I had a lot of high hopes for 2014. This was going to be a good year with more time being spent with friends, the company growing nicely and the local eSports scene being improved with a new president of the MSSA.
So far my friends have died, people aren’t paying their bills and the MSSA’s first action of this year is to block a local team competing at the ESL due to them still being tin-pot dictators.
Late last week I received 4 emails and 2 Skype requests in the space of an hour regarding the MSSA forcing the ESL to refuse to allow a Battlefield 4 team to compete in the upcoming tournament due to them not being recognised by the MSSA.
Now let’s be absolutely clear about this. The team in question were not representing South Africa in the tournament and was simply a group of guys who were put together to enter the competition and pit their wits against some of the worlds best Battlefield 4 players.
They never attempted to portray themselves as the official South African national Battlefield 4 team and were simply marked down as coming from South Africa seeing that they came from South Africa. But this was enough for the MSSA to get involved and threaten the ESL.
The team was registered and the guys were practicing and preparing for the games and then they noticed that their team disappeared from the roster. The only reason they went to check the roster however was because the ex President of the MSSA, Colin Webster, strongly implied to the captain of this team that they would be taking steps to stop the team from playing.
After enquiring why they were no longer listed the following message arrived.
we are currently in contact with the Mind Sports South Africa (http://www.mindsportsa.co.za/).
Would you please contact them and ask if you’re allowed to announce yourself as Team Captain of team South Africa BF4: email@example.com
bLuE, ESL Admin
When the team chatted to Colin he had the following to say:
The team cannot use the SA flag, nor can it use the name South Africa as it is not a representative team.
Now this makes my blood boil. Just because they aren’t the South African national team doesn’t give the MSSA the right to force these South Africans to not use their own country’s flag or name. It’s a disgusting abuse of power from Colin once again and it looks like our belief that the new MSSA president is nothing more than Colin Webster’s puppet is true after all.
On the one hand the team has managed to get around the rules by calling themselves the Southern Barbarians and entering with a false flag so at least these guys get the chance to play but this is a disgusting outcome from an organisation that is supposed to be enabling and enhancing eSports in South Africa.
I think it’s clear that the MSSA does not have the gamers’ best interest at heart and we should be approaching SASCOC to get a new department created that will solely handle eSports in South Africa. One that is run by gamers for the betterment of gamers instead of the betterment of people’s inflated egos.
Now in defence of the MSSA, this competition is the country cup so people would assume you are representing your country. But honestly that’s no excuse as they should have prepared for this seeing that this is their only responsibility but then again Colin Webster is also now on the board of the International eSports Federation which is a competing organisation to the ESL… can anyone smell that whiff of corruption in the air? No wonder the IeSF refused to respond to my queries once I started asking the annoying questions.
I did request feedback from Colin and the new president of the MSSA last week Thursday and have yet to receive a reply.
We here at Lazygamer would like to wish the Southern Barbarians the best in this tournament and to remind the MSSA that they are meant to enable these gamers not block them.
We are also proudly representing South Africa for eSports reporting and coverage. Let’s see if the MSSA is stupid enough to attempt to take that away from us.