#TelkomCorner: Introducing eSport Production and Content Specialist Kelli Hart

by | Mar 16, 2022

eSport Production and Content Specialist, Kelli Hart, hopes to play her part in growing the gaming community among women and young girls in South Africa.

Hart has been involved in some of the largest tournament productions which include the Telkom VS Gaming Masters at Comic-Con and Rage Expo.

She has also worked alongside talented crew and cast members in the industry to take gaming to the next level.

Hart says her passion for eSport developed when she met her husband and saw how people took gaming so seriously as a sport.

In 2015, she worked on her first event and from that moment she knew it was the path that she wanted to take in her career.

To date, Hart creates her own content under the alias “FluffyPanda” where she posts gaming and lifestyle topics.

She is also the brand ambassador for Canyon Gaming & Electronic Sport Africa.

Speaking with Celine Abrahams, Hart delves into the growth of women participants in eSport and reveals the financial challenges gamers face.


Kelli, thank you for taking time out to chat! For the benefit of our readers, please can you explain what it is that you do within the eSports space.

Hi, I am Kelli Hart, and I am an eSport Production & Content Specialist. I have worked on some of the largest tournament productions in South Africa, including the Telkom VS Gaming Masters at Comic-Con and Rage Expo. I’ve worked alongside some of the most talented crew and cast members in the industry and so I really enjoyed the projects I’ve worked on.

At the start of the COVID pandemic, I took a step back from producing and tried my hand at content creation, to launch my own content as “FluffyPanda”, which is my alias in the gaming world. I prefer to post about a mixture between gaming and lifestyle topics & I currently represent Canyon Gaming & Electronic Sport Africa as their brand ambassador.


How did you develop a passion for gaming?

I developed a passion for gaming because I used to be a casual console gamer but when I met my husband, I was introduced to the world of eSport, and I fell in love with the fact that people took gaming so seriously as a sport. I worked my first event in 2015 and experienced the atmosphere and excitement expressed by all the gamers. They met up once a year to play in their respective tournaments and it was at that moment that I knew the path I wanted to take in my career.


From your perspective, please can you share a brief introduction to VS Gaming and the various leagues that are currently running in the country.

To my knowledge, VS Gaming is one of the largest tournament organizers in South Africa & they host leagues for their Master’s competition as well as within High Schools.


In terms of women and girls in eSport, has there been growth in the number of female participants over the years?

I’ve noticed an increase in the number of my female friends, who have started gaming in some way or another. I think more and more women are starting to game and soon realize that they really enjoy it. I wish I had started gaming a lot sooner, because it opened an entire world to me.


What do you think can be done to further increase the number of women in gaming?

I believe if the tournament organizers selected games that cater more for our interests, there would be a bit more growth. Right now, a lot of the organizers focus their time on CS: GO and I believe if they had to offer tournaments for games like Valorant, the number of women playing in those tournaments would grow.


Who are some women that you would say are standout performers in the gaming space that the media should be covering?

From a content creator side, I would suggest ChaniZA, Mama Succubus, GoKatGo and MissCatastrophic.


Are there any women gamers that you draw inspiration from and why?

When I started my career in content creation, I drew a lot of inspiration from ChaniZA and TechGirl. They were the two women I worked closely with in some of the productions and I was inspired by them. I used to watch them perform during the productions that I was managing, and I always wished that I had the confidence to be myself while standing on a stage in front of an audience and speak about gaming.


What are some of the challenges you face as a gamer?

As a gamer I find the biggest challenge is the price of the gaming equipment. The prices have risen so much that it is a huge challenge to maintain a fast enough gaming rig, so that I can still play the latest games, while also streaming it out to my audience at the same time.


Where would you like to see the state of gaming in South Africa in the next few years?

I would like to see the growth that eSports and gaming deserves in Africa. I would love to see more people, especially women, playing games and more parents seeing the benefits that gaming has for their children. Let’s grow the community!!


Photo 1 Caption: eSport Production and Content Specialist, Kelli Hart, hopes to play her part in growing the gaming community among women and young girls in South Africa. Photo: Supplied

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