Monday, 20 November 2017

How to qualify for Protea Colours.

Team Russia with the BOO! Protea Esports Team at IESF's 9th World Championships - Busan.
With the end  of  the year fast aproaching, it is that time of the year again when many gamers look towards MSSA's 2018 National Team Trials, and wonder what they have to do to qualify for such Trials.

The 2018 National Team Trials (NTT) for esports are already penciled in for 2 & 3 June 2018.
Why does MSSA use National Team Trials to select Team Esports South Africa?
It is common knowledge that everybody's standard of play changes from year-to-year. Not only that there  is a natural growth in new gamers who enter the scene and a natural 'drop-off' of gamers who leave the competitive scene due to changing work and family commitments.
Thus annual trials are held to  accommodate the above changes. Through such system a highly competitive  system  is too maintained wherein gamers are able to fight for their positions as a position in the team is only held for one calendar year. 
May anyone enter National Team Trials?
It must be remembered that the team  selected by MSSA to officially represent South Africa is  an official sports team that officially represents South Africa  and is awarded Protea Colours.
As such MSSA is required to follow due care and follow proper procedure in awarding such colours to its teams.
As such there are qualifying criteria to qualifying for the National Team Trials (NTT), being:
  • Such player wishing to participate in NTT must be affiliated to an affiliated member club, and
  • Such player must have won a MSSA Regional Championship, or
  • Such player must have finished in the top three places, or in the top 20% (whichever  is greater), at a provincial and/or national championship, and
  • Such player is already a member of the  national team and has met the terms of the contract, and
  • Such player must have a signed copy of the contract, and
  • Such player must have a valid passport, and
  • If such player is  still a minor, such player must have a signed affidavit signed by both parents as well as an Unabridged Birth Certificate.
Does the winner of National Team Trials automatically get selected?
Gamers should remember that NTT is not a competition, it forms part of a selection process.
At such Trials drug  testing may be  held and gamers shall be tested to see how they deal with issues that may occur.
It must be remembered that those being selected are being selected to represent South Africa. 
Is the team selected immediately at Trials ?
The captains of the teams are immediately selected at Trials. The selected captains then sit with the Selectors and the Team Manager to select the team. Once the selection is completed and all the procedure has been followed, then the team is announced.
May Team Esports South Africa belong to an existing clan/team?
The short answer is yes. A player will only be selected to represent South Africa if he is a member of a club affiliated to the MSSA, so that is really not an issue! The membership that the the team member has does not just disappear when the player is selected for national duty.
Is the national team allowed to enter private tournaments like the DGC or EGE or even overseas events?
MSSA allows all of its National Team Members to enter any competition that they want to  as members of their clan. 
Gamers only play as the national team in international events upon request by the MSSA. 
However, the National Team Member must, and can, only represent a clan that is currently affiliated to the MSSA. Thus, for example,  a member of the National Team, who is affiliated to Clan A, which is a member of the MSSA, that means he cannot play for any clan that is not affiliated to MSSA. Should a clan that is not a member of MSSA indulge in ambush marketing by claiming that he is a member, MSSA will expect the player to publicly renounce any such claim.
Why do the members of Team Esports South Africa need to sign a contract?
All members who are selected to, and join, a national team are given a contract to sign. If the gamer has not yet reached the age of majority, the legal guardian signs the contract. 
Essentially, if the rules are broken, there may be a financial implication as well as a disciplinary implication. Depending on the severity of the breach, action may be taken by the International Federation concerned, or by the National Federation. 
Does the National Team have to abide by a Code of Conduct?
Indeed it does! 
The Code of Conduct that a team has to follow is an amalgamation of what the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the National Federation expects. Obviously the player representing South Africa has to hold him/herself to a higher standard than the average gamer as so much more is expected of the team member. This way all the parties concerned, the sponsors, the MSSA, the IeSF, and the gamer are protected. The Code of Conduct is not onerous, but largely common-sense. 
In short, it is how you would expect someone to behave if they were representing you!
Is there a difference between officially representing SA in Esports as opposed to any other sport?
There is no difference between officially representing South Africa in eSports to any other sport. Esports is an officially accredited sport, and the Protea Colours that are awarded are the same Protea Colours as awarded to  any other sport.

How to qualify to serve on an international body

Alex Lim, IESF's Secretary General.
Whenever Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) takes a team overseas, players  within the team are always impressed with the magnitude of the international event.

The people, atmosphere, venue, media, flights, and accommodation all inspire the team members to aim for higher things.

Thus some of the team members express an  interest in serving the sport at a higher level.

Certainly, MSSA encourages all its players, whether in board games, card games, esports, or wargames, to become more involved.

However, it should be noted that such participation starts at home.

It starts with being a paid-up Registered Player, becoming involved in running a club,and then progressing to a position on the national federation. It is also not something that will happen immediately as anybody wishing to get involved needs to establish a track-record.

Administrators that aim to serve on an international level are here for the 'long-haul'.

It should also be remembered that any position on a committee is a work position. These positions require time and effort. Registered Players that get elected who do not perform, often will be removed.


Sunday, 19 November 2017

Jason Batzofin shines at GEES.

Professor Andy Miah (left) and  Jason Batzofin (right).
Following the Global Esports Executive Summit (GEES) 2016 which was held in Shanghai, International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) held its Global Esports Executive Summit (GEES) 2017 in Busan, at the International Passenger Terminal Convention Center on November 13th - 15th.

So it was that Mind Sports South Africa's Jason Batzofin (who is also IESF's Chairman of the Players' Commission) shared the stage with Matthew Pound (Head  of Communications of the Internnational Table Tennis Federation), Professor Andy Miah (university of Salford), and Sean Kwom (VP of International Business of Appnori) discussed the topic: Esport and Sports Synergies "Value Creation".

What ensued was a lively debate in which Jason proved to be a equal to thee other panelists.

By the end of the discussion a number of the areas in which there are synergies had been explored, and the audience further educated.


Do you know where you are going to?

Vlad Marinescu, president of Rsportz, speaking at the 2017 edition of GEES on the development of esports.
While many gamers tend to think that esports, as being a new sporting code, needs to have new structures and that the structures of existing sporting codes do not apply to esports, few gamers are aware that the development of esports is practically mirroring the development of all other sporting codes.

The only real difference is that with esports, like the titles therein, it is all happening at a much faster rate.


In many of the established sports, out of the development of 'professional' teams, there was a slow and steady movement to institute controlling bodies in order to establish generally accepted rules and regulations. It was through such rues and regulations  that the sports became better governed and were able to attract larger sponsorships.

One only has to look at the development of American Football. 


American football had short-lived professional leagues around the turn of the twentieth century. 

The leagues in the 1920's were underfinanced, and the teams often went out of business.

It was only after World war II that professional teams gained considerable popularity. 

With such popularity, American football then had to deal with such problems as franchise relocations, nationwide expansion, conflicts with interlopers, limiting player salaries, and racial integration. 

This is where esports finds itself, both here and abroad, at the cusp of developing into one of the  world's greatest sports.

Thus everybody involved in esports at the current moment  of time is a pioneer in esports and are responsible for helping  build a structure that will carry esports, as a fully accredited sport, into the future.

Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA), being South Africa's largest member based esports organisation, is at the spearhead of such development and welcomes participation from all members.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Final entry date for MSSA's S A National Championships.

Most, if not all, of the BOO! Protea Esports Team shall be present at MSSA's South African National Championships shall be played on 2 & 3 December 2017.
MSSA's South African National Championships shall be played on 2 & 3 December 2017.

The final entry date for teams will be 20H00 on Sunday, 26 November 2017.

If entries are not submitted before the close off date and time, entries will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.

The championship is an awesome opportunity for players to earn Provincial and High School Provincial Colours (whichever is applicable) for their respective games and provinces.


MSSA's 
South African National Championships shall be held at Fakkel School, 20 Jan Smuts Ave., Sasolburg, on 
2 & 3 December 2017.

MSSA's 
South African National Championships is part of the process of selecting the 2018 Protea teams that will attend IeSF's 10th World Championships as well as helping to determine the venue for such 2018 National Team Trials.

Gamers are reminded that the event shall be filmed, and the content screened on Tuluntulu.

All gamers are reminded that MSSA's 
South African National Championships are an open championship. In other words any registered player is entitled to enter the championship – no matter where they live, or their category of membership.

You may contact MSSA at mindsportssa@gmail.com


Details are as follows:
  • Board gaminghttps://esportscommentator.blogspot.co.za/2017/11/south-african-national-board-gaming.html
  • Esportshttps://esportscommentator.blogspot.co.za/2017/11/south-african-national-lan.html
  • Wargaminghttps://esportscommentator.blogspot.co.za/2017/11/south-african-national-wargames.html

Reviewing the performance of the Protea CounterStrike: GO team

The group stage draw for CounterStrike: GO at IESF's 9th World Championships - Busan.
The BOO! Protea Esports CounterStrike: GO Team faced off against Korea, Romania, Malaysia and the Philippines at IESF's 9th World Championships - Busan.

There is no doubt that the team was in a very hard group with Romania and Korea finishing in 2nd and 3rd place at the championships.

The group could be seen as a group of 'death', however, if the truth be told, any of the four groups could be viewed as groups of death.

At world championship level, there are no easy groups. Even if there were easy groups, the winners of such groups would be quickly dispatched by the more robust teams.

Thus, in my opinion, there is not a single team, professional or amateur, in South Africa that would actually have beaten either Korea or Romania to get out of the group stages.

That means that there is a serious problem with the overall standard of play in South Africa in the CounterStrike: GO esports title.

It also means, in my personal opinion, that MSSA should be looking at the CounterStrike: GO teams from a more developmental point  of view.








Thursday, 16 November 2017

SA's BOO! Protea League of Legends Team is ranked 15th in the world.

MSSA's BOO! Protea League of Legends Team was without doubt the strongest, and best, South African League of Legends team.

The team (consisting of players from VexxedPhoenix) dominated the South African scene during 2017.

However, luck was not on the team's side when it found itself in Group C with Taiwan, Russia, Switzerland, and Korea in what could only be described as the group of 'death'.

Nevertheless the team gave it their all and the team romped home to victory but succumbed to Korea, Taiwan, and Switzerland.

IESF's 9th World Championships, however, not only showed the character of the team, but also the weaknesses inherent in South African gaming.

Team captain, Brandon Fester, is already busy compiling his recommendations for MSSA's Esports Board of Control.

It is hoped that such recommendations will lead to the development of a more competitive esports scene in South Africa.

Should the scene become more competitive,  with more depth, South Africa will be able to build on the solid foundations created by MSSA's 2017 BOO! Protea League of Legends Team in order to deliver even better teams to IESF's 10th World Championships.

There is no doubt that there is a  lot of work to be done between now and MSSA's 2018 National Team Trials,

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

South Africa climbs to 12 place in world esports rankings.

IESF's official rankings
Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) has always prided itself on its rankings earned at IESF World Championships.

MSSA 2017 BOO! Protea Esports Team is no exception having given it their all while facing extremely tough competition.

As usual, the standard of esports rises from year to year.

Therefore it is not an option to remain constant as to do so actually shows a decline in standard.

With every country pushing the envelope from a year-to-year basis, MSSA has had to continually up its game in order to produce better teams.

In 2016, South Africa slumped to be ranked 14th in the world from its 2015 ranking of 12th.

Through reviewing  its systems and promoting an even greater degree of  competitiveness, the teams representing South Africa have pushed South Africa back up to be ranked 12th in the world.

The improved rankings show the increased South African standard, and MSSA intends to build on its successes in 2017 to push further up the international rankings at IESF's 10th World Championships.

IESF agree on partnership with Bahçeşehir University


























IESF and BAU have agreed on a partnership to expand ecosystem of esports.

The purpose of this agreement is to build friendship and foster a relationship that will promote intellectual exchanges and growth of academic resources in the field of esports between students, faculty members and administrators of Bahçeşehir University and the International Esports Federation.

In detail, to facilitate a mutually beneficial program for this partnership, both parties are prepared to participate in a formal program that seeks to promote an academic and educational collaboration.


This MOU is the second partnership that International Esports Federation has proceeded, following by the partnership with UNH at August, 2017. The International Esports Federation will continue their efforts to sign more agreements with other academic facilities to revitalize and develop esports. 




Tuesday, 14 November 2017

South Korea is the overall champion of IESF's 9th Esports World Championship Busan

IESF officially ended the 9th Esports World Championship Busan 2017. 

The finals were played on the 11th and 12th of November 2017 where all the title winners for three different game titles, which are League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Tekken7, were decided. South Korea, the defending champion of 8th Esports World Championship 2016, became the overall champion for 9th Esports World Championship once again.


South Korea’s League of Legends team won the title by winning straight two games in the final, and South Korea’s Counter Strike : Global Offensive team finished the tournament in 3rd place. South Korea’s Tekken7 player, while regrettably finishing in quarter-final, supported Korean national team into first place overall. The total point earned by South Korea was 147 and South Korea once again regain the overall champion. 

Friday, 10 November 2017

SA goes down to South Korea

Brandon Fester and Gregory Wessels (of BOO! Protea Esports Team) congratulating the Korean team on their victory.
After the BOO! Protea League of Legends Esports Team's surprise victory over Russia in the first round of play at IeSF's 9th World Championships - Busan, the South African national team had to face off against the 2016 World Champions - South Korea.

Everyone knew from the get-go that it was not going to be a picnic.

This was going to test the endurance, skill, and determination of the 
BOO! Protea League of Legends Esports Team and not test character, but reveal it.

The 
BOO! Protea League of Legends Esports Team started strong holding them off in the early game. However, the  strength and experience  of the South Korean team shone through and eventually helped the Koreans to dominate the young South African team.

Never before has a South African team done so well against a Korean national team.

The 
BOO! Protea League of Legends Esports Team has now raised the bar for all future South African teams.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Alasdair Donaldson Takes South Africa out of the Group Stages for Tekken

Huge excitement for South Africa as the Protea Tekken player, Alasdair Donaldson, makes it out of the group stages and into the knockout rounds.

Tomorrow Alasdair will take on the Philippines in an attempt to secure his spot in the quarter finals! With all to play for, tomorrow's match is sure to be an exciting display of skill. There's a lot on the line for all the players and we're expecting nothing short of sweat and determination.

Alasdair is well know in the local scene for his dedication to the game and his outright skillful way in which he plays. Tomorrow Alasdair will attempt to make history! Philippines had an amazing group stage result crushing all their opponents and not dropping a single game. They are most definitely a force to be reckoned with! It will be no easy task for the South African, Alasdair, to overcome his foe.

Already making it through the group stages is a huge achievement but Alasdair has no intention of settling with that. It is going to be a fight to the bitter end with the adrenaline rushing and the hearts pounding.

The competition is fierce and the pride is high but with so much at stake you can be sure that there will be no quarter given and every fight will break a sweat! The South Africans are standing behind Alasdair in what can only be classed as a true family in the spirit of everything that is eSports!

BOO! Protea CounterStrike: GO Team faces an uphill struggle.

The draw at IeSF's 9th World Championships - Busan.
2016 saw South Africa  enter a CounterStrike: GO team to IeSF's 8th World Championships - Jakarta.

Such  team had a tough time  at IeSF's 
8th World Championships, and South Africa returned with many hard learned lessons.
The lessons learnt were all brought home and helped to select  the 2017 team.


With IeSF's 9th World Championships about to begin, and the South African BOO! Protea CounterStrike: GO Team shall again be faced by strong opposition.

The team is in Group C, and faces Korea, Romania, Malaysia, and Philippines.

Nevertheless, MSSA has faith in the team, and faith in the members of such team, which consists of the following players:

Title Name Club Nick Residence
CounterStrike: GO Ryan Van Schalkwyk IntenSity E-Sports REvS Johannesburg
James Hulett VexxedPhoenix scheeR Pretoria
Leander Van Schalkwyk VexxedPhoenix chappie Johannesburg
Esmari Swart IntenSity E-Sports EsProxy Vanderbijl Park
Rojuan Kuba ZagAlliance FrostzR Cape Town

The full draw is as follows:

LEAGUE OF LEGENDS
Group A Group B Group C Group D
Australia Finland Korea China
Thailand Russia Romania Sweden
Israel Azerbijan South Africa Taiwan
Switzerland Georgia Malaysia Indonesia


Philippines


SA has its work cut out for itself in League of Legends

MSSA's BOO! Protea Esports Team at the drawing of the groups.
Without doubt, South Africa's 2017 BOO! Protea Esports Team for League of Legends that will be participating in IeSF's 9th World Championships - Busan is the best such team to ever represent South Africa.

The members of such team have won accolade after accolade in South Africa, and are the undisputed masters of the game.

However, the team now faces its greatest challenge.

IeSF's 9th World Championships is about to begin, and the South African team shall be tested as it has never been tested before.

The team is in Group C, which is considered to be the Group of 'death' as  it consists of the national teams from Taiwan, Switzerland, Korea, and Russia. It should be borne in mind that it  was Korea that won such title at IeSF's 8th World Championships - Jakarta.

Nevertheless, MSSA has faith in the team, and faith in the members of such team, which consists of the following players:

Title Name Club Position Nick
League of Legends Brandon Fester VexxedPhoenix Top Lane Brafester
Brett Whitehead VexxedPhoenix ADC Clax
Connor Cryans VexxedPhoenix Mid Kd0
Gregory Wessels VexxedPhoenix Jungle JewTron
Kyle Taylor VexxedPhoenix Support youNique

The full draw is as follows:

LEAGUE OF LEGENDS
Group A Group B Group C Group D
Costa Rica Netherlands Taiwan Philippines
Israel Romania Switzerland China
Macau Serbia Korea Malaysia
Tunisia Thailand Russia Macedonia

Sweden South Africa Georgia

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

It's an African derby!

The draw for Tekken 7  at IeSF's 9th World Championships - Busan.
The last time that Tekken was played at IeSF's World Championships was at the 6th World Championships - Baku.

At Baku, South Africa performed well with Morizane Boyes finishing in 9th place.

Te following players shall be competing in the same group as Alasdair Donaldson from MSSA's BOO! Team Esports South Africa:

  • TEAM AZERBAIJAN - Chingiz Kargin
  • TEAM NAMIBIA - Mazila Mazila
  • TEAM MACAU - Ka Io Fong
  • TEAM LEGION ISRAEL - Michael Karkazshvili
  • TEAM VIETNAM - Tu Ash Nguyeni
It is thought by many observers that the LENOVO sponsored Michael Karkazshvili of Israel is Alasdair's biggest threat in the group stage.

However, Namibia's 
Mazila Mazila is unknown and may well prove to be the biggest  surprise.

Nevertheless, MSSA is confident that Alasdair will give it his all and perform to the best of ability and take on Mazila Mazila in a derby type event.







Port Elizabethan Gregory Wessels selected to be the BOO! Protea Esports flag-bearer

Gregory Wessels - SA's flag-bearer.
There is little doubt that to be 'the' flag-bearer at an official international sporting event is indeed an honour.

MSSA's
 flag-bearer is an outstanding person who bears South Africa's beloved flag honouring it above all others.

Thus the selection by the International eSports Federation (IeSF) of Port Elizabethan Gregory Wessels to bear South Africa's flag at the Opening Ceremony of the 9th World Championships has very much honoured Gregory. As South Africa's flag-bearer, Gregory joins a veritable group of who's who in international eSports.
Dignatories that shall attend the opening ceremony include members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Olympic Committee of Asia (OCA), and of the International e-Sports Federation.
Photographs of Gregory Wessels may be found on: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1077367312297193.1073741834.140301479337119&type=3

Monday, 6 November 2017

IeSF Finalizes the Entry for 9th Esports World Championship Busan 2017


International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) has announced the “Final Entry” for the 9th Esports World Championship. 

Of course South Africa's national federation, Mind Sports South Africa, will be represented with its Protea Esports Team as sponsored by BOO! Surprising Media SolutionsA total of 36 countries, consisting of 328 athletes will travel to Busan, to compete in 3 official events. The events are League of Legends(LOL), Counter Strike : Global Offensive (CS:GO), and Tekken 7.

The 9th Esports World Championship Busan 2017, which will be held on 8th to 12th  November 2017. 

All athletes and delegations will be present at the tournament venue on the 8th for the group drawing session, and the actual tournament begins on the 9th November 2017. 

With 147 of the teams coming from Europe, and 134 from Asia, there is no doubt that the few African teams have got their work cut out for them as  they take on the juggernauts. Details of participating athletes in each event can be found on the official website of IeSF (www.ie-sf.org).

IeSF's Esports World Championship is the only international esports competition based on nationality. 

The host city is chosen each year through the official “Host City Bidding Process” where the bid documents is distributed and open to all cities willing to host the event. As the official signatory of WADA, IeSF has been practicing doping tests in all its events, while also promoting and acknowledge clean sports.

The previous Esport World Championship hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia, was more competitive than ever before. Each title was won by a different nation. 

In 2016, Austria won Hearthstone, Finland won CS:GO, and South Korea won LOL. 

With more nations participating in 2017 at IeSF's 9th Esports World Championships in Busan, the level of competition is expected to be even higher.

More information about this World Championship can be found in the last article of IeSF:

Sunday, 5 November 2017

IeSF's 9th World Championships - Participants

Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) has delivered esports teams to each and every IeSF World Championship since 2009.

2017 is no different, and MSSA's BOO! Protea Esports Team will depart on 6 November 2017 for the rather chilly shores  of South Korea.

The International e-Sports Federation was only founded in 2008 by eight member countries, IeSF has grown from year-to-year.

IeSF's annual world championships has also grown from year-to year.

The 2017 edition will see no fewer than 35 countries participating. Those 35 countries will deliver no fewer than 310 participants.

IeSF's world championship is the only world championship for official national teams. As such growth may be slower, but such growth is more sustainable and, in my opinion, more accurate.

It is not a case that just anybody can just 'put' a team together and go to compete. There is a process. The process involves creating a national federation, getting the federation recognised, and then affiliating to IeSF.

Such efforts lead towards long-term development at all levels, and more than anything, helps protect the athlete.




IeSF's 9th World Championships - Event schedule.

With only a few days left, excitement is at an all time high as MSSA's BOO! Protea Esports Team readies itself for the long trek out to IeSF's 9th World Championships - Busan.

Like all world championships, participation is not a holiday, it is work. There is little 'down-time' and the stress of an international championship can be daunting.

The schedule for IeSF's 9th World Championships is: