Question 1. How does MSSA, help grow eSports?
The short answer is that the MSSA helps to grow eSports in SA through having gained acceptance as a sport by all the relevant governmental and non-governmental authorities. Through such recognition eSports qualifies for funding from national, provincial and local government as well as from the national lottery. The accreditation, although visible in the form of Protea Colours has had other far reaching effects as well. As a result of the accreditation, the MSSA is able to run official school championships and have official clubs established in schools. Not only that, but the MSSA has assisted the development of official eSports clubs at university which has resulted in a number of gamers be awarded with sports bursaries at such universities. The accreditation has also lead to a greater public awareness as well as greater media coverage. Through being a legal entity, the rules used govern eSports in South Africa have also created stability for the titles and for the gamers alike.
Question 2. Exactly how do you let teams qualify or proceed to become a representative of South Africa?Selection of national teams is a year long process in South Africa. Players from any team that is affiliated to a member club that finishes in the top 3, or top 20% (whichever is greater), at a Provincial or ational Championship automatically qualify for National Team Trials. Since the MSSA runs LANs in 6 out of the 9 provinces, many South Africans are afforded the opportunity of qualifying for Trials with little cost to themselves. Not only that, but the MSSA runs on-line championships which too count towards qualifying for National Team Trials. To further reach all the outlying areas in South Africa, the MSSA allows the winner from any Regional Championship to attend the National Team Trials. There are 56 Regions in South Africa which consist of some of the most remote areas. Thus there is no excuse for anyone to not participate as the MSSA has made it as easy as possible to play in an official championships.
Selection of Provincial Teams is done very differently. The nine Provincial Directors are responsible for the selection of the Provincial Teams according to the rules established by the Provincial Boards of Control.
Question 3. If a number of community members (e.g 80%) wishes that some changed be made to your organization, would you accept it?The MSSA is a properly constituted association. As such it is accountable primarily to its own members. The vague groups that claim to be the 'community' are often faceless and those speaking do not have the right or authority to speak on behalf of others as they have not been elected to do so. Also, how do you come to the figure of 80%? Is this 80% of every-one who has a computer, or is it 80% of everyone who has ever played a game on a cell-phones, computers, PS's and or XBOX's? How do you determine the percentage?
Every committee member in the MSSA has been elected to be there and should any change be required, the membership is quite capable of doing so. In fact the MSSA is the most democratic institution in South Africa as all member clubs have voting rights at all General Meetings, and all member clubs have the right to propose Registered Players for positions on any MSSA committee. Therefore the MSSA will not tolerate outside interference whether it be by government, or non affiliated individuals.
Question 4. What lies in the future for South African eSports? Do you see some great teams competing at the next Big event (e.g Dreamhack 2015, or ESL Katowice)The MSSA believes that SA has a bright future in eSports. The MSSA has sent teams overseas every year since 2005 except for 2008. In 2008 the MSSA, instead of sending a team overseas, brought SK Gamings CS1.6 and DotA team to South Africa in order to further promote gaming. However, the MSSA encourages any/or all clubs to also participate in the privately owned and run events. Clubs that are affiliated to the MSSA can use National Lottery funding for this purpose. The MSSA also helps clubs to get across to these events, for example, in 2013 the MSSA obtained deferred exams from the University of Cape Town for two eN team members so that they could attend the ESWC. The MSSA believes that unless South African teams play in more overseas events, the standard in South Africa will not improve. Unfortunately overseas travel is an expensive endeavour, but the MSSA is committed to getting more players overseas to official IeSF events in line with further developing the game at home.
Question 5. Where does your support and funds come from to help you host local events? (e.g sponsors or subscription fees)The MSSA works on a system of registration and entry fees which does not bring in much money due to how little is charged. The rest of the funds that the MSSA receives comes from sponsorships (such as MWEB), donations and grants.
Question 6. What is your employees or volunteers experience with competitive eSports?
The MSSA does not have employees. All the officials are volunteers who dedicate their free time to the development and growth of eSports. Thus all those involved in the eSports Board of Control have a great deal of experience in eSports. Remember all officials are voted in - members would not vote in a person who is not knowledgeable in their field. While a person holds a position, there is also an upward learning curve as the officials have to deal with a greater degree of administration as well as the playing of the various titles.