Digicel & GameNation Promote E-Sports in the Caribbean

Players celebrating at the Digicel-sponsored Free Fire tournament

Last summer, Jamaica’s premiere online gaming platform, GameNation, hit the market. In honour of the launch, Digicel hosted hundreds of participants at its Ocean Boulevard headquarters. One highlight of the event was a FIFA22 online tournament, led by SportsMax, WYLDE, and the Jamaica E-Sports Initiative (JEI). The competition named the best FIFA player from amongst 162 applicants, and awarded top competitors prizes such as a Sony PS5, an Xbox, and a Nintendo Switch. Digicel also expedited superfast mobile data and home internet speeds, provided GameNation to all of its customers, and made the SportsMax app accessible for a Summer of E-sports.

This summer, Digicel continued its support by sponsoring GameNation’s 2023 eSport Free Fire Tournament, alongside Pizza Hut and SportsMax. Eventually, 144 spots and nine days of competition came down to a battle royale. Awards were in the sum of J$100,000 (US$647.22), J$50,000 (US$323.61), J$30,000 (US$194.17), and multiple J$10,000 (US$64.72) packages. Additionally, Digicel streamed the event via Digicel Jamaica’s Facebook page. To make the format more interactive, those watching could answer posed questions to win items like mobile devices.

Tackling the Broader Issue

For Digicel, the ultimate prize is seeing e-sports and online platforms flourish in the Caribbean, an area that has been disproportionately affected by limited digital accessibility. According to one source, “The internet gap between low and high-income households equates to roughly 40%. About 67% of urban households have internet connections in comparison to 23% of rural households.” Per another outlet, “Today, less than 50% of LAC’s population has fixed broadband connectivity, and only 9.9% has high-quality fibre connectivity at home. While 87% of the population lives within range of a 4G signal, actual usage and penetration remains low(37%). And only 4 out of 10 rural Latin Americans have connectivity options compared with 71% of the population in urban areas.”

As previously mentioned, the Jamaica Esports Initiative (JEI) is helping this cause — in fact, it was the inaugural Caribbean federation to be given a membership status in the International e-Sports Federation (IeSF). Denis O’Brien has been a proponent of change himself, too. For example, year after year, O’Brien has travelled to events like the CANTO conference in Miami to advocate for greater responsibility in the telecommunications industry.

Another avenue of change is through social programmes such as the Digicel Trinidad and Tobago Foundation’s Digital Citizenship Programme, which offers courses to students on topics such as cybersecurity. It also gifts desktop computers to deserving schools and complimentary Digicel Home and Entertainment high speed fibre broadband services. Likewise, the Digicel Jamaica Foundation and Digicel Jamaica backed the Jamaica College robotics team at the FIRST Tech Challenge National Robotics Championship in 2019. Discover more ways that Digicel is providing ubiquitous access for all with 4G LTE and GPON technology through its dedicated Environmental Social Governance Page.