well beyond the realms of virtual gaming into packed arenas.
The potential of e-sports has been fully acknowledged in the UK by universities now offering degrees in this field. In Ghana too, visionaries like Hayford are at the frontline of this global revolution and are now set on also educating the youths to the great potential of e-sports, which covers a broad spectrum of real opportunities beyond the games console.
Lewis Appiagyei is on a mission to help raise the profile of Ghana e-sports on a national and international level. His credentials are impeccably suited for the role of the patron of Ghana e-sports. At 17 he is already a youth ambassador for the biggest youth sporting event in Europe, the London Youth Games, which is sponsored by sportswear giant Nike.
The exponential growth of e-sports around the world in recent years hasn’t gone unnoticed by forward-thinking CEOs of companies, who now have their own e-sports teams flying their corporate banners in big money global competitions.
“I am excited for the gamers in Africa whom I’ve already played a number of friendly games with, There’s nothing stopping Ghana being an e-sports powerhouse, with game centres awash with talented gamers, such as 14-year-old Gran Turismo sim racer Eyiram Ashiagbor and Nii Saki Quarcoopome from Dark Horses e-Sport, ready to take on the world,” said Lewis.
The recent announcement from the IOC (International Olympic Committee) to include five e-sport games in this year’s Tokyo Olympics which includes the Gran Turismo racing sim should be a real wake up call to those who are totally oblivious to what’s going on in the gaming industry, which raked in far more money than actual sports last year.
Taking place ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Olympic Virtual Series (e-Sports) will begin on 13th May, continuing through to 23rd June 2021. The Olympic Virtual Series or OVS will mobilise virtual sport, e-sports and gaming enthusiasts all around the world in order to reach new Olympic audiences, while also encouraging the development of physical and non-physical forms of sports in line with the recommendations of the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020+5.
Entrepreneurs and corporate players in Ghana, as well as the government, should seize the opportunity this presents and lend their financial support to those that can represent the country in the area, and Lewis Appiagyei is looking forward to playing his part.
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