Sandton Times Hour

Centennial Schools’ Grade 7 Team Wins Big at Dubai Esports Festival

Four Grade 7 students from Centennial Schools in South Africa clinched victory in the Minecraft Tournament at the Dubai Esports Festival (DEF), marking a significant milestone as the first African team to win at this prestigious event.


  • This accomplishment underscores the growing prominence and potential of eSports within educational frameworks.
  • Shaun Fuchs, founder of Centennial Schools, attributes this success to their innovative approach to integrating gaming into their curriculum.
  • Centennial Schools established Africa’s largest eSports arena as part of their campus in Sandton.
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The winning team, comprised of Travis Faber, Zacree Wessels, Jamie Twidale, and Thomas Williams, began their journey by triumphing in a national tournament sponsored by RGB Gaming. This company is instrumental in eSports development at school and post-Matric levels, facilitating the growth and competitive opportunities for young gamers. The Centennial team then advanced to dominate the Redstone Royale Minecraft challenge, competing against schools from six African countries.


In a historic first, RGB Gaming collaborated with DEF to ensure African representation at the Dubai Esports Festival. Here, the Centennial team faced off against three high schools from across the UAE, ultimately emerging victorious. Their prizes included several thousand Rands worth of vouchers for a gaming shop in the Dubai Mall and a selection of clothing items, cementing their win with tangible rewards.

Being a student at Centennial Schools has really helped me succeed in gaming. The supportive environment and the focus on balancing schoolwork with other activities have taught me how to manage my time and stay disciplined. The way the school encourages innovative thinking has also helped me develop the correct skills I need for gaming.

// Student at Centennial Schools, Travis Faber


Shaun Fuchs, founder of Centennial Schools, highlights that this investment into eSports has yielded phenomenal results, providing students with opportunities to excel in both academics and competitive gaming. Now in its second year of offering eSports scholarships, Centennial Schools celebrated another milestone with its recent tournament, where a young girl secured a spot among the top three competitors.

Teaching gaming in schools helps students to solve problems, think critically, and collaborate and communicate. Gaming can be beneficial in supporting computing education, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) subjects, and the development of business, digital and cyber skills, and digital literacy.

// Founder of Centennial Schools, Shaun Fuchs


With the support of RGB Gaming, Centennial students have honed their strategic planning and execution skills, leading to their remarkable victory against top schools from Africa and the Middle East. The rapid growth of eSports is transforming it into one of the most inclusive sports in schools, allowing students of all genders and from diverse social backgrounds to compete on the same teams. This inclusivity is further bolstered by the official recognition of eSports as a ‘mind sport’ by Mind Sports SA, a national governing body for mind sports recognized by an Act of Parliament. This categorization places eSports alongside traditional strategic disciplines like chess. Shaun emphasizes that eSports fosters character development akin to traditional team sports.

Playing online games builds resilience and encourages risk-taking. Gaming pushes you to fail, try again, fail, and try again. Our eSports curriculum is teaching our students how to win and lose with grace, just like any other school sport.

// Founder of Centennial Schools, Shaun Fuchs


This approach not only prepares students for competitive gaming but also equips them with valuable life skills. The Centennial Schools’ victory at the Dubai Esports Festival is a testament to the potential of eSports as a transformative educational tool. By integrating gaming into their curriculum and providing state-of-the-art facilities, Centennial Schools are setting a precedent for how educational institutions can harness the power of eSports to cultivate a new generation of skilled, resilient, and innovative students.


As eSports continues to gain recognition and popularity, it is poised to play a crucial role in shaping the future of education and competitive sports.


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