MSSA Press Conference: A sad day for SA eSports 
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Zoe Hawkins
March 17, 2014 at 11:30 am

On Saturday, I went to Old Eds in Joburg to report on the Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) press conference – an opportunity to meet Simphiwe Maphumulo, as well as get answers to all those questions we raised a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, the afternoon just proved to me how ill-fitting and poorly managed the MSSA truly is.

The raw reporting

Before I give you my reporting and interpretation, I want you all to have an opportunity to see what happened for yourselves. Matthew “fluKe” Merks, owner of PolarfluKe, managed to video record much of the conference – the camera cut out after a while, but gives a fair indication of what we saw at the event – plus the full audio. There was a ridiculously short statement, followed by an extensive Q&A.


Or, you can read through what those present tweeted during the event:

Simphiwe Maphumulo is an ineffectual president

Simphiwe Maphumulo doesn’t know about eSports. Now, this may seem like a fairly arbitrary statement – I don’t know about Morabaraba, which is his mind sport. However, as president of the MSSA, it is extremely concerning that Maphumulo doesn’t have any idea about historical dealings the federation has had, nor does he have any ideas about the future of eSports. Furthermore, he was utterly unprepared for the press conference.

As some of you may remember, when the initial Q&A was opened up over on Mweb, that article received over 400 comments, concluding with Maphumulo telling gamers that they could “take a hike”. This press conference was meant to fix that poor communication, to give Maphumulo an opportunity to answer questions properly and prove that he’s an approachable figure, someone who will push the MSSA in the right direction. Unfortunately, he did exactly the opposite.

Maphumulo was completely unprepared. His initial statement was no more than a sentence or two, giving no real direction or agenda for the press conference. Nor did it show any acknowledgement of the major concerns gamers put forward. Furthermore, he was almost completely unable to answer any questions, deferring to the former president to the point that it became pointless to actually direct any questions at him. When we asked how long he thought it would take to get up to speed, he explained that he was very busy with work and studies, and thought that it would take about a year before he knew everything that he would need. That’s right, the president of the MSSA will need an entire year before he knows what’s going on.

As a result, despite claims that his role is that of “General Secretary”, we have no choice but to conclude that the former president, Colin Webster, is still very much in charge of the MSSA.

The MSSA doesn’t understand eSports

At the start of the press conference, we asked where the eSports representative for the MSSA was. We wondered why that person wasn’t present at the event, and what their contact details were for future press interactions. Instead, we were told that when Simphiwe Maphumulo was unavailable, we could contact the General Secretary (Colin Webster) or Carl Holliday, the MSSA’s legal representative. We were told there was no eSports representative, as positions are on a volunteer basis and it was hard to find willing people for all the different roles. Okay, this is unfortunate, but it could maybe be understood (except for why the press should contact the legal representative for answers about eSports). However, towards the end of the press conference, when Maphumulo was asked if he was interested in establishing an eSports council to advise him on the major issues, he informed us that there was, in fact, an eSports representative. Caught in a lie, Maphumulo and Webster simply went silent.

MSSA Press Con

When pressed on poor attendance at events, we were given the double excuse – most of the affiliated gamers come from disadvantaged backgrounds so they can’t travel to events, plus we don’t know about all the events that take place. Really? I wonder if that doesn’t relate to the early questions about a lack of PR and eSports representation by the MSSA. Additionally, if they suffer with such low turnout for these reasons, why aren’t the DGL and Orena plagued with similar problems?

The other excuse used by Webster throughout the press conference was that it was the legislation that caused most of the problems gamers complained about. Whether internal MSSA rules, national laws, international federation requirements, or even individual club decisions, the policy seemed to be to pass the buck and take zero responsibility. When asked if perhaps the MSSA should stop fighting against the gamers and maybe work to change those rules that are preventing the growth of eSports, they replied that they didn’t believe they were butting heads with gamers, but rather that this was all part of the service they offered.

It’s clear that they see things very differently to everyone else. When pressed on the PR release about earning a silver medal at the StarCraft II women’s event, Webster did not see a problem with the fact that they omitted the reality of the situation, which was that there were only two competitors. Does coming second of two mean that you actually come last? No, he doesn’t see it that way.

Local media doesn’t actually care about eSports

I could go on and on about the incompetence and plain-faced lying that took place on Saturday, but that would take all day and most of you wouldn’t read it. I was outraged, ranting to Alessandro Barbosa of EGMR about how awful the event was. However, he was one of the only people I could rant to – a total of three journalists (including myself) and two eSports advocates turned up at Old Eds. Yes, that’s it.

The ongoing issues with the MSSA are clearly important to gamers in the country – you wouldn’t have written so many comments on the relevant articles if it weren’t. However, Mweb didn’t even send their original reporter for this topic. Despite being the sole sponsor of the MSSA, Mweb sent only one journalist – but at least they sent someone to cover the press conference, which is more than can be said for other leading publications.

I understand that invitations were not sent out properly, and perhaps some people weren’t informed of the event – this is a general problem that plagues the MSSA. That said, I wasn’t actually invited to the press conference – I only knew about it because of an open invitation online. So what is the excuse? It’s bad enough that the MSSA doesn’t take their job as national eSports federation seriously – how can we hold them accountable when journalists can’t even be bothered to attend and ask the hard questions?

Too Long; Didn’t Read

In summary, the MSSA is just as broken as we believed it to be. Maphumula is not a breath of fresh air, but rather an ineffectual president who – as far as eSports within the MSSA is concerned – appears to be little more than a puppet for the previous president. eSports does not have quality representation on a national or provincial level – the MSSA is unable and unwilling to help gamers overcome obstacles, becoming another impediment themselves. But we are unlikely to see any of this change as those who could make noise and try to change this seem just as apathetic.

Saturday was a sad day for me. Not only did I realize how poorly gamers are represented by the MSSA and how defunct it is as a federation, I also came to terms with how poorly local eSports gamers are represented in general. While I do my best to report on all the local eSports news, it is clear that most of the media is apathetic when it comes to the MSSA. As a result, it will take dramatic change to fix local eSports, a change that is unlikely to come anytime soon.

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let's get on with it!

  • Slightly Insane Tim

    Indeed a Sad day for eSports in South Africa.. wonder if things will ever change.

    • General JJ the Fett

      South Africa has a knack for choosing their leaders based on all the wrong things. I don’t expect much to change. Or at least, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      • TiMsTeR

        I wish I could say you wrong, but you hot the nail on the head.

        • Admiral Chief of comments

          How does one hot the nail? Blowtorch?

          • General JJ the Fett

            Like a bauss

          • Hammersteyn

            LOL

          • TiMsTeR

            I prefer a flamethrower.

      • Admiral Chief of comments

        I like how you say “choosing”…more like wangling

        • General JJ the Fett

          True. But we all know it’s never the public’s choice. It’s the choice of whoever is the closest family member.

      • Hammersteyn

        Mostly they base it one just one thing.

        • General JJ the Fett

          I didn’t want to be so blunt. But you’re right.

  • Admiral Chief of comments
    • TiMsTeR

      hahaha agreed!

    • TiMsTeR

      Look at my hand does it look pretty! LOL!

  • Admiral Chief of comments

    ON AND ON AND ON AND ON the muppetry goes

    http://d24w6bsrhbeh9d.cloudfront.net/photo/amXpxqd_460sa.gif

  • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    Can’t we all just agree that we need private club play for eSports and just ignore these idiots?

    • noxville

      And get threatened when unaffiliated non-federated tournaments get threatened with legal action for allowing a team called “South Africa” to play in it? No ways bru.

      • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

        To be honest I would just avoid using “South Africa” or the like in the team name.

        Look I love this country and I would be proud to call myself a South African in eSports, but I just want to get past these idiots and they idiocy.

        Take Na’Vi (Yes I am a fanboy :P ). They are from the Ukraine, but Puppey is from Estonia and never at any point do they really put emphasis on the country of origin in a way that might invite legal action?

        • Matthew Holliday

          That is whats currently going on with the BF4 team.
          When you look at rosters and see “Team England, Team USA, Team Russia” then see “Southern Barbarians” you tend to feel a bit silly.

          using navi as a comparison isnt really a good one, as team ukraine would not include puppey.
          casters generally do make a big deal about their home countries, especially when doing east vs west matches, and all the promo peices have the players national flag posted under their name.

          The MSSA monopolosing “Team South Africa” and our flag, is sound in theory, protecting the name for qualified teams, but the way its implimented leaves much to be desired.

    • Mikhil

      This is along my line of thinking. At the moment, the MSSA is like a dysfunctional FIA, many disciplines under one umbrella, when in actual fact, I feel at least, eSports should be run in the same way that the SARU is run. National body supporting provincial bodies, possibly representing district bodies.

  • Dafuq did I just read?

    Such is Life!

  • Matt Merks

    Very sad day for esports in this country. I honestly believe there is no hope for the MSSA in its current form and I can not see a way that esports can be taken away from its grasp unless done so directly by SASCOC or government. Hopefully new movements will have enough of an impact to be able to take over the duties of MSSA and give gamers what they actually deserve, a representative body that actual cares and understands them.

  • Admiral Chief of comments

    Dear MWEB, HOW CAN YOU BE ALLIED WITH SUCH MUPPETS?

    Signed

    EVERYONE

    • General JJ the Fett

      To answer you in short.
      Because it’s Mweb.

  • Rags

    This is who you want to sponsor MWEB?

  • Drizzt

    I’m surprised that anyone is actually surprised by this…

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    So pretty much what everyone expected. Sigh.

    Will this be the sum total of MSSA communications? Because, you know, they’re busy.

    • Matt Merks

      Their master PR plan is already in action!

      http://i.imgur.com/iSGYiL3.png

      • Rags

        Try find the unsubscribe button on that email!

      • Hammersteyn

        WTF! those email addresses are on par with their website

      • RinceIsIngwer

        What is a “yahoo”?

        • Hammersteyn

          ROFL

        • TiMsTeR

          a creature who tries to find things but doesn’t do a great job at it.

          • General JJ the Fett

            But when it does it goes “Yahoo!”?

          • TiMsTeR

            and sticks out its tongue.

          • Hammersteyn

            And says “Bing”

          • TiMsTeR

            LOL!

        • Admiral Chief of comments

          [Said in NatGeo Presenter voice]

          “…and here you see the native ‘yahoo’ in its natural habitat. Notice the enlarged body build, and the inherent hot-air culminating from a fake sense of self worth. Truly a marvel to behold that such a creature is actually able to sustain itself from all the predators, likely due to the fact of surrounding itself with a collection of other ‘yahoo’. Collectively known by its scientific name of Monosimplus Superious Shittus Animus…”

          • RinceIsIngwer

            WIN :)

  • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

    Why did he laugh like that when he asked “Why do you not know who I am”

    The fuck is up with these arrogant dicks……
    The president clearly admits that he hardly know what’s happening in the eSports scene…..sigh

    • RinceIsIngwer

      Agreed. Fucking pathetic.

    • TiMsTeR

      Typical South Africa man… I am not even surprised by the news these days. If I can think it, I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened here in Sunny SA

    • Hammersteyn

      Looks like he can’t wait to hook his trailer on the gravy train.

  • RinceIsIngwer

    Damn man, These people need a good slap.

  • RinceIsIngwer

    Only MS can fail this bad with PR…

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      ID@MSSA lol

      • RinceIsIngwer

        BWAHAHAHAH! Nice.

  • http://otherwiseandoffbeat.blogspot.com/ Han Cilliers

    “However, Mweb didn’t even send their original reporter for this topic” Before you jump to hasty conclusions, why not ask me about it? I asked another member of the team to attend so we can get a fresh take on the whole MSSA debacle.

    • RinceIsIngwer

      Where is their fresh take?

      • Matt Merks

        I believe MWEB’s story is going to be up tomorrow.

        • RinceIsIngwer

          Thanks :)

    • noxville

      Han were you very surprised by the level of ineptitude shown in answering some very simple questions?

      (@RinceIsIngwer:disqus “Zaid” from MWEB was there, he’ll probably have an article up soon (assuming it’s not too anti-MSSA))

      • RinceIsIngwer

        Ah, thanks. Look forward to reading it. I don’t expect much though, they are their sponsors and don’t seem to care about the community.

        • noxville

          The people at MWEB (I’m speaking about Des and Choc_salties, who I’ve met before), are *very very* nice people who actually care a lot about eSports. They’re misguided by the joke that is the MSSA, and they think they can fix that; but this doesn’t actually make them uncaring towards the community, just mislead really. It’s also at a point where it might be unrealistic for MWEB to try cut ties so quickly, but hopefully they see the screwup they’ve made and slowly fix that (and just luss the MSSA).

          • Hammersteyn

            It would be for the best.

          • RinceIsIngwer

            Yeah, I am sure there are really nice people in Mweb but that doesn’t seem to motivate the company to use its influence for a positive change in regards to the MSSA.

          • noxville

            Yeah, that’s completely true, I’m just saying that it’s unfair to say that they don’t care – they care a lot, they’re just wrong about a solution. The ‘not caring’ part only becomes true once they realise they were wrong and don’t change their game plan. #crunchtime

          • RinceIsIngwer

            Well they’ve known a while now, let’s hope something changes.

    • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

      but you’re rated the top esports journalist in the country ;)…

      • RinceIsIngwer

        *Top rated MSSA journalist in the country* Fixed.

        • noxville

          Did anyone ask Colin if there was a monetary award for getting the MSSA’s board awards?

          • Admiral Chief of comments

            Pallet of cookies?

          • Matt Merks

            It was not asked, it would not have been answered.

        • Admiral Chief of comments

          Now now Ingwer, be nice

          • RinceIsIngwer

            Shut up! Isn’t that what Han told you before?:)

          • Admiral Chief of comments

            Oh yes, I remember. Thanks. Carry on then

    • Hammersteyn

      If it was just you present at the meeting would that make Han “Solo”? ;)

  • Hammersteyn

    So that’s what a Colin looks like…

    • Admiral Chief of comments

      Eat ALL the cookies?

      • Hammersteyn

        Spur Mondays!

        • HvR

          No need to get personal…

          IMHO Panarotti’s All you can eat Thursdays

  • Kromas

    On Saturday evening a witnessed a man get stabbed. It took 25 minutes before my emergency call got answered on 112. I am not surprised by the ineptitude of anything in this country anymore.

    • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

      Drove past a man driving a taxi getting an epileptic fit. No one stopped so my wife and I were trying to get this man help for almost an hour and already there was foam coming out of his mouth….Funny part? Multiple police vans drove past us :) and we tried stopping them for help and they weren’t even in a hurry….

      • General JJ the Fett

        We’ve fallen really far in the past few years.

        • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

          Really. Where’s the honor and dignity? It’s like no one takes pride in this country anymore

          • General JJ the Fett

            Absolutely true. A lot of South Africans have lost all their pride. Worst of all, it’s people in positions of power. And like our police. It’s saddening.

      • TiMsTeR

        lol its like my sister in law last night, she got stuck and metro car stops and they don’t even bother helping her. luckily her bf was not far away and fixed issue with car but if he wasn’t… In the good old days I heard stories of police actually helping even taking girls home late at night. These days poor girl prob become a victim of crime by the police themselves.

        • General JJ the Fett

          I hate how right you are.

          • TiMsTeR

            I hot the nail on the head! :P

          • General JJ the Fett

            You dod!

        • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

          Indeed bro, half of the force is corrupt…Honestly I have no faith in this country anymore

          • Bad @ss

            Half the force ????? More like 90% Ooo and they are a service now ????

    • Hammersteyn

      That’s why private security is booming in this country.

    • Admiral Chief of comments

      Wtf????

    • TiMsTeR

      Dude that’s how it is.. Call them saying you are in process of being robbed and arrive 3 hours later. I mean, the way of thinking is so shocking, I mean they don’t see that by being incompetent doesn’t only effect the people but as a country as a whole and before we know it, we another Zimbabwe.

      • Admiral Chief of comments

        …but call them and say that you just shot someone….response in 3mins

        • TiMsTeR

          Exactly!

  • Macethy

    Much like every other government department/body then?
    I’m honestly not surprised.

  • PointMan

    Can someone please tell me when exactly these events happened that no one is attending?

    • Matthew Holliday

      Cant tell us, precious, schedule is in their pockits.
      dirty nasty secrets.
      cant tells us.

      • Admiral Chief of comments

        Anyone else read that in Gollum voice? Hahaha, FILTHY

    • Admiral Chief of comments

      On the 38th of Febtober I believe

      • TiMsTeR

        People should book ahead I am told.

        • General JJ the Fett

          BOOK AHEAD TO ENSURE DISAPPOINTMENT!

          • TiMsTeR

            entrance fee R100

          • Admiral Chief of comments

            *R500

            Didn’t you read???

          • TiMsTeR

            eish.

          • HvR

            Only if you want to complain about the lack of network points, the weather or the guy next to you’s bad BO.

  • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    Wait was that his entire speech? *sigh*

    I’m just not going to waste the energy on ranting. It aint even worth it

    • General JJ the Fett

      But…but…you’re Sir Rants?
      What is this country coming to if Sir Rants doesn’t even want to rant???

      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        Dude, the MSSA isn’t worth my effort lol

  • Sk3tz0

    Can a independent Organisation for eSports not be established. By people who actually care about the sports and not two old guys whose highest egaming experience probably Solitaire.. oke on the right looks like last time he worked on anything electronic was when he tried to set the time on his casio wristwatch..

    • Her Highness the Hipster

      oh man, i remember casio wristwatches! they even had calculators!

      • Sk3tz0

        Have to say both of look like they have min lus to be sitting where they sitting.. One oke probably still upset about the Stormers Loosing and the other looks like he needs to fart.

    • Matthew Holliday

      The current president is a 2 time world champion of a board game thats played in a whole 2 countries.
      The ex presidents son played Quake and was, for all intents and purposes “the founder of Bravado” *cough cough*. Which makes him doubly qualified.

      • ToshZA

        someone bred with that? O_O

  • TiMsTeR

    The most likely true reality of it all.

    • Spathi

      Must actually be the other way round. That overweight Colin surely thinks a lot about food.

      • TiMsTeR

        Is that dude Colin? The infamous Colin?

        • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

          That is Simphiwe and Colin in the header.. I’ll leave you to figure out which is which ;)

          • Norm

            They both look like an arse to me….

    • Norm

      Nicely done.

  • Richard Pretorius

    “press conference or media release…” – confused much?

    Webster looking very tired and ‘slobbish’ while sporting South African colours… Imagine SA Rugby squad yawning at an international ehhhh, press conference or media release…”

    Balancing act…? What, Websters head on his fist? Your knowledge of Morabaraba vs the knowledge of other eSports divisions? Seriously, plan a speech, introduce yourself and give people a background of your knowledge. If you know nothing about other gaming genres such as video gaming, card gaming etc, then suggest to appoint representatives who actually know more than you and not try take the title for yourself and run this country more into the ground than it already is… This is why South African legends piss off out this country to make a name for themselves elsewhere, POOR MANAGEMENT, GREEDY FINGERS IN SPONSORSHIP’S and in general, an IDGAF ATTITUDE!!!

    The only crowd you seem to satisfy is yourself and not the very people who matter, us the true gamers! How about getting more in the public and actioning public ideas as to how you can upgrade your club and actually make it a worthy service from South Africa. Bringing international gamers to play in marketing gimmicks for massive corps is not gonna jack things up. Look local and satisfy the people around you who can even help fund you guys big time. Little amounts count more than large amounts that are capex limited..

    There are a tonne of things you can do with your platform and slouching and yawning in the public eye Mr Webster is not going to get those things done!

    Ok, that’s my rant and rave… All I can hope is that something constructive happens with this club and that they employ someone to overhaul it and not leave it with a puppet who throws bean in a box and calls them cows…

  • http://tumblr.exhibeo.com/ Axon1988

    Reading all the comments, watching that video… and just taking in the general mindset of everyone. I’m getting depressed, I’m getting tired of this country. I look at other countries and see what is going on in places like Ukraine, and wonder why we’re just sitting like muppets? But then what can we really do? The MSSA as it currently stands, is really just a giant SCAM aimed at nothing but their own gain.

  • Jonah Cash

    This like Saru getting a new CEO and he says well I come from ABSA so I will need a year to learn how to do my job?!?!?!?!? Wait WHAT???? You get elected and you are just a puppet, how do you let people use you like that??? I must be on a different planet to all these people!!!

    • Matthew Holliday

      to be fair, SARU just deals with rugby.
      MSSA deals with mindsports as a whole, the number of games, board games and war games that encompases, can be overwhelming.
      If i was a new comer to the MSSA, and was serious about making a change, Id also take my time to get to know the organisation.

      however, I have no confidence that the current president intends to make any positive changes, and its not just a year, its an extra year. when was he elected again? 6 months ago? and its not like hes a newcomer to the MSSA either.
      he should have had a handle on things befor being elected.

      • noxville

        If you want to keep the rugby analogy, maybe a comparison between Sevens and normal rugby union.

        • Matthew Holliday

          is Sevens goverened by SARU?
          or do they have their own governing body?

          I thought the comment about separating e-sports from the MSSA, under its own governing body was a pretty good one.

          • noxville

            SARU runs Sevens also.

            Yeah, it makes a lot more sense splitting meta-meta-genres into just meta-genres (i.e. eSports is a meta-genre, taking that away from a meta-meta-genre ‘mindsports’).

      • Jonah Cash

        My point is that he is in over his head and I can’t believe he was voted in to the position he is!! You won’t become CFO if you aren’t competent to be CFO, so how the hell is this guy the President of a group of people but he doesn’t know shit?????

        • Weanerdog

          No he was the only candidate, it is a win kind of like that silver starcraft medal.

  • OSiR!S

    I will NOT support an ISP who is too arrogant to see how unsatisfied the gaming community is with tye MSSA. The only way MWEB will open their eyes is if this starts biting them in the arse. MWEB claims they have gamers interests at heart which judging by this and their sponsorship to the MSSA clearly is not the case.As such after I finish typing this, im going to get into my car and go and terminate my services with MWEB and move over to AFRIHOST or someone. I will no longer support blatant arrogance.

    • Matthew Holliday

      conversely, you could assume that mweb are well aware of the incompetancy and are looking to make a change from the inside.
      i know members have mentioned this befor.

      • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

        Well I don’t think it’s the sponsors job to try and change the organisation.

        • Matthew Holliday

          i firmly agree with you, the organisation shouldnt need a change in the first place. but you cant fault them for wanting to try.

    • R1ker

      Left Mweb last year already. I am very happy with Afrihost at the moment.

  • Richard Pretorius
  • Kensei Seraph

    Maybe if we ignore them they’ll go away?
    Basically if there E-Sports members all leave then they can no longer represent South African E-Sports.

    • Matt Merks

      There is a problem though, they are embedded on a grassroots level whereby many of the gamers who join the MSSA have no idea about the greater community or that anything is going on in terms of backlash aimed at the MSSA.

      • Kensei Seraph

        And of course the MSSA isn’t going to let anyone tell them otherwise.

        • noxville

          “The MSSA – deleting any realist from their Facebook page who mentions that they are wrong on something”

  • Admiral Chief of comments
  • http://www.grrr.co.za/ Lee Logan

    I think it’s time. Time to completely disassociate eSports as Electronic Sports, from Mind sports, which can cover whatever game the MSSA sees fit to cover, chess and tiddly winks, passive aggressive mind wrestling…who cares.

    We need to establish eSports as a separate entity entirely, governed by a separate body as association with this ineffective chess variation peddler association is of no benefit to anyone at all.

  • http://www.grrr.co.za/ Lee Logan

    poor grammar is poor, but you get the idea

  • Mikhil

    Okay…so I’ve been out of PC gaming for a few years now, but am slowly getting back into it. As a result, I’ve been keeping tabs on this MSSA debacle, and I want to know a few things. First off, a disclaimer – I currently do not play competitively at any level so am only commentating from an outside perspective. As I understand it MSSA is the organization that hands out provincial and national colours. If I recall correctly, in one of the articles recently published, it was mentioned that any other organisation can hand out these colours, provided they met with basic requirements from SASCOC (I suspect this invoolves a fee of some sort too). Now, the first thing I want to know is this… are all international competitions purely nationality based, ie South Africa vs Australia, or only some? Is this predominantly an issue with representing ones country/province as opposed to say, at a clan/club /professional level? What is the general format for tournaments locally (round robin/ knockout/ group phase), and are they played at a LAN, or online? Lastly, I’ve heard talk of MSSA helping at a development level, where can we find updates, and success stories of this?

    To me, it looks like there can only really be one of two ways out of this. Option One: Complete autonomy for eSports from MSSA, while keeping affiliation. MSSA hands out colours, on advice from the eSports sub-committee or division. MSSA does not interfere, membership fees are payed to MSSA, who then designate said funds to eSports. MSSA only get drawn into matters that are in direct conflict with their own standards. Option Two: Everyone says enough is enough, a seperate organisation is formed with it’s own charter, it’s own requirements and it’s own path leading forward. Obviously, SASCOC accreditation would be first priority. My final question – what would the downside be to the local eSport community, to both casual and professional players, if a new organization was setup? Assuming of course that the national colours could be issued by the new entity.

    Apologies for the long post, and again, I’m not trying to step on toes, these are just genuine questions. I would genuinely like to get involved at some stage, but at the moment I have a bad feeling in my gut with regards to the way things are being run locally. And I would go look on MSSA’s website for some of these answers, but…yeah…

    • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

      My current udnerstanding is that the eSports section needs to be given up by the MSSA or removed from it by SASCOC. Part two is what I’d like to see

      Most international competitions are not nation based. MSSA has joined the IesF which works via countries, however we’ve previously proven even those countries aren’t all endorsed by their respective governments and the entire official Test Match nonsense is exactly that.. nonsense.

      • Mikhil

        Then surely, if enough eSports players come forward, can SASCOC not be approached? Look, I’m getting most of my info from you guys, I am not directly involved so cannot see what the other side of the coin looks like, but to me it seems the general consensus is one of unhappiness.

        • Aries

          Clans or clubs are more organized than these people, and it sad, as the clans usually do it just for fun, and get it right, where a government endorsed institution blame the gamers for not being able to travel and what ever other excuses they have or dont have

        • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

          Yes and there are plans in place for exactly that. However right now everything is on hold until after the court case tomorrow which could either help us greatly or take me out of the equation

  • Aries

    How is it that poor attendance is due to gamers not being able to travel, any gamer who can compete must be quite while off, gaming expensive and when you game competitively it just a bit extra, this people dum, atleast a real gamer should lead the `mssa

    • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

      That’s my feeling entirely. playing FIFA at an event does not make you an eSports athelete

      • Aries

        Honestly, there so little info on how to get recognition for gamers that it almost doesnt matter what game you play in this country, In cape town, there only fifa tournaments that i know of, and that a waste to go to after putting all this money into a PC. Was also wondering yesterday if there any SA gamers on twitch, doing live streaming as that seems to be one way forward in the country

  • neilhza

    It took you guys 1h4m16s to arrange an air strike?

    • Matt Merks

      Wishful!

  • Unavengedavo(aka. Bilbo)

    Awesome article and I agree that things are in shambles at the MSSA. But you should have given MWEB right of reply before making accusations :P

  • Willem Swanepoel

    Ignoring everything that he said.

    How the F*** can you run an organisation if you are WORKING AND STUDYING at the same time.

    That is like having a 3rd JOB with KIDS!!!.

    Nope sorry, even if he was even slightly competent, with a PR and amazing balls good ideas for eSports, he would not be able to “lead” eSports to a better future.

    It is not possible to work, study, have a normal human life and then spend the little bit extra time you have running an organisation.

    It will not get better for SA gaming with MSSA. It will only get worse and everything will be just a huge F OP.

    You do not jump into a president position and not knowing WTF is going on.

    • Unavengedavo(aka. Bilbo)

      “You do not jump into a president position and not knowing WTF is going on.”

      But Zuma can do it, so why can’t he? :P

      • Willem Swanepoel

        I have no idea. Zuma had a bigger machine gun .. ?! o_O

  • Unavengedavo(aka. Bilbo)

    I hope at least some one at MWEB noticed the unprofessional behaviour. Because it seems that there were a lot of their own promotional material and advertising standing around.

    If I had a business, then I would not want my product to be represented this way O_o

  • El Capitan del Blade

    If there was an international “Jonah Lomu Rugby 20XX” tournament, That would get coverage. Or A Cricket simulator…

    because, “Jirre Ou, f***ken Raakbie oppie EksBoks”

  • Douglas Brown

    My issue with the way that they answered the total number of eSports members is that it is so ambiguous that it holds no truth. First they say that their eSport player base is 32% but is that of the 12500 or the out of the remaining clubs. ie one of the 7 non participating clubs could have 5000 members so their stats of eSport player base can be as low as 2400 members. So all in all it’s utter crap and a useless statistic. I can also clearly hear how Colin says players can play across multiple fields. Now surely if they know that players play participate in multiple mind sports they have a database of said players. Yet cannot provide a definitive answer. All I see in the interview is misdirection, puppetry and stone walling.

  • Sk3tz0

    I say TP the office building..!!!

    • Admiral Chief of comments

      *ignited TP

  • ZumaIsPoes

    shame , made a fool of himself

  • http://www.youtube.com/channel/ArchzionGaming Archzion

    Really? as in REALLY? this will look like a rage, and it is..
    WHY THE F%$K BOTHER covering this? why do we even care about the MSSA? Don’t we always complain and state “gamers unite!”? why? Let’s do it then. SO many readers, comments, so many opinions… and still we are stuck with the ANC of eSports. Now, let’s do something about it. History is filled with revolutions.. why don’t we show the world even if it’s from a gaming standpoint what we can do? I think Lazygamer.net with all the staff and supporters should stand together and start one of the best eSports groups out there. A new page on the site for sign ups? People with skills here who can design a site, people with leadership skills and a know how of the industry… people willing to rather start something new than complain about something broken. Let’s do this.. GAMERS UNITE.

  • Douglas Brown

    Lol just listened to this shit again and my favourite colin quote: “Trust me, I know this”

  • Gareth

    MSSA which represents e-sports and in other countries e-sports is so massive that one tournament win could change lives of the gamers that won…millions of $ of prize money.

    South Africa will eventually get to this stage and who do we have in-charge of eSports SA? a president that plays board games and battles to answer intellectual questions and a group that puts wargames in the same category as Dota2/Lol/Battlefield4/CallofDuty which is ridiculous.

    My point being it has been proven how big E-sports can get from LoL/Dota2, Cod, Battlefield, fifa and Forza being the main games played Internationally but do we see any Wargames or board games with massive followings bringing in the amount that proper console/Pc games do?

    To summarize, why don’t we let MSSA deal with board games and WarGames and partition the Government to let SAEA (South African eSports Association) take over as their main focus is eSports for the main games the community playes, our Dota2/LoL/Battlefield4 and CoD Communities for South Africa are quite large and growing.

    Colin did mention that NONE get special treatment…but really? eSports for the main games played with the community should get special treatment..LoL/Dota2/Battlefield 4/COD Ghosts being the main 4 in this country right now IMO…grow those communities, get them nice and big which makes them more competitive and we might actually see more companies sponsoring Prizes.

    • Matt Merks

      I did make the point that eSports should get special treatment seeing that it is classified as a tier 1 sport, such as rugby, cricket, etc. but was blocked because all is equal until funding is discussed and I am pretty sure that in some ways esports is subsidizing the other MSSA disciplines. On the other hand the other disciplines are hiding esports from affirmative action and quota systems.

      Talking now from the perspective of SAESA, we are looking at all options and will get there in due time. We are well into the process of registering the association and our constitution. We have discussed in length the implications of registering as a federation with government or SASCOC and we will be taking a serious look at giving gamers an option other than MSSA.

      • Rags

        Good to hear on the progress of SAESA. Any date you can give when we can expect more info/website etc?

        • Matt Merks

          We’ve hit a couple of snags along the way. Next board meeting on Wednesday and then we can hopefully confirm timing on a whole lot of exciting things :)

  • disqus_rQDvjekRQa

    Esports is too big to be sub-classed under the MSSA time for new separate institution… Let the Esports people handle esports

  • Terrence W Pringle

    You have to be joking; between them and the government it’s a wonder we have anything at all…

  • Rags

    Oh man I just have the opportunity to watch this now. It’s so embarrassing that Colin need to inform his little lapdog on basic stuff like figures.

    How disinterested can you possibly be?

    What the actual fuck. And sponsor give them support?

    As for the questioners. One at a time. Good lord, this is not school.

    • Matt Merks

      Rags, excuse us for asking how we did, it was incredibly frustrating firstly not being understood, but secondly every “answer” being a hugely roundabout way of dodging the questions.

      • Rags

        Haha yeah I know it was frustrating. But so its frustrating for us to listen too.
        Zoe specifically chipped in too often when the question was still being asked. Which is disrespectful to the questioner.

        Its like this: “I am John Doe from XYZ organistation. Question?”
        Not “do you not know who I am?”

        Anyway thanks for asking some tough questions even if they where stumped by a few softballs. :P Their levels of ignorance especially of this ‘take a hike dude’ is incredible. He should be embarrassed and should show some shame.

        I cannot watch this all in one go, its too cringe worthy. Its like watching American Pie with your parents.

        • Matt Merks

          Well, I will disagree with you there. Colin introduced me to Simphiwe prior to the start of the press conference, as he did with everyone else. While the “why do you not know who I am?” comes across as being self-absorbed and vain, it is very valid in the work that I have done with the MSSA over the last few years, working quite close with them to make sure there were online qualifiers for StarCraft II(one of the most successful titles MSSA eSports has had) and other notable things.

          Just the fact that the new president has no idea who I am lends to him being utterly unprepared for the press conference (I did RSVP as soon as MSSA made it available) and for his actual position as president. He also did absolutely no homework on the subject matter. Who did he think was attending and what did he think would be asked on the day? He has absolutely no background information on what MSSA covers in terms of esports, I would have been surprised if he could name the games that MSSA supports currently.

          • Rags

            I am mostly mentioning this so you guys will know for future reference as you are addressing an audience not participating too. I did not even know it was you who said that for instance. But I am also mentioning it, because if your questions are to confrontational it could not create as much impact.

            But really, those are minor points and simple issues I had. And I commend you for taking the time and asking the hard questions. The MSSA on the other hand, I don’t even know where to start.

  • CAE9872

    I say again – gaming may be the biggest entertainment product in the world, but general press do not see it that way. So you cannot blame them for not going to a press event like this no matter how important it may be.

    General public “understand” there are games! But very few play it passionately.

    And by all accounts why go to something as shoddy as this. The MSSA or any other similar organisation has to earn that right. Doing it this way clearly isnt the way!

  • Sageville

    What I don’t get is Mweb is MSSA’s sole sponsor, they are an ISP, as such they are targeting eSports from this sponsorship and yet the MSSA, with a 3rd of it’s membership in eSports, isn’t focused of eSports as this dogshow conference suggests.

    If they are so busy with Morabaraba and Studies why not cede their eSports colors issuing to some body that is more eSports focused. I mean that’s the only card they have, the SA colors.

    I don’t think MWeb are backing the right horse here.

    • Matt Merks

      Well, that is a nickname I haven’t seen in years… MiST?

      • Sageville

        Yoh, that was a life-time ago, I miss good ol counter-strike.

        Do peeps still play that?

      • Sageville

        Yoh, that was a life-time ago, I miss good ol counter-strike.

        Do peeps still play that?

        • Matt Merks

          Knew it was you sir :) I believe those that play are doing CS:GO nowadays. I moved on from that a loooooong time ago :)

  • Gustav Willem Diedericks

    Wow. El Presidente of MSSA knows as much about the organization he’s suppose to run as Malema does about woodwork. Apt that the video goes black after 10 minutes – a vision of Simphiwe’s mind: big black darkness on the subject.

    • Matt Merks

      Ah, the metaphor I was expecting.

  • Charl van der Merwe

    II cringed reading this, it’s just that embarrassing.