Monday, 24 July 2017

Westville Boys High School and Northcliff High School to do battle in esports.

Westville Boys High School has the most entries in MSSA's 2017 4 term Inter-school League.
MSSA's 4 term Inter-school League, to be played from the week ending 28 July 2017, has seen a more than satisfactory entry.

There is an average growth across the board in both the size and standard of gaming at school level.

In fact there are only two provinces from which MSSA has not received entries, being Limpopo and Northern Cape.

Obviously, MSSA needs to do a greater amount of development in these two provinces in order to ensure that every learner is given a chance and not left behind.

Nevertheless, the stage is set.


Westville Boys High School (Durban) must be commended for having the most entries in the 2017 league, while Northcliff High School (Johannesburg), while being just behind Westville Boys High School in numbers is contesting more game titles than any other school.

It is true that 
Westville Boys High School only affiliated in 2017, but under Tyrone Green's energetic control the school has successfully challenged the status quo.


On the other hand, Northcliff High School has been  a member since 2009. Noelene du Toit (Educator-in-charge) has over the years seen two of her gamers called up for national duty in the Protea Esports Team, seen at leeast another seven gamers receive Senior and High School National Federation colours.

The final entry date for teams will be 20H00 on Monday, 24th of July 2017. 

If entries are not submitted before the close off date and time, schools will not be able to participate in this championship.

The championship is an awesome opportunity for scholars to earn provincial colours for their respective games and provinces.Further details are as follows:


Four term schoolsschool league - 
1st round - week ending 28 July 2017
2nd round - week ending 4 August 2017
3rd round - week ending 11 August 2017
4th round - week ending 18 August 2017
5th round - week ending 25 August 2017

eSports titles to be played at 2017 School LAN Provincial and National Championships

StarCraft IILeague of LegendsHearthStoneTekken 7
CounterStrike: GOFIFA '17DotA 2VainGlory

Schools  must enter their teams on the allotted Google Drive pages.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Final entry date for SA School National Championships - Monday, 24th of July 2017.

2016 S A School winners
The final entry date for teams will be 20H00 on Monday, 24th of July 2017. 

If entries are not submitted before the close off date and time, schools will not be able to participate in this championship.

The championship is an awesome opportunity for scholars to earn High School National Federation Colours for their respective games and provinces.


MSSA's S A National High School Championships to be held at Oakhill College, Knysna, on 29 & 30 July 2017 thus gives scholars an unique opportunity to excel in the following games:
Board games titles to be played at 2017 School National Championships
SaturdayCheckersMorabaraba

Esports titles to be played at 2017 School LAN National Championships

SaturdayStarCraft IILeague of LegendsHearthStoneTekken 7
SundayCounterStrike: GOFIFA '17DotA 2VainGlory

Wargames to be played at 2016 School National Championships

SaturdayAncients - DBM 3.2
SundayAncients - DBM 3.2

Entries must be loaded onto the alloted Google Drive page.

The price of membership.


Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA), being the largest membership based gaming organisation in South Africa, delivers much to its members, being:

  • MSSA has the largest footprint in South Africa,
  • MSSA has its own 24/7 channel on TULUNTULU on which any member club may post content,
  • MSSA holds a number of school championships,
  • MSSA holds more championships than any other organisation in South Africa,
  • MSSA has an open system of government that allows any member to rise to positions of office,
  • MSSA has sent more teams overseas than any other organisation,
  • MSSA is the only body that may award Regional, Provincial, National, and Protea Colours for gaming,
  • MSSA is the only body that may select official teams to represent South Africa,
  • MSSA is the only body in South Africa that may affiliate to CAeS, and IeSF, and
  • MSSA is in the vanguard of actively developing gaming in South Africa.
Wow!

With all of the above, you would expect the fees charged to be quite large.

On the contrary, MSSA has always adopted a position of keeping its  fees as low as possible in order to stimulate growth and to remain a 'people's organisation'.

The fees for the 2016/2017 gaming year (1 November 2016 to 31 October 2017) are:
Affiliation fees per club
R100.00 per annum
Registration fees:
Registered with MSSA 
R95.00 per player
Players who are members of school clubs
R 5.00 per player


With fees being that low, can you really not afford to be a member?

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Final entry date for 4 term Inter-school League - Monday, 24th of July 2017.


MSSA has decided to allow schools an extension for the 4 term Inter-school League.

The final entry date for teams will be 20H00 on Monday, 24th of July 2017.

If entries are not submitted before the close off date and time, schools will not be able to participate in this championship.

The championship is an awesome opportunity for scholars to earn provincial colours for their respective games and provinces.

Further details are as follows:


Four term schoolsschool league - 
1st round - week ending 28 July 2017
2nd round - week ending 4 August 2017
3rd round - week ending 11 August 2017
4th round - week ending 18 August 2017
5th round - week ending 25 August 2017

eSports titles to be played at 2017 School LAN Provincial and National Championships

StarCraft IILeague of LegendsHearthStoneTekken 7
CounterStrike: GOFIFA '17DotA 2VainGlory

Schools  must enter their teams on the allotted Google Drive pages.

Senior National Federation Colours awarded in 2016

Xola Magwaza wearing Senior Nationa;l Federation Colours
Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA), South Africa's largest membership gaming body, awards National Federation Colours as well as Regional, Provincial, and Protea Colours.

The highest award is, of course, Protea Colours. To earn such you have to play in an international event for MSSA. Readers will be quite disturbed to note that a number of gamers claim to have received Protea Colours and have never been awarded such. A full list of gamers who have received Protea Colours for esports may be viewed on https://esportscommentator.blogspot.co.za/2017/07/full-list-of-esports-protea-colours.html.


Just below the Protea Colours award is MSSA's Senior National Federation Colours. To receive such is less difficult than to receive Protea Colours, and gamers may be awarded such Senior National Federation Colours on the following grounds:

  1. By any person selected to represent MSSA, or
  2. By any person who has won all his/her games at the S A National Championships.

Any player who has received the award three times is the awarded the 'Honours Award'.

The full list of gamers who have been awarded Senior National Federation Colours in 2016 is as follows:

 Date Name of player Honours How awarded Period Club/Team
2016 Jason Batzofin
National Team Manager St John’s College
Joline Bico Honours Nat. Team & SAN FIFA ‘16 BNKR
Ryan Boyes Honours National Team Manager BNKR
Gregory Edward Brittain
S A Nationals Counter Strike: GO VexxedPhoenix
Michael Charles Brittain
S A Nationals Counter Strike: GO VexxedPhoenix
Kyle Chan Some
S A Nationals Mortal Kombat X Northcliff High School
Riaan Coetzee
SA Nationals League of Legends VexxedPhoenix
Sybrand De Kock
SA Nationals League of Legends VexxedPhoenix
Richard Ferreira
S A Nationals PES 2016 Fakkel School
Gawie Fick
S A Nationals Tekken Tag Tournament II Fakkel School
Robyn Gertzer
S A Nationals Mortal Kombat X Teutonic Knights Mind Sports Club
Lyle Jeacocks
National Team CounterStrike: GO Anteria
Dylan Johnston
S A Nationals DotA 2 VexxedPhoenix
Jessie Joubert (Team Captain)
National Team CounterStrike: GO Rondebosch Boys
Dillon Justus
National Team CounterStrike: GO DF Malan
Maryke Kennard
National Team League of Legends Tuks University
Kayle Koegelenberg
S A Nationals DotA 2 VexxedPhoenix
Jarryd Knight
S A Nationals DotA 2 VexxedPhoenix
Leonard Loftus
S A Nationals Street Fighter V Masters of Mind Sports
Leone Loftus
S A Nationals Mortal Kombat X Masters of Mind Sports
Khahliso Malape
S A Nationals FIFA ‘16 Fakkel School
Matthew Martle
S A Nationals DotA 2 VexxedPhoenix
Francois Mouton
National Team HearthStone Tuks University
Stephan Pauley
S A Nationals Counter Strike: GO VexxedPhoenix
Paul Prinsloo
SA Nationals League of Legends VexxedPhoenix
Taylor Rose
National Team League of Legends Knights Mind Sports
Danie Rusch
SA Nationals League of Legends VexxedPhoenix
Alan John "Aj" Simpkins
S A Nationals DotA 2 VexxedPhoenix
Aidan Smale
SA Nationals StarCraft II Old Edwardian Wargames Club
Matthew Smith (Team captain)
National Team League of Legends Knights Mind Sports
Leandré Sparks
National Team CounterStrike: GO Anteria
Nadine Swart
S A Nationals Tekken Tag Tournament II HTS Witbank
Kyle Turnbull (Team Captain) Honours National Team FIFA ‘16 HTS Witbank
Johan Uys
National Team League of Legends Tuks University
Johan van Breda
National Team League of Legends Tuks University
Sune Van Der Merwe
S A Nationals Street Fighter V HTS Witbank
Sarel van Jaarsveld
S A Nationals Counter Strike: GO VexxedPhoenix
Adele Janse van Rensburg
SA Nationals League of Legends VexxedPhoenix
De Toit Van Rooyen
S A Nationals Counter Strike: GO VexxedPhoenix
Kelvin Yang
S A Nationals HearthStone Northcliff High School
Simon Zandstra
National Team CounterStrike: GO Rondebosch Boys
Bonge Zwane
National Team FIFA ‘16 HTS Witbank

Ekasi Esports has a CounterStrike: GO team.

From left to right: Sibonelo Vilakazi, Michael Mbatha, Buhle Dludla, Jabulani Mthombeni and Rungulani Vilakazi. 
Team Manager: Smilo "Slim" Gosa.
Ekasi Esports is the first official esports club in Soweto, and being determined to make their mark on gaming in South Africa, the club has forged forward to create Soweto's first CounterStrike: GO team.

Under the watchful eye of team manager Smilo Gosa, the team is expected to do great things as Sibonelo Vilakazi, Michael Mbatha, Buhle Dludla, Jabulani Mthombeni and Rungulani Vilakazi take on all comers.


In fact, Smilo has made it quite clear to a number of MSSA officials, that under his guidance, he will train up his team to the level of entering the Protea Team and represent South Africa in official  championships.

The gauntlet has been thrown down, now all that remains is to see SOWETO's best astound all.

How to play against the official Protea Esports Team.

The 2012, 2013, 2014,  and 2015 Protea Teams that attended IeSF's World Championships.
With the official Protea Esports Team having been selected to officially represent South Africa for esports, and since the team has the same status as any other South African national team, the team only competes as the national team upon instruction from Mind Sports South Africa.

Thus the team almost plays exclusively as a composite unit against other national teams. From time-to-time the team may also play 'friendlies' against  top ranking international  club teams in order to practice for the World Championships.

Team members from the same club may even participate in other local events together. However, such games are obviously considered to be practice matches and are not done in the livery of the national team.

It therefore stands to reason that unless the entire national team is playing as a composite whole with MSSA's approval, the team playing is not the national team.


So when do local players get to play against the National Esports Team?

Simply put, only with the approval of MSSA's Management Board, and after written request. Any such match, if agreed to would only be done under the following conditions:

1. The team requesting such match is affiliated to MSSA, and

2. The event is  done at a LAN, and
3. All equipment is standardised, and
4. All players are subjected to the WADA drug test, and
5. There is no  ambush marketing, and
6. Costs are paid by the applicant.

Otherwise,, any player who  qualifies for the annual National Team Trials have the opportunity to 'battle' it out against the previous years'  team members as they seek selection.

Any team that qualifies for National Team Trials has automatic entry into such Trials.

To qualify for National Team Trials, all a team has to do is be placed
 within the top 20% or top three places, whichever is greater, in a specific Period at a Provincial or National Championship will earn an invitation to National Team Trials. National Team Trials shall be held in the event that a National Team must be selected to represent South Africa when competing in such Period in an International Championship.

The next national  event is MSSA's 
Annual South African National School Championship to be played on 29 & 30 July 2017. The championship is hosted by Oakhill College in Knysna.

The next provincial event is 
MSSA's KwaZulu Natal Provincial LAN Championship to be played on 5 & 6 August 2017. The championship is hosted by Maritzburg College in Pietermaritzburg.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Why MSSA is so able to adapt to new circumstances.

The member club is central to how MSSA is administrated.
Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA)'s system of affiliation is almost unique in South Africa.

Instead of having clubs affiliated to Regional Associations which are then having the Regional associations affiliated to Provincial associations, and then having the Provincial associations affiliated to the National Federation, MSSA has a far more direct structure.

MSSA's structure has the member  club directly affiliated to the National Federation.

The advantages in doing it this way are obvious, and are:

  1. It allows the member  clubs greater say, and
  2. It allows a greater degree of upward mobility to those who want to  take up a position as an office-bearer, and
  3. It allows the continual introduction of fresh and new ideas.
Thus instead of spending years in the trenches, as one would in another sporting code, Registered Players can quickly move up the ranks to make their voices heard.

However, it should be borne in mind that just because you have a voice that everything that you propose will become the rule.

All decisions are voted upon, and all decisions are made by majority vote.

There is not a single committee member that has his/her own way. Every office-bearer has had ideas shot down in flames.

However, at the end of the day the committee is unified, and speaks with one voice.

Growth is dependent on introspection.


The growth of esports, like any other sport, requires the sport to  adapt from year-to-year in order to accommodate changes.

This we have seen in traditional sports like cricket where the faster paced T20 series  has become more popular than the 5-day test matches. It does not mean that the 5-day test matches have been replaced, all it means that there are now other alternatives.

So it is with rugby. 'Currie Cup' was once hailed as the highest standard of play for the South African provincial franchises. However, the dominance of 'Currie Cup' has, in my opinion, largely been replaced by 'Super Rugby'. In my mind, the thrill  of seeing South African franchises take on the Australians and New Zealanders eclipses the 'Currie Cup'.

And so it is with esports.

There are various ways of promoting esports, some very different to each other.

The problem is that when a group of gamers fail to understand that various techniques should be used, growth and development is nigh on impossible amongst such group.

The largest problem that South  African esports has, just  like any other sporting code, is that it is easy to develop a 'bif-fish-in-a-small-pond' mentality. As such a team that does well in South African  events may continually fail to do well in international events as on  an international level it will be a 'minnow'.

So how is this trend reversed?

For a start the players who wish to compete on an international level have to shelve  there personal likes and  dislikes and adopt a professional attitude on all levels.

By playing  in every possible local competition, the team would thus ready itself by qualifying for more international events. By only playing in some, and excluding others, the team does no justice to itself and its gamers.

The key is to play in as many international events as possible.

However, once players in South Africa improve sufficiently, South African gaming will have a new problem - as like all other sports - in that the top players will leave South Africa to play in more lucrative markets.

The fact that so few South Africans get placed in foreign professional teams is the true acid test of the current standard of South African gaming.

It is one of Mind Sports South Africa's (MSSA) development programmes to nurture gamers to become good enough so that they can follow a career in esports overseas.

And is that  not what every esports athlete wants?

Thursday, 20 July 2017

I-Village Schools Digital Skills Workshop.

I-Village will be hosting a digital skills workshop, at Emadwaneli Secondary School, on the 26th of July 2017.

The objective of the workshop is raise awareness on the digital career opportunities , understanding that more jobs today requires a level of adequate understanding of digital skills and further to ensure that our youth participate in the digital economy. The workshop will be conducted in collaboration with Emadwaneli Secondary School, The National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (Nemisa), Mind Sport South Africa (MSSA) and Acer South Africa..
At I-Village we are committed to bring about digital opportunities to the youth, most importantly in the townships and rural areas and with the key objective that our youth not only become consumers, but active participants to the 4th Industrial Revolution, says. Mr Mpho Tladi - Business Development Manager at I-Village.
The workshop will be showcasing digital career opportunities in Creative New Media Industries, Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC): Robotics, Coding and Electronic Sports (Esports).
About Us:
Innovation Village herein known as “I-Village” is a non-profit organisation that provides digital skills
training to the students, entrepreneurs and unemployed youth in townships and rural areas. The IVillage is based in Soweto, Dube, Kronen Centre.

Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) never takes selection for a national team lightly.


I have written much on players receiving Protea Colours over the years.

Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) never takes selection for a national team lightly.

Since being selected to officially represent South Africa for esports is the same as being represented by any other South African National Federation for any other sport, team selection must have great meaning to the esports players. The award of National Team status for esports also leads to comparisons from other sports as it is the highest level in esports, just as much as the Springboks are the highest level in rugby.

The selection process always has a dilemma as it is known that when choosing a team for international duty, concepts such as 'potential' does not have any meaning. Also, with South Africa being so far away from mainstream events, it is always difficult to relate how players who have performed well  at regional, provincial, and national championships will perform at a international level.

One only has  to remember the 2017 WESG earlier this year where South Africa's self-proclaimed 'best' team was slaughtered in both CS: GO and DotA 2.


That is why, with MSSA there is no automatic selection to the team.

Every player standing for selection has to reprove him/herself.

International competition is tough. Much tougher than  anything that you will encounter in South Africa, and that is part of the problem.


In my opinion a number of events, with their large cash prizes, do nothing to develop strength or depth. Such events seem to only promote the same old favoured few with no real eye to developing real gaming strength for the future. Without a long-term view, South African gaming will never improve and South African teams shall, in my opinion, remain the whipping boys of the international community.

I am too reminded of when MSSA brought out SK Gaming's CS:GO and DotA 2 teams in 2008.

MSSA arranged, as a courtesy, a 'friendly' between SK Gaming's CounterStrike: GO team against a South African club team. The match  was so one-sided, it was horrible. Since it was BO3, SK Gaming rather than thrash the local team again, just gave them the third game.


Such act lead to the local team claiming how they held off SK Gaming instead of taking a long hard look at themselves. People always tend to believe their own propaganda.

But I ramble.

In conclusion, for South Africa to  do well overseas, all teams must buy-in to a  long-term development programme and  not look to quick gratification. The average standard of play must be improved upon if players expect to improve the highest level of play.

While there are the exceptional cases of individuals who may achieve greatness in spite  of their surroundings, generally speaking, successful athletes are produced in successful environments which  have successful coaches, expert administrators, and efficient administration.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Match fixing.

 

A while back I heard of a case where a team stated that they lost because they were just having fun. On pushing the point, because no one really thinks that losing is fun, one player stated that the team lost on purpose in order to allow that team to advance and to keep another team in a lower league.

Hmm.

Boy, do I have a problem with such. Thank heavens that it did not happen at a Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) championship as the MSSA Swiss System is quite unforgiving,  and any such type of 'shenanigans' would compromise the team doing it more than advantage the weaker team receiving the benefit.

Also MSSA would not tolerate any such 'match-fixing'.

But is it really match-fixing?

Match fixing is defined as: "(in sport) the action or practice of dishonestly determining the outcome of a match before it is played."

In my opinion there is no doubt that the team that played badly on purpose dishonestly determined the outcome.

The team that unfairly won, progressed to a higher league - which would have skewed results of the higher league. The team that was denied the elevation to a higher league, through no fault of their own, was compromised, and had to stay in the lower league for yet another season.


Thus the team that 'was just having fun' materially affected the outcome.

In terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act,  No. 12 of 2004 (2003) I believe that such actions actually are of a criminal nature as the deed seems to be of a corrupt nature.

Section 15 (b) of such Act states:

"gives  or  agrees  or offers to give to any other person any gratification whether for the benefit of that other person or  for  the benefit of another person- 
      (i)    in return for- 
                     (aa)    engaging in any act which constitutes a threat to or undermines the integrity of                                      any sporting event, including, in any way. influencing the run of play or the                                          outcome of a sporting event;  or"

The main question arises, was there any gratification. 


Gratification is defined in the Act as:

gratification”, includes-

(a) money, whether in cash  or  otherwise;
(b) any donation, gift, any fee, reward,  valuables, security,  property or interest  in  property of any           description,  whether  movable or immovable, or any other similar advantage;
(c) the avoidance of a loss, liability,  penalty,  forfeiture.  punishment or other disadvantage;
(d) any office, status, honour, employment, contract of employment or services, any agreement to            give  employment or render  services in any capacity  and  residential or holiday  accommodation: (e) any  payment.  release,  discharge or liquidation of any loan,  obligation or other liability. whether      in whole or in part;
(f) any forbearance to demand any money or money‘s worth or valuable thing:
(g) any other service or favour or advantage of any description.  including protection from any                  penalty or disability  incurred or apprehended  or from any action or proceedings of a disciplinary.      civil or criminal nature. whether or not already  instituted, and includes the exercise or the                    forbearance  from the exercise of any right or any official power or duty:
(h) any right or privilege;
(i) any real or pretended  aid, vote, consent. influence or abstention from voting: or
(j) any valuable consideration or benefit of any kind, including any discount. commission, rebate,           bonus. deduction or percentage;

If there was any gratification, then the act of purposefully losing was of a corrupt nature, and the team, the organisers, and the sponsors would have a very real course of remedial action.

SA LADIES ON COURSE FOR FINALS


Both the South African Underwater Hockey Ladies’ Teams have booked themselves favourable games in the playoff stages of the World Championships in Hobart Australia.  The round robin stages concluded today and both the U/19 and U/23 Ladies just lost against New Zealand an lie 2nd in their divisions.


The U/18 and U23 Men are still with a chance, both lying 5th, They face tough playoffs against the teams above them, but with some luck and a lot of guts they can still make it to the podium.

For the U/19 Ladies this means an automatic semi final with a rest day tomorrow as teams 3 to 7 battle it out for places in the semi finals. The U/23 Ladies play 7th placed Argentina in the playoffs. 

They have beat Argentina comfortably and should be able to do so again to proceed to the semis against either Australia (whom they beat 3-0 today) and Columbia. Columbia’s U/23 Ladies are the current World Champions from Spain in 2015. Either team will make for a tough semi final for the SA Ladies.

Both these teams are likely to face New Zealand in their respective finals. New Zealand has a very strong schools / junior underwater league and they have been consistently strong since the inception of the junior categories at the world championships. The numbers of players involved and resources and time allocated to underwater hockey make them a powerhouse in junior underwater hockey.

The SA U/19 Ladies are the current World Champions after beating the New Zealand ladies in Spain in 2015. This was the first time the New Zealand U/19 ladies lost any game (SA beat them in the round robin and the finals). The current SA team contain 7 members of this gold medal team including Captain Calista Pake and Helen Van Rhyn both who are both at their 3rd World Championships.

The U/23 Ladies’ team contain the remaining 5 members from the 2015 U/19 Gold Medal Team. This includes the captain Eleanor De Kock and Moya Moorcroft, both playing in their 4th junior world championship. Eleanor and Zandrѐ Coetzee where also members of the SA Elite Ladies Team that won the senior World Championships in Stellenbosch in 2016. They have worked very hard to make it a unique triple with gold in 3 divisions.

Zandrѐ was the top goal scorer in the U/23 ladies division in all the round robin games (9 goals), but unfortunately she was passed by an New Zealand lady when New Zealand put up a 10 – 0 score against Argentina in the final round robin game, She now lies second. Her team mates Eleanor and Jordynne follow closely in 3rd and 4th with 7 goals each.

The SA U/23 Ladies came 5th in 2011, last in 2013 (with only 6 players) and did not have a team in 2015, so the U/23 ladies have worked hard for at least a fist podium position for them in 2017 in Hobart.

As mentioned, the men have had a tougher competition, but they are still in high spirits and are going to give it their all to upset the very strong teams above them in the log so that they can proceed to the semi finals and even finals.

The playoffs start tomorrow (Thursday) with the semi finals on Friday and Finals on Saturday. We wish ALL our teams all the best – may your hard work pay off!

The games are live streamed at http://tinyurl.com/hobartlive (as well as available afterwards)

  
De Wet Coetzee (Parent)