Kenya’s debut at the Global Esports Games started on the wrong footing as the East Africans were eliminated at the first time of asking in the two categories in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Kenyans were defeated in both categories by Armenia and Thailand.
Evander Maina of efootball will rue the missed chances after throwing away a two-goal lead against Khachatur Hakobyan of Armenia in the decisive match of their three set fixtures.
Maina, who had lost the first set 2-0, showed great character coming back to win the second 4-2 on penalties to force the third set.
In the third set, the Kenyan took an early 2-0 lead but Hakobyan recovered to win 4-2 and proceed to the next round.
“It was a close game but unfortunately I couldn’t go past him. Everybody is very good here at this international stage and I think inexperience cost me as I couldn’t consolidate my lead,“ Maina said.
In Dota 2 women’s category, Kenya went down 2-0 to Thailand at the quarter-final stage to mark an end of their journey at the maiden global competition.
Team Kenya coach Allan Gitau said his team’s appearance at the games was a great learning experience.
“The match was very competitive. It is the best experience and challenge for the girls so far, it has set the bar of what international competition feels like. It’s a disappointing result but a great learning experience ,” Gitau said.
Captain Shirley Adema added: “It was a wonderful experience playing with other nations. We accept the fact that they had better experience and this could be judged by the higher game levels they had. However, with this experience and with better support next time, we will definitely be carrying the Kenyan flag higher than this.”
The matches were played at the Istanbul Bomomti Hotel.