MSSA offers a huge amount to South African competitive gamers.
It has taken years to get the government and older sports bodies to take gaming seriously. To give you an example, in 1987 when MSSA requested to become affiliated to the Confederation of South African Sport (COSAS), the request was initially denied. By sheer perseverance and determination (allied with strong arguments), COSAS finally acceded to the MSSA’s request and granted the MSSA membership into the greater body of sport. This was indeed a huge triumph as the Springbok Colours Board also accepted MSSA as a result thereof and granted Springbok Colours to the MSSA’s team. Through careful politicking, the MSSA also joined the anti-establishment National Olympic Committee of South Africa (NOCSA) and formed a firm friendship with the late Bill Jardim.
As a result of being an affiliate of both COSAS and NOCSA, the MSSA was able to contribute to the equalisation of sport in South Africa and has been an affiliate of every macro sport body in South Africa since then, such as:
• The National Sports Council (1994 to 1999)
• The South African Sports Commission (1999 to 2002), and
• The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC)
With such recognition comes total accreditation of eSports as a sport.
Protea Colours have been awarded since 1994 to deserving teams which represent South Africa in international events.
Some gamers may scoff at the fact that Protea Colours are now awarded, but they are those who have never experienced the joy and full benefits of being part of that select few that have officially represented South Africa overseas.
Apart from Protea Colours, there are National, Provincial, and Provincial School colours that can be earned. Allied to the colours awarded by the MSSA, there are the sporting colours that are awarded by both Universities and Schools alike. There too are the bursaries for which well deserving gamers can apply. The amounts differ from university to university, but such bursaries make a substantial difference to the costs of studying at university.
Other benefits include National Lottery Funding, the improved ability of obtaining sponsorship, local government support, and most importantly… having a voice to direct the future of eSports.
With MSSA being an Universitas all clubs that are fully-paid-up members have rights in voting on issues and have the right to propose issues. This means that the gamer actually takes control over the games which they play and love. MSSA is NOT a monolithic structure and has to comply with the wishes of the majority of its members.
Thus whatever MSSA does, it is because the majority of the membership wish it to be done so.
In this way MSSA is unique. MSSA is not driven by market forces and by pursuing profits at every turn, but is instead driven by what its membership wants.