Saturday, 31 October 2015

Growth of Mind Sports

Who would have thought back in the 1980's the various mind sports would have achieved the levels of accreditation that they have today.

When MSSA was started (as  the South African Wargames Union) it approached the South African national federation for Chess to become a board of control of such  body.

The national federation for chess rejected MSSA's application.

It was the best thing that ever happened to MSSA!

MSSA's committee realised that they would have to get the recognition that they  needed by themselves.

By applying continuously to the Confederation of South African Sport (COSAS), MSSA was accepted as a member in 1991.

Thus from 1991 MSSA was allowed to award Springbok Colours to its teams.

The TAFISA World Sport for All Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 6 to 12 October 2016 will see both eSports and Draughts 64 being played at such festival. 

Certainly the MWEB Protea eSports and MWEB Protea Draughts Teams are looking forward to going.

MSSA was allowed to award such Springbok Colours even before Chess.

In 1997, MSSA pushed hard to get Morabaraba  into the TAFISA Sport for All Festival.

As a result Morabaraba was played in Bangkok, Thailand. The Chef d' Mission was none other than SAFA supremo Mr. Danny Jordaan.

The importance of having  both sports played there cannot be over emphasised!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

How easy is it to gain control of Mind Sports South Africa?

We have all read posts written by angry young gamers claiming that it  is impossible to change Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) from the inside.

But is that true?

The answer is, no!

It is much easier to change the administrators of MSSA than any other sporting body.

Certainly, gamers cannot even think about changing the administrators of the private companies that claim to be MGO's as the are private companies answerable only to their shareholders. Shareholders, who probably take all the profits without disbursing any of such profits to the gamers who have through their sweat, effort and skill made it possible for the shareholders to make such profits.

MSSA, unlike a private company is an association.

The association's membership is made up of private clubs which may be private in nature, or based at universities and schools.

It is these members that vote in MSSA's administrators. each administrator has a term of three years.

The Management Board consists of 12 elected officials and one Players's Representative.

So let's presume that you want to make a takeover bid.

At the 2015 AGM, 5 positions on the Management Board are up for election as well as the position of Players Representative.

If your  club does not have a player who meets the criteria for  the Players Representative, your club can still nominate players for the other 5 positions..

Let's presume you only get two of your candidates voted on, you now have a valuable 'foot-in-the-door'.

Only players who have  served on the Management Board may stand for the position of President.

So when it comes to the 2016 AGM, your club now has a player  who can stand for the position of president.

Because a player may not hold two positions, another position will  be opened up.

Also, in 2016, the positions of President, Vice President (Events), Vice President (Umpires), eSports Representative, Women's Desk, and General Secretary all become available.

Thus if your club takes another two positions in 2016, it means that your club will then have a total of 4 seats out of the  13 possible.

With that, your club will probably have more say in the Management board than any other club.

It is that easy!

Monday, 26 October 2015

MSSA announces MWEB Protea eSports Team for Seoul World Championships

Maryke 'Ykie' Kennard Captain of the MWEB Protea eSports Team for the 7th IeSF World Championships - Seoul
Through hard work, dedication and sheer perseverance, Mind Sports South Africa has carved a solid reputation for eSports both internationally and at home in South Africa.

eSports in South Africa has grown from being a mere activity to being a fully-fledged-accredited-sport for which players may earn Regional, Provincial, and/or Protea Colours.

MSSA, as a member of the International eSports Federation (IeSF) has been party to seeing eSports being accepted by the Olympic Committee of Asia and TAFISA.

Thus eSports is now accredited at every level as a sport.

Wynand 'ViViD'
And, at this time of the year, MSSA once again selects its team that will sally forth to do battle on foreign fields and represent South Africa against the best that other nations have to offer.

This year the IeSF's World Championships is being hosted in the heart of eSports, that is, Seoul, South Korea.

The game titles in which the MWEB South African Protea eSports Team will compete are League of Legends®, StarCraft II®, and HearthStone®.

MSSA is glad to have Wynand 'ViViD' Meiring represent South Africa for HearthStone®. Wynand has proved himself at the 2014 S A National Championships, Gauteng Provincial Championships, and National Team Trials to be a very tough competitor. MSSA is confident that Wynand will deliver solid results in Seoul.

Nathan 'StatiC' Anderson
Nathan 'StatiC' Anderson has once again been selected to represent South Africa in StarCraft II®. Nathan is now a seasoned warhorse when it comes to international competition having represented South Africa in Bucharest in 2013 and in Baku in 2014. This selection is the third year that Nathan has been included in the Protea team, and has thus earned himself 9 'caps' making him second only to Robert 'PandaTank' Botha.

MSSA is particularly proud of its League of Legends (LoL) Team. The team is well known in South African competitive circles, and the members of the team have all been in the various winning teams that have won at the various Provincial and National Championships as held by MSSA.

The team, captained by the ever efficient Maryke 'Ykie' Kennard is bound to make the other teams sit up and take notice as once again South Africa builds on its solid reputation.

The full team is as follows:
Maryke 'Ykie' Kennard
Team Captain & LoL
Tuks Mindsports
Nathan 'StatiC' Anderson
StarCraft player
Knights Mind Sports
Betty's Bay
Wynand ' ViViD' Meiring
HearthStone Player
BerZerK Gaming
Taylor 'elis' Rose
LoL player
Knights Mind Sports
Cape Town
Matthew 'Feno' Smith
LoL player
Knights Mind Sports
Cape Town
Vasudev 'Paga' Stringer
LoL player
Tuks Mindsports
Cameron 'SexyB' Tilley
LoL player
Tuks Mindsports
Johan Uys
Tuks Mindsports
Ryan Boyes
BNKR Gaming

As manager, Ryan Boyes lead the team to a very credible finish into 13th place overall among some very tough competition at the 6th World Championships which were held in Baku, Azerbijan. When one considers the handicaps, in terms of connectivity and the likes, the position that South Africa holds shows that South Africa is punching far above its weight.

The MWEB Protea eSports Team shall officially be awarded their colours at the official award ceremony that shall be done just prior to departure.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

The Player's Representative

Many organisations claim to look after the interests of its athletes, but few take it as far as what Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA)  takes it.

MSSA allows a player to sit on the Management Board in order to look after the interests of the athletes.
However there are a few criteria to be met.
In order to ensure that such Player's Representative knows what he/she is talking about, such Representative has to:
  1. Have Protea Colours, and
  2. Have represented South Africa in an International Competition, and
  3. Shall  not be over the age of 30 at the time of being elected.
  4. All Registered Gamers who have senior Provincial, National, and Protea Colours may send in their vote on the prescribed voting form for their choice of candidate.
  5. The vote may be submitted either per facsimile or by e-mail.
  6. Such vote must reach the General Secretary by the close of business on or before two days prior to the AGM.
Thus the Player's Representative is not elected at the AGM, but is instead elected by Registered Players who are in standing and who are fully-paid-up. 
The election of the Player's Representative shall be conducted in the following manner:
  1. All Registered Gamers who have senior Provincial, National, and Protea Colours may send in their vote on the prescribed voting form for their choice of candidate.
  2. The vote may be submitted either per facsimile or by e-mail.
  3. Such vote must reach the General Secretary by the close of business on or before two days prior to the AGM.
The AGM  is your chance to direct the fortunes of MSSA, use it...

To ensure that it is the athletes that get the person that they want, it is not the member clubs  that nominate the candidates - but the players themselves.

The Nomination Form can be found on:

Friday, 23 October 2015


ANC election poster circa 1999
Watching the development of events in South Africa over the past couple of weeks, I have noticed a disturbing  trend.

While it is true to say that fees for tertiary education are unrealistic for many South Africans and that any country should try to get as many people as educated as possible, the South African government has not been without blame.

The ANC, years ago, promised a free education. since the promise, fees at both school and university level have increased every single year.

But what has this got to do with sport and gaming.

Simply put, if sport does not create better citizens, there is no point having sport at all.

Yet what do we see, increases in the cost of education that both the poor and middle classes cannot afford as well  as blithe remarks made by the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr. Fikile Mbalula on his Twitter page, such as:

What is interesting by the top comment that he makes is that he seems to try to  misdirect his readers.

In the next 'Tweet' he seems to accept government failure.

In my opinion, he is as equally to blame as the rest of the government.

Every year the Department of Sport and Recreation host the S A Sports Awards. In 2014 the event cost over R80,000,000.00. The amount of eighty million rands could have funded approximately 567 free 3-year BSc degrees.

Then we look at the Commonwealth Games bid. It is estimated that it will cost South Africa over 3 billion rands. An interesting article on this may be found here:

If that is what the Commonwealth Games costs, then such amount could provide no less than 20,000
free 3-year BSc degrees.

It is really all a matter of perspective in my opinion.

Should we educate the nation, and have a better and more productive nation, or spend the money on the 'quick-fix' and temporarily feel good about ourselves?

Thursday, 22 October 2015

MSSA events

Gamers just want to  have fun!
I am always amazed to see just how many events MSSA does in any year.

You would think that the volunteers involved would suffer some sort of burn-out as their activities dwarf those of any other body in South Africa.

In 2015, MSSA held no fewer than 30 events since  the last IeSF World Championships in Baku in 2014.

This is phenomenal!

Not  only that when you consider the structure of MSSA events, you will realise the amount of preparation that these events must take, being:


The MSSA runs the following:
Type of event
School Championships
Provincial LAN
Any gamer who attends a school affiliated to the MSSA
National LAN
Any gamer who attends a school affiliated to the MSSA
Inter-school league LAN
Schools that are affiliated to the MSSA
Regional Championships
Regional LAN
Any gamer who is registered with an affiliated member club
Provincial Championships
Provincial LAN
Any gamer who is registered with an affiliated member club
Provincial Online Championships
Any gamer who is registered with an affiliated member club
Provincial Online League
Any gamer who is registered with an affiliated member club
National Championships
National LAN
Any gamer who is registered with an affiliated member club
National Team Trials
By invitation only as per the Regulations. Only official MSSA events count as qualifying events

So many  levels of competition, so much work!
One can only commend all the volunteers and the sponsor (MWEB) - well done!
A Calendar of Events can be found on

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Still on the topic of prize-money

Members of the 2013 MWEB Protea eSports Team displaying their sponsors
While watching “SA's got Talent” on ETv, I had a realisation…

In a previous article I mentioned that a South African gamer stated that South African gaming deserved prize money of at least R500,000.00. (

In such article, I examined the prize money that is awarded at a prestigious road-race that attracts 3,000 entries.

Let's be serious though, a TV programme like “SA's got Talent” reaches many millions of viewers. The production value of the show, and the advertising of the show costs millions of rands, and yet, what is the prize money?

So why then do South African gamers think that they are worth R500,000.00?

Are SA gamers that entertaining? Do they draw in millions of viewers? Are sponsors going to sell goods by sponsoring them?

The answers to al of the above questions are: no, no, and no!

In fact, recently at rAge a gamer specifically stated that he does not want spectators…

But he does want prize-money – go figure!

Only the MSSA through its MWEB sponsored Protea eSports Team goes out of its way to create news coverage and to be interviewed.

Such coverage lays the foundation for sponsorship. The sponsorship that the MSSA gets is directly ploughed back into the game, such as, paying for trips to international competition, developing the game at club level, and meeting the priorities as laid down by the Minister of Sport and Recreation.

Makes you think, doesn't it?

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Deadline for motions, nominations, games titles - 7 November 2015

Simphiwe Maphumulo - MSSA President (2014 to present)
With the end of the year is rushing towards us, it is time to once again remind the Member Clubs and the Registered Players that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) is to be held on the 13th of December 2015, directly after the end of play at the S A National championships.
It is at the AGM that MSSA decides upon the titles to be played in 2016, the motions as submitted by the Member Clubs, and the election of those who will act as stewards of MSSA. At such meeting the various reports of the Office-Bearers are scrutinised.

There is little doubt that no other organisation has done as much for eSports in South Africa as Mind Sports South Africa.
No other body has sent as many teams overseas.
No other body has spent as much on developing the sport.
No other body hosts as many games at its championships.
No other body holds as many championships in any given year.
No other body develops gaming at school level.
No other body is fully accredited and offers its membership a share in such accreditation.
And yet, MSSA is run exclusively by volunteers.
All the volunteers give hours of their free time to ensure the success of MSSA and those that participate in its events.
It is therefore important for all Member Clubs and Registered Players to note that the closing date for motions, game titles, and nominations for positions is 7 November 2015.
The following positions will be up for election at the 2015 AGM to be held on 13 December 2015:

Management Board:
  • 1st Vice-President (in charge of development)
  • Board Gaming Representative
  • Card Gaming representative
  • Figure Gaming Representative
  • Member representing Players with disabilities
Provincial Directors:
  • Eastern Cape, 
  • Free State, 
  • Gauteng, 
  • KwaZulu Natal, 
  • Limpopo, 
  • Mpumulanga,
  • Northern Cape, and 
  • Western Cape
Regional directors
Selection Committee
  • All four positions
To stand for a position for any of the above positions, a player must be affiliated to an affiliated club and must be a fully-paid-up member as at the date of being nominated as well as at the date of election. Any Registered Player who has reached the age of majority may stand for any/all of the above-mentioned positions.
However, a Registered Player may only be elected into one position. Thus if a Registered Player is elected into a position, all other nominations are vitiated.
All nominations may only be made by affiliated members (clubs) which are fully -paid-up as at the date of the nomination.

With such good governance, there is no wonder that MWEB has sponsored MSSA for three consecutive years.

Full results of the 2015 MWEB City of Johannesburg Regional Championships

The 2015 MWEB City of Johannesburg Regional Championships which were held at the Old Edwardian Society in Lower Houghton, in Johannesburg on the 17th of October 2015.

The Regional Championship structure is part of a larger programme to ensure that all National Federations have a larger footprint and thus enable all athletes the opportunity to participate at the highest levels.

Thus the regional championships as offered by the MSSA do not only allow athletes to win medals, but also to earn Regional Colours as well as earn a place in the coveted National Team Trials. It is at such National Team Trials that athletes are selected to officially represent South Africa in the Protea Team against international competition.

Three games were played at the 2015 MWEB City of Johannesburg Regional Championships and the results were:

FIFA '15 - Men

Position Name of athlete Club Points
1st Rowan Batzofin Wits University 5
2nd Jason Batzofin St John's College 4
3rd Colin Webster Old Edwardian WC 0

FIFA '15 - Women
Position Name of athlete Club Points
1st Blair Hamberger St Andrews 3


Position Name of athlete Club Points
1st Simphiwe Maphumulo Zola Draughts Club 23
2nd Johannes Makua All Stars 16
3rd Sicelo Mbatha Nageng Primary 7


Position Name of athlete Club Points
1st Boitumelo Mako Nageng Primary 16
2nd Dimpho Phahlamohlaka Nageng Primary 14
3rd Neo Phaladi Nageng Primary 14


Position Name of athlete Club Points
1st Colin Webster Old Edwardian WC 10
2nd Jason Batzofin St John's College 6
3rd Garth Schoeman Knights Mind Sports 0

Photographs of the event can be found on

Monday, 19 October 2015

St Andrews learner earns CoJ Colours for FIFA '15

Simphiwe Maphumulo (MSSA president) awarding CoJ Regional Colours to Blair Hamberger
The popular Electronic Arts title, FIFA '15, was played at the 2015 MWEB City of Johannesburg Regional Championships which were held at the Old Edwardian Society in Lower Houghton, in Johannesburg on the 17th of October 2015.

The Regional championships are seen as the first step towards entering the mainstream of competitive gaming. the athletes that enter such championships can  not only win medals, but can also earn Regional Colours as well as a place in the annual National Team Trials at which the official Protea Team is selected.

At her first ever MSSA championship, Blair Hamberger (of St Andrews) went on to fight her way into first place in the women's section.

A delighted Blair thus  received her City of Johannesburg Regional Colours and gold medal from MSSA President, Simphiwe Maphumulo.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Nageng Primary School produces stars!

Boitumelo Mako receiving her awards from MSSA representative Donald Mullany
The 2015 MWEB City of Johannesburg Regional Championships which were held at the Old Edwardian Society in Lower Houghton, in Johannesburg on the 17th of October 2015 saw exciting developments in the game of Morabaraba.

sure the big names  were present, but on a more rewarding note, so were a bevy of younger players from Nageng Primary School.

The older players immediately discounted the young players from Vosloorus, and boy, were they wrong to do so.

The youngsters immediately demonstrated their skill with Boitumelo immediately taking control of the women's section.

Such was her skill that Boitumelo dominated the women's section from te start and finally finished up in first place earning herself Regional Colours, as well as a place in the 2016 National Team Trials at which the 2016 Protea Team shall be selected.

Young Sicelo Mabatha immediately challenged the heavy weights in the championship, namely Simphiwe Maphumulo (1 x Junior World champion, and 2 x Senior World Champion) and Johannes Makau (Mpumulanga Provincial Champion). His challenge, although unsuccessful left him in third place overall which earned him the respect and admiration of both Simphiwe and Johannes.

A great deal is expected from these two stars in the future.

Sicelo Mbatha receiving his medal from MSSA representative Donald Mullany

Simphiwe wins again!

Simphiwe Maphumulo contemplating Johannes Makau's move
It was, as usual, an honour to see Simphiwe Maphumulo in action at the 2015 MWEB City of Johannesburg Regional Championships which were held at the Old Edwardian Society in Lower Houghton, in Johannesburg on the 17th of October 2015.

In a championship game of Morabaraba, the rules dictate that each player plays six games against his/her opponent. Each player moves first in three of the games.

Simphiwe showed just how  good he is. He literally demolished his opponents and only lost one game out of the 24 that he played during the day.

As a result Simphiwe finished in first place, earned his Regional Colours as well as earned his place in the 2016 National Team Trials.

The results for the Mens section are:
            1. Simphiwe Maphumulo - Zola Draughts Club, Soweto
            2. Johannes Makua - All Stars Gaming Club, Emalahleni
            3. Sicelo Mabatha - Nageng Primary School - Vosloorus

Friday, 16 October 2015

EFRAG World Championships 2015 Final Standings

True to form, as soon as the South African team is 'knocked-out', South Africans lose all interest in the event.

While it is true that the MWEB Protea CS:GO Team lead by Johan Heymans had insurmountable difficulties to overcome, the sportsmanship demonstrated in the face of adversity by the team was exemplary.

The same cannot be said for a small  handful of detractors...

But let's look at the results.

Tunisia was the undisputed winner of the African Qualifying Rounds and, as such went through to the finals in Serbia.

There they came up against all  the other qualifiers and were dealt with decisively.

So, even the strongest African team is no match for the top European teams.

The point is that South Africa should not send teams in order to be 'also ran's'. South Africa must start developing teams that can effectively take on their overseas counterparts.

It is not good enough to make comments like, "We only lost 12 to 16", or "We played hard but were unlucky in the draw  that we had."

A loss, no  matter how close it is,  is still a loss.

To be honest, their is not another team in South Africa that would have beaten the other African teams. 

So what is going wrong in South African gaming? Is it 'big-fish-little-pond' syndrome?

Is it that  there is not enough of a transference of knowledge, or is it the good old 'laager' mentality?

It is my opinion that eSports athletes in South Africa have circled the laager as it is now 'comfortable'. 

why push  yourself to be the best in the world when you can remain the best in an isolated environment.

Readers should note that  the team  that plays the best at home does not always play the best overseas - but that is another  article all on its own.

But, in the meantime, congratulations to the winners, MSSA intends to improve the standard in South Africa and, in the near future, make a challenge on the status quo.

World Championships 2015 Final Standings
1.  France - $50,000
2.  Poland - $25,000
3.-4.  Russia - $7,500
3.-4.  Sweden - $7,500
5.-8.  Norway - $2,500
5.-8.  Canada - $2,500
5.-8.  Germany - $2,500
5.-8.  Kyrgyzstan - $2,500
9.-15.  Netherlands
9.-15.  USA
9.-15.  Belgium
9.-15.  Serbia
9.-15.  Singapore
9.-15.  Indonesia
9.-15.  Tunisia


We want R500k!

Reading a number of articles that  came out after rAge, I came across an article where the blogger stated that gaming deserves prize-money of at least R500,000.00 for events in South Africa.

But do our gamers deserve such an amount?

Are the amounts unrealistic?

Let's look at road-running as an  example...

The Old Eds 21 began in 1980 and has become one of the most sought after races to compete in. It is an ideal race for those who ran Comrades to start their preparation for City to City.

The race has grown in popularity over the years, and now attracts upwards of 3000 runners.

All finishers are given a medal.

However, prize-money is:

Picture courtesy of the Old Edwardian Society
Most gamers will moan about these prizes. When you consider that there are over 3,000 athletes competing, TV, radio, online, and newspaper coverage, the prizes do not look that  great.

However, in road-running, most of the events carry prize-money of roughly the same value. 

The reason, why it is simple, that is what the market can afford. Athletes realise the cost of putting on a road race and the monumental amount of effort demanded of by the organisers and their crew.

It is no different with eSports. In fact, hosting an eSport event may be proportionally much more expensive.

So, the costs are higher, there is less coverage, fewer participants, and even fewer spectators.

How many shoutcasters in South Africa are broadcasting to just a couple of hundred viewers?

How then do we change  the current situation and turn it into something that benefits everyone?
  1. Start with development. Get more players across the board.
  2. Clubs must become legal  bodies and take advantage of Lottery Funding.
  3. Clubs should affiliate to MSSA so that eSports can talk with one voice.

Once the three steps have been achieved, the rest will start falling into place which will ultimately lead to greater spectatorship and sustainable revenue.

Without sustainable revenue, there just will not be increased prize-money.