The MSSA gags its players 
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Darryn Bonthuys
September 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm

ballgag

It has not been a good week for the MSSA. As usual, our national eSports body has come under fire and criticism. Strange thing is though, the players under them are dead quiet about this latest blunder. And we know why, because as we’ve just learnt, joining the MSSA is one of the worst things that you can ever do.

We recently got our hands on the alleged contract that players have to sign before joining the MSSA, from someone with links to the national team who wants to remain anonymous. And said person has a good reason for wanting to be so secretive.

Joining the national side pretty much means that players lose any and all freedom of speech. Here’s an excerpt from the contract:

I undertake that I shall not make any statements in any way about the team, selection process, etc., unless it is at the MSSA’s direction. Should I make any such statements I acknowledge that I shall be liable for a fine not exceeding R15,000.00 as imposed by the Management Board of the MSSA and forfeit any colours that I may have.

That’s a disgusting clause. This is a nation that prides itself on freedom of speech, and slapping a financial sense of fear into players for daring to have criticism is no way to build up a sports body. Here’s another juicy bit from the contract:

I acknowledge that if I am interviewed while I am member of a national team, I shall:

  • Always thank the MSSA, and all sponsors associated with the event

Oh hell, now you have to act as if they’re the best thing since sliced cheese as well, an organisation that can barely even take a proper photo of its players or run a proper website? And it gets even worse from there, as joining the MSSA means that you practically belong to them:

I acknowledge that as soon as I am selected as a member of the team, I shall resign from all groups and organisations that are not affiliated to the MSSA if such groups and organisations also claim to play the disciplines as promoted by the MSSA. Should I fail to immediately resign, and copy the MSSA accordingly,  I acknowledge that I shall be liable for a fine not exceeding R15,000.00 as imposed by the Management Board of the MSSA and forfeit any colours that I may have.

What does that mean exactly? It means that if you belong to a team that happens to be in say, the Do Gaming League where plenty of our top players come from, you have to leave them as soon as possible. That’s the equivalent of joining the national Springbok rugby side and being told that you’re no longer allowed to play for the Blue Bulls.

I wonder if PandaTank gets regular R15 000 fines for playing in tournaments that haven’t signed up to the MSSA? Seems to be a rule they enforce when it suits them. 

This is a horrible contract, to be blunt. It’s draconian, filled with rules that don’t benefit the players in any way and serves to only make the prospect of getting national colours something to fear, not embrace.

And quite frankly, none of you need it. I get that having national colours is something to be proud of. But if you’re going to join an organisation that does not have your best interests at heart, you might want to think twice.

Don’t do it, is what I’m saying. You want to play games and make a living off of your passion? Then go private. Join the DGL. See what Polarfluke has to offer. You don’t need national colours to be a success. You don’t need the MSSA to prove yourselves.

Play hard, love your game and you’ll be the people’s champion at the end of the day. Even if it’s unofficial, it’s a hell of a lot better than what the MSSA has to offer and you can’t be fined R15 000 just for saying what you feel. And history will prove that. We’ve got our own unofficial rematch coming up with Mexico that we’re still ironing out the details on, so keep an eye out.

Don’t believe this is possible? Well here’s the pdf of the contract we received, the only change made was that I redacted the ref at the top as I don’t know if that possibly identified the sender. Here is the  MSSA Contract. This is all a bit silly isn’t it.

Because he's the writer that Lazygamer deserves, but not the one it actually needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can't take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a loud-mouthed journalist, a watchful procrastinator. A dork knight.
  • Admiral Chief of Rivia

    DAT HEADER O_O

    • Gerhard Davids

      Hmmf pmmf hmahahamafffpp /drool

      • Sageville

        Again!

        I’m that dood lolling by himself in the office.

        • Admiral Chief of Rivia

          LOLling at your LOL

      • Admiral Chief of Rivia

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAHAHHAHAHAAHA

  • Spathi

    WTF.

    I have nothing else to say.

    • Tarisma

      ya WTF is the only response

  • Admiral Chief of Rivia

    Well written Darren!

    • RincemySniperKittEH0-O

      Yes. Very much so.

      • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

        Thanks chaps. But credit where credit is due to Gavin and Geoff for getting this researched first.

        • Admiral Chief of Rivia

          Agreed, but you did a helluva job writing that up.

          Major Commodore Indeed

        • RincemySniperKittEH0-O

          But still hella well written. “Play hard, love your game and you’ll be the people’s champion at the end of the day” Inspiring shit man, where’s the obligatory slow clap I wonder?

          • Admiral Chief of Rivia

            Hells to the no, STANDING OVATION

          • hairyknees

            I had to minimise the window at that point because I got all choked up :’(

            Also, where is the rocky music? XD

          • Admiral Chief of Rivia

            Ala MARIACHI STYLE!!!

        • Unavengedavo (aka. Frik)

          Agreed, this is a very well written article!

          Now I feel ashamed for calling you Brenda and blaming my mistake on you. I hope you accept my apology.

          • GalacticLordCaptainAwesomeness

            Ag no man, you know you’re not supposed to call your girlfriend that…

          • Admiral Chief of Rivia

            XDXD

  • Admiral Chief of Rivia

    Ma Se Sleg Assholes

  • Tarisma

    Gees this is crazy. wow.

  • Admiral Chief of Rivia

    Motherless Silly Sausage Assclowns

  • Admiral Chief of Rivia

    Another thing, dafuq is up with the AA? I mean, if you are the best gamer, who the hell cares what colour you are???

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    and then made them squeal like a pig?

  • Admiral Chief of Rivia

    Looks like the MSSA wants to milk the gamers.
    Shameful

  • Admiral Chief of Rivia

    epic facepalm

  • RincemySniperKittEH0-O

    I’m actually pretty sure that that gag clause is anti-constitutional therefore a load of pigshit.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      I wonder if they define “statement” in the contract. Because then I didn’t give a statement, I made an off-the-cuff remark ;)

    • Lardus-Respect the beard

      Well I know you cannot sign away your basic constitutional rights as part of an employment contract, so surely this is unconstitutional as freedom of speech is a constitutional right and this basically nullifies that?

      • RincemySniperKittEH0-O

        Exactly. As far as I know, the law of the land, that being the constitution trumps any attempts made by anyone, including government, hence why Zuma spends so much time in the highest court of the land…

        • Sageville

          In the end those clauses look nasty but I’d imagine they are impossible to enforce. I doubt anyone has been taken to court to force payment of these fines.

          Its like those restraint of trade clauses found in my old pimp’s contracts “You may not work for any of our affiliates for x many years after leaving the company”. They’re meant to scare you, but are impossible to enforce as it conflicts with the constitutional right to work.

    • Johan du Preez

      You are right you cannot contract out of law … freedom of speech is a constitutional right. You can say what you want it wont hold in court … Its a scare tactic for the young players to keep them quiet ….

      • RincemySniperKittEH0-O

        Indeed. My thoughts too. Bully tactics man, really not on.

        • Johan du Preez

          Yeh makes me quite sad, we have some of the best and passionate gamers in the world in this country and you get this douche bags that decided they run the show.

  • Umar Final Fantasy 15 Hopeful

    Holy Shit………………Darryn, you weren’t joking in your tweet…….holy crap……Really??…….So MSSA is the Pimp and you are their ..well you know

  • Admiral Chief of Rivia

    Mindless Silly Stupid Abusers

  • That Tall Twit

    MSSA’s version of DRM?

    • Admiral Chief of Rivia

      Worse

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Apparently Mindsports are thought police.

  • Charles Du Plessis
    • John on trial

      Man I loved that movie more than I should have

    • Umar Final Fantasy 15 Hopeful

      DUDE!! lol thanx for that hahahaha

  • Tarisma

    Well to be fair you will only be fined R15000 if you do not retract your statement.

  • RincemySniperKittEH0-O

    Should just change their name and be done with it…

  • Mujeeb Lambarey

    I just threw up in my mouth

    • Admiral Chief of Rivia

      Aye dude, terrible stuff this

      • Mujeeb Lambarey

        I’ve been following this whole MSSA debacle from the get-go but I refrained from commenting to give MSSA the benefit. Reading that contract makes me sick. By no means am I a pro-gamer but the restrictions in that contract are disgusting. I can only but hope that the pdf copy is some sort of hoax.

        • Admiral Chief of Rivia

          As do I, but the facts seem to be against the MSSA

  • https://twitter.com/jGLZA_b00 jGLZA

    Well written Darryn, utter-shameful contract clauses those are.
    The R15,000 is majorly over excessive too, especially considering the MSSA doesn’t even pay their players unlike say a… Springbok/Proteas contract!
    Tier 1 sport my ass!

    • Lourens Jordaan

      Just want to point out: “not exceeding R15000″ so you could technically be fined R100 for a minor offence and no more than R15000 to a very very very major offence. None the less,I understand the need for “ethical” behavior when playing for the MSSA but this is too much.

  • Lardus-Respect the beard

    Props for the Bulls Reference Darryn!! This news is disgusting though!

    • Admiral Chief of Rivia

      Bottom of the log?

      ;)

      • Lardus-Respect the beard

        Busy winning the Rugby Championships…lol

        • Admiral Chief of Rivia

          PUH-LEASE, how many bulls are in SB team???? Like 4/5?

          • Lardus-Respect the beard

            Well, with so many that left for Europe, probably only the two centres haha!!!

          • Admiral Chief of Rivia

            Also. GO BOKKE GOOOOO!!!!

          • That Tall Twit

            Go Sharks.

            Carry on.

          • Admiral Chief of Rivia

            Upvote!

          • Lardus-Respect the beard

            With so much Rugby these days, I really can’t be bothered following the CC closely. I even skipped large parts of the S15 (unfortunately not the Semi final where I actually attended). I try to limit myself to the BOKKE where provincialism is supposed to mean nothing and everyone with half a brain or more in this country support the same team and doesn’t fight!!

          • Admiral Chief of Rivia

            I too, have not given my full attention to Ruggas this year, while awesome, just sooo much to do

          • Purple_Dragon

            Woo, the game on Saturday is going to be massive. I’m a Kiwi supporter and hell I’m nervous. Will be interesting to see if the Boks will pull it off. If they do, that will be one of the biggest things ever, haven’t beaten NZ at Eden Park in 76 years. NZ also unbeaten at Eden park since 1994 I think.

            Finally a game that we have no idea what the result will be. Going to be epic.

          • Admiral Chief of Rivia

            Why do you support the ABs?

          • Purple_Dragon

            Was born there mate but been living here in SA nearly my whole life. My dad supported them and it’s been family thing. It’s the only NZ team I support though, love their style and know their players from back then.

            I also support them so I can bug the shit out of my friends haha.

          • Admiral Chief of Rivia

            So I see.

            At least you have some credibility, being born there.

            Not like some of the muppets I know…

          • Purple_Dragon

            Yep, I know who you are referring to. Irritates me as well. I bet none of them have even been to NZ. I’ve been there a few times, tried working there but love SA too much.

            I wouldn’t mind supporting the Boks but just don’t have the same passion for them as I supported NZ from a very young age.

            But I’m glad Boks seem to be back where they should be. Makes for exciting weekends. This week has been the first time in a long time there has been such a build up to the game. Articles and stuff every day. Been a slow week, just waiting for Saturday.

          • Hammersteyn

            There are teams who would spend millions for those to centres. Please don’t tell Europe. We can’t lose anymore players

      • Lardus-Respect the beard

        And at the moment shite news = Bulls, good news = Boks :P

        • Admiral Chief of Rivia

          Agreed

      • Hermann Schwindt

        That’s okay, we can only go up from there! :)

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Step 1: Beat another team. trollol!

          • Admiral Chief of Rivia

            HAHAHA

  • A 2 Brute?

    The amount of overkill in that contract:

    • Admiral Chief of Rivia

      HAHAHAHHAHAA

    • hairyknees

      Hahahaha xD

    • Matthew Holliday

      read as “please dont tell anyone how shit we actually are.”

  • Hammersteyn

    DOTA doesn’t seem free to play anymore.

    • Matthew Holliday

      The contracts are scarier than the community

      • Johan du Preez

        lol have a upvote

      • Estian Hough

        Have another!

      • Estian Hough

        Have another!

  • Lord Chaos

    O_o
    There are no words…

  • Daniel Cisco Swart

    Mr Colin Webster is the problem in MSSA. He has been there for more than 10 years and its perhaps time for him to move on?

    • Admiral Chief of Rivia

      I think, its time for THE HAMMER TO FALL

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

      He is moving on, he cannot run again as the president.

      • Weanerdog

        Well if you make yourself president for life you seldom get to do another term.

      • Daniel Cisco Swart

        Sure… We will see if that happens. I don’t see him giving up his hold on controlling MSSA without a fight. There has been talks of him leaving for years. He never does because free trips to Korea and over the World why would he.

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

          Apparently the constitution is rock solid on this one, he cannot serve another term.

          But I don’t think Colin is the main problem. The entire organisation needs to be restructured and eSports needs to be split away if they want to continue supporting it.

          • Daniel Cisco Swart

            Fully agree eSports needs to not be linked with MSSA. I would recommend to any gamer that wants to show his/her worth. Dont support MSSA it never works out. DGL has done much more for SA gaming than the MSSA has ever done.

    • Matthew Holliday

      by 2008 the MSSA had already had its fair share of bullshits, especially when it came to COD. We at 8or9 didnt even bother with trials.

      you must remember the whole shitstorm with QOOB wanting to play in that German tournament? and the drama between the MSSA, mweb and AGASA?
      not even counting the old warcraft 3 drama

      • Estian Hough

        YEEEEES! Someone finally said ‘Trials’ instead of ‘Trails’
        Today has been a good day…

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    I just read the thing, and my only reaction is O_O

  • Purple_Dragon

    MSSA must be hating the shit out of LG. But they don’t seem to realise people just want to make things better and improve credibility.

    It’s probably not the case but hell MSSA sounds like it is being headed up by someone in SASCOC. Sounds like the kind of thing SASCOC gets up to.

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

      MSSA is given their power by SASCOC

      • Admiral Chief of Rivia

        O_O

      • Sageville

        Nuff said…

  • hairyknees

    Wtf? Disgusting…

    The only thing the contract should say is, “I will represent my country and kick ass as best I can.”

    END

    • Admiral Chief of Rivia

      Agreed, I’d sign that!

    • Matthew Holliday

      But if it was that easy, they couldnt fine you R15 000 every 2 weeks.
      There is a reason the MSSA hasnt gone bankrupt yet.

      • hairyknees

        Wtf? Subtly badmouthing the MSAA??? “I shall not make any statements in any way about the team, selection process, etc., unless it is at the MSSA’s direction”

        Did they direct you to say that? NO? That will be R15 000! I’d flee the country now bro :P

        • Matthew Holliday

          let me farm for a few minutes and im sure i could bench Colin
          I doesnt afraid of anything

          • hairyknees

            Hahahahaha xD

    • Devourer of Small Bunnies

      I concur!

  • ZackFirst

    Who is the MSSA ??? no im serious no jokes ? :/

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

      Mind Sport South Africa, they have been given the mandate by government to enhance all sports and activities that fall under their umbrella including eSports, Backgammon, table top warfare etc.

  • Devourer of Small Bunnies

    i just threw up in mouth a bit there.

    LG needs to take the reigns and run with it. You guys have more passion and more sensibility about the industry, nevermind your fan and contact base believes and supports the cause. Its this over red taped corporate bullshit thats killing our interest in spectating an event within our realm of interest. IF the SA pro-gamers scene was a multi million issue I can understand the need for NDA and SLA’s but for fuck sake, a friendly match gets turned into the literal shit storm leaves a bad taste in my mouth and places my faith in other international teams and events because the companies that are responsible for making our countries representatives look like assholes are the ones that are hampering any growth or innovation. i can pretty much promise that so many SA gamers have no respect for the agency as is.

    And by the way. The NDA mentioned above has got to be the most dastardly thing I have seen in a contract in years. Treating players as walking talking pro bullshit spinners is hardly moving anything forward. The MSSA and their subsidiaries need to realise that they are competing with companies at an international level and need to restrict themselves to proper international business standards and ethics. These are people you are working with, age or inteerest is irrelevant. They are by a long stretch a brand, but a brand that will have opposing opinions and ideals.

    If this bullshit carries on, the chances of any large scale event made available internationally is diminishing by the second, and that bodes no good faith to anyone who spectates or plays.

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

      Thanks for the word of support but we do not want to run leagues and clubs moving forward. We love being the leading independent news outlet in the country and feel that things like organising tournaments are best left to those who have the real passion for it like the DGL, PolarFluke and a ton of other smaller organisations.

      • Devourer of Small Bunnies

        Well within the community we hold here Im sure something can be done. I understand your point well though

        • Admiral Chief of Rivia

          Heh, still laughing at that nick, dammit, why is it so funny????

          • Devourer of Small Bunnies

            I used muti on the internet machine and it gave me the power of lol :P

          • Sageville

            You can’t use albino body parts to make that web-muti you need ginger powa!

            /looks around

          • Devourer of Small Bunnies

            hahahahahaha wp wp

  • Sageville

    Unbelievable!

    I feel for the members, that been said, it also means that every comment made by these members on the quality of the tournaments/event/organisation etc can assumed to be a lie.

  • Charné Banger

    Oh goodness!

    • Admiral Chief of Rivia

      Good?

  • Cuan Lohrentz

    What kind of sorcery is this? !!!!

  • HvR

    Ai tog, Gavin was right it got worse.

    I think that is probably the last nail in the coffin for MSSA support from the free thinking SA gaming community. ( to think I actually posted a few comments months ago that MSSA is a good thing for SA eSports)

    Might have preferred Colin in a bikini as ION header to this news.

    • Admiral Chief of Rivia

      O_O

  • Warren

    Perhaps the teams who play for mssa should just forfeit and see if the mssa will get any money outa them or get cock stomped by the dota2 fans. coz theyr everywhere… we are everywhere…. EVERYWHERE

  • Rags

    I am afraid this is very old news and not out of line of what say Swimming South Africa has done to Zandberg. Fining him R50k because he did not want to sleep with a sick room mate. Yet Swim South Africa did not even have kit for him at the world champs!

    Anyway this is what you get with bureaucracy. Gamers should avoid it at all hazard. Stay independent, stay cool.

  • Pingback: Is the MSSA gagging their players? | Z Game Corner

  • Grant Nicol

    Such cutting edge journalism on LG, I’m so proud *wipes a tear from ones eye*

  • Noob of Force

    They claim to be a non-profitable organization, but fine their members R15 000 when a member uses freedom of speech. They exploit gamers, giving them the hope of playing games professionally and depriving them of human rights like wanting to say WHAT THE FUCK you want. =] So, how can we get these assholes to share the statics of where all the money they’ve made thus far from fining their members has gone to? ANY non-profitable organization would donate any money made to charity.. MSSA, More Shit South Africans. =]

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

      Funny you mention that.. we are working on it

      • Noob of Force

        Working on what exactly? Shutting these fuckers down, or exposing where the fine funds are going if not to charity?

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

          Finding the flow of funds. We’ve submitted an official request to the government to view certain aspects. So far the government has been incredibly efficient with the process and we should have an answer shortly.

  • Anthony Hodgson

    “Strange thing is though, the players under them are dead quiet about this latest blunder.”

    This is just bad reporting. In the general sense, the Dota 2 community hasn’t stopped talking about this situation since it arose. In a more particular sense, as the captain of the SA Dota 2 team,

    1. I have spoken at length with my team about the situation.

    2. I sought out any kind of Mexican Dota 2 community/authority I could find to try find further information and offer further matches against other Mexican teams. See for example
    https://www.facebook.com/SUMADOTA/posts/516894325065099

    and most importantly,

    3. The players, who this article claims are so deathly quiet, have not been contacted by any media on this matter. Almost no attempt has been made by Lazygamer or others to find out what we think. Here’s the sum total of what I’ve gotten [a very brief conversation with Gridl0ck]:

    [2013/09/10 02:51:41 PM] Rob: ant u around?

    [2013/09/10 02:52:15 PM] Rob: im going to give your skype details to Geoffrey Tim from LazyGamer

    [2013/09/10 03:05:09 PM] Anthony Hodgson: okay

    [2013/09/10 03:05:09 PM] Anthony Hodgson: sure

    Following which, I have not been added on Skype by any ‘Geoffrey Tim’ or any other LazyGamer representative, nor sought out via any other medium.

    And to the best of my knowledge, no other players from the national team have even gotten this much.

    So before getting into discussions about whether or not the MSSA is doing its job correctly, perhaps it’s worth having a discussion about whether or not our journalists are doing their jobs correctly. It is shameful to make a post like this without even looking for comment from players.

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

      Hi Anothony,

      You can add me on skype if you want (gavinmannion)

      We have spoke to players in the national teams for MSSA, we haven’t spoken to the DOTA 2 national team as I’ve tried my best to not bring the reputation of those players into the same debacle that the MSSA is in.

      I’m sorry you would have preferred to be part of the discussion and I am always available on Skype to chat about things and to hear your side.

      I’m not sure who Rob is in your message above as we have no Rob in our company.

      As the captain can I ask you, do you think the Mexican team you played were official and are you happy with how the MSSA has gone about this?

      Can you also confirm you signed this contract?

      • Anthony Hodgson

        Yes, we all signed those contracts. But no, I’m not afraid of being fined for speaking my mind. Honestly, I don’t take those clauses very seriously, and would be surprised if anyone does.

        It’s obvious we didn’t play the BEST team in Mexico [and we know now that 2 of their players were in fact Costa Rican] – the question of whether or not they were ‘official’ is a lot more complicated. What does it even mean? There are many valid criticisms of the MSSA but one that I find hard to accept is an allegation that they deliberately ‘duped’ the public on this one. I believe that Colin Webster organized this match via the channels that the MSSA deem to be ‘official’. Which is to say, the MSSA works within a particular framework and always has – in the same sense that they are generally against funding teams to go to ESWC because it’s technically a private event. Whether or not this is an ideal state of affairs for Esports is its own debate. And whether or not it’s a good thing that we ended up playing against this particular team is also its own debate. While it might highlight concerns about the MSSA, i think it primarily highlights the lack of organization in the Mexican Dota 2 scene. As much as individual Mexican players complained about the match, it has been near impossible for me to find any sort of organized body to communicate with [and Lazygamer's own findings seem to corroborate this].

        And this is not about what I would have preferred. This about the standard of journalism going on here. You simply cannot write a piece like this without contacting the relevant players. Sure, you may have spoken to other players who have played for the MSSA. But this entire article starts off premised on the fact that players are silent about THIS DEBACLE. There is no use trying to backtrack now. This piece was posted prematurely, without sufficient research. And it reads like a beautiful story, doesn’t it. Which is normally a giveaway sign for sensationalist journalism.

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

          You seem to be struggling to separate this article about the MSSA contracts that you signed. BTW it is a legally binding contract that you would have to go to court to try and overturn. Would you win? Very likely but you would have to cover your own costs which would be greater than R15 000. You were wrong to sign it and I hope it doesn’t come back to bite you/

          The previous DOTA 2 article I didn’t contact you because I specifically wanted the article and discussion to focus on the MSSA, Mexican body and how badly it was arranged. Without calling into question our players.

          You don’t like that and you have that right. But it doesn’t take away from the findings at all.

          • Anthony Hodgson

            1. This article is not just about these contracts. if it was, I wouldn’t have taken any issue with it.

            “It has not been a good week for the MSSA”

            and

            “Strange thing is though, the players under them are dead quiet about this
            latest blunder.”

            kinda give that much away.

            So yes, I am STRUGGLING To separate the two issues because you guys chose to write an article which deliberately links them.

            2. Your repeated suggestion that you deliberately didn’t contact our players in some kind of effort to PROTECT us is, as I’ve told you over skype, completely absurd. Never mind the fact that not representing our views is more likely to group them with the MSSA’s, there is no obligation for you to publish all information you discover. It is utterly incoherent to suggest that you might have somehow harmed us merely by having a conversation with us about the issue at hand. It makes me very sad that you are unwilling to admit that this was simply an oversight amounting to plain and simple poor journalism.

            3. I’m guessing you haven’t ever studied law or been involved in legal proceedings given your view on how legal costs get distributed.

          • Brady miaau

            Point 2: I can sort of understand both sides here. Is there a right and a wrong? From different perspectives, sure, but I am not involved, i.e. do not play Dota (what is it?) and do not work for LG.

            Point 3: Who pays for legal costs at the end of the day is not always clear cut, but let us assume it is. You win, you get your legal costs paid back.

            So, let us take R10 000 a day in court, roughly, as a guideline price. Let us say you spend 5 days in court, 2 days in trial and the rest in stuff ups of scheduling, Magistrates not there, that sort of thing. So you must pay your Lawyer the money, because they are not really sharks (ok, ok, sorry to all my family and friends! – I could not resist). So now you get judgement in your favour six months later, because of back log in the courts. Then after judgement you appeal for costs. That may also take some time, as it may be contested on seemingly valid grounds.

            I was involved in a case and started to sue a big company for breach of contract. It was a slum dunk, they signed a contract, the work was done, according to agreed terms. They did not pay. So I did some research into this and also spoke to the Law Society local branch in Pretoria.

        • dastrix550

          I find it worrying that you “don’t take those clauses very seriously”. I’ve run this contract pass my lawyer and it is completely legal and binding contract. Just because the clauses are not enforced does not mean that they can’t be.

          The contract is completely one sided and protects only one party, the MSSA. For example, if you are playing in the DGL league (and you have signed this contract) you are in breach of this contract and the MSSA can call up any of those clauses as they see fit and you will be liable for a fine of up to R15 000.

          I was advised by my lawyer that I should not allow any of my clan members sign this contract without some major changes.

          • Anthony Hodgson

            I suppose you haven’t got a copy of the contract.

            And regarding specifically your claims about the DGL, I specifically cleared this issue with Colin Webster before signing my contract. I was informed that contracts forbid Nationals Players from competing in other events because these contracts were designed for physical sports and there had been a case in the past in which a National Sportsman had injured themselves playing in an unimportant event for fun, making themself unavailable to the team and thus jeopardizing the success of the team. In any event, i was assured that this was not relevant to us as gamers and that it would be removed from our contracts – AND IT WAS.

            and i was advised by my lawyer that there is next to no chance that the MSSA would even consider taking someone to court to take action over one of these ‘dodgy’ clauses. which, by the way, is a point everyone here seems to miss – that the contract does not ‘enforce itself’ except if someone goes to court to try avoid it…what a ridiculous world we’d live in if that were the case…

          • Gerhard Davids

            “I was informed that contracts forbid Nationals Players from competing in
            other events because these contracts were designed for physical sports”

            I’m sorry but a lawyer should have cleared that up not the person handing you the contract. If it’s ancillary it should have a clause or the contract should be amended. If it’s there and signed then you’re bound by it.

            Assurances and trust are great until the crap hits the fan. The fact they may not want to take you to court is far removed from the fact that they CAN take you and bury you in legal proceedings if they feel so inclined. The contract should be tailored to e-sports if as you say it’s currently for physical sports as in the end it will be the players and the back foot.

          • Anthony Hodgson

            Absolutely. These contracts are not well tailored for e-sports and could be improved on tremendously in several regards! My only contention here is that I don’t mind that much what the contract actually says because:

            1. I know that the MSSA are not going to, for example, fine me for speaking my mind.
            2. Despite what many seem to think, I do not believe they could succeed in doing so even if they tried, nor that they might attempt to do so merely to drain my pockets in legal fees. [Sorry if this point is brief but I'm tired of getting into details about what I see to be a very peripheral issue here]

            That said, I’ll repeat – as I have said elsewhere: there are, of course, many legitimate criticisms to be made of the MSSA. One of them is that they should improve the contracts they make players sign.

            My concern about this article is primarily that it baselessly lumps a story about contracts together with a story about players not speaking up about a recent scandal. [My secondary concern being that the the real story about contracts, while important and serious, is less dramatic than it is being made out to be here - no surprises given the sensationalism involved in the former].

          • Gerhard Davids

            I agree that due diligence may not have been followed in contacting the players and that it is misleading with regards to that point.

            I will agree to disagree on what MSSA may or may not do with regards to taking legal action. While I agree they might not, my point remains that they have the ability to do so. The success thereof not withstanding, it can turn ugly. I understand that you see this as a minor concern. Let us hope that it never get’s to a point where it becomes an issue due to a player being taken to court. Non of us want to see that.

            I think that is where a lot of outcry from the community comes from. Less about what happened with the event and more about making sure that the players signed by MSSA are being looked after.

    • Rags

      Good post. I think many people are also overlooking that MSSA is not interested in seeking out the best teams of countries, but only the best team affiliated with a governing body. This is why MSSA find such obscure teams, since very few are affiliated with a body such as the IeSF. The IeSF has a history with their invitations of inviting unknown players from all over the world to play against their best Starcraft players.

      The matches are official and legitimate in this sense.

      Whether it is a good thing and something we should support is another debate. Personally I think gamers should accept MSSA is not going away, but just not become affiliated. Gamers should also petition mweb to refocus their sponsorship.

  • SparTim

    Any comment from the MSSA on this subject? I’d be interested to hear what they have to say.

  • MSSA BS

    LOL, They started up their BS again(or did it ever stop).. The Older gamers of this country did Boycott them, and now I see this, 5 years later. the MSSA is a joke, and are only there to enrich them selves by a minority group in this country, they are the one reseason why we dont have proper international status. <- my 2c.

  • jeevadotnet

    MSSA = ANC of Gaming

    • Anthony Hodgson

      as usual, a rich and informative post from jeeva

      • jeevadotnet

        go home fanboi… this is a place for the informed.

        • Brady miaau

          How did you come by your information that MSSA = ANC of Gaming?

          • SaintsRowLee

            Well, up until Zoomers 180 about turn on the info bill, it is not that far a stretch of the imagination to call the MSSA = ANC

          • Brady miaau

            My point is, as amusing as that is, it is still an opinion that is very difficult to backup by fact. Then saying this is a place for the informed. Prove it.

            Yes, we launch into a big long diatribe about the ANC and MSSA and similarities. But I bet you creative people, like Banana Jim, can write a long diatribe about any two disparate groups and show similarities.

          • SaintsRowLee

      • Estian Hough

        You have my upvote my good sir! Thank you for sharing everything you’ve posted on this discussion. As a reader this gives me more insight to the entire situation.

  • caponeil

    Let them speak up – Ill pay the fine and I am sure many other will assist! Lets start a “freedom” fund raiser;-)!

  • Marigold

    It sounds like the mssa is more mafia than sports body

  • SangSang

    good article, better than the other writers

  • Brenz

    Why would gamers want to join this joke of an organization?
    Good job LG, expose them for what they are.

  • B4d R0b0t

    I actually tried to write a post like this to that MSSA Shill account that spews all that rubbish, I gave up because it is on such a crap blog. Colin Webster when confronted on twitter about the account being a Shill responded with a blunt ” What are you writing ?” .

    The contracts that the MSSA try to get players to sign are more ludicrous when taken in context. Here is that context. There is no international eSports scene, sanctioned by a group of world governments. It does not exist. So were the MSSA should be breaking ground and leading the way, they are in actual fact turning players away.

    I know because I have spoken to one. That parents of said players are reading these “ransom notes” and forbidding their children to play in MSSA events. A whole generation is being pushed away, the rest that are “in it to win it” are either in contractual breach, or are behind the scenes supporting this type of behaviour. Neither of which are pleasant positions to be in.

    Further to that I have hear on many occasions much talk of law and lawyers when it comes to MSSA. This is irrelevant as the problem is much larger than just a few player contracts and game or two vs supposed national teams.

    What is happening is that sponsors and vendors are getting a very bad taste in their mouth when it comes to eSports in South Africa and it will affect us all. From top to bottom the numbers will be far lower than they should be for a fairly long period, because of the failures of the MSSA. In the time they have existed they have achieved so little in a industry with so much money for marketing, in a segment of that industry that is posting consistent growth and profit that some are calling it recession proof.

    When you take that into account, how little the MSSA has actually achieved it then leads me to the very worrying question of this. Is it too late to worry about what the MSSA is doing and actually start to work out how much damage has been done by what they have not achieved ?

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  • Guava_Eater

    That contract is the biggest load of crap I have seen in ages, it basically says: If you want national colours you gotta be our bi*ch and pay for all your own stuff while being said bi*ch for 12 months, if you don’t or can’t we’ll screw you!