Day 4 of the E-FRAG.NET African Qualifying Rounds started well.
Despite the MSSA only being informed by the organisers of the fixtures on Friday, 7 August 2015, the MSSA had everything in place bto award the team its Protea Colours at the Old Edwardian Society on the morning of Thursday, 13 August 2015.
To even get to this point there had been a lot of negotiations between E-FRAG and the MSSA apropos the servers.
The MSSA always knew that the 'ping' would be a problem and was requesting at least a 'best of two' where one game would be played on the designated server in Europe and the other on a designated server in Africa. Although not perfect, by any means, the organisers of E-FRAG came back and stated that half the game could be done on the designated server in Europe and the other on a designated server in Africa as E-FRAG did not want to move away from the 'Best of One' for the African Rounds.
The SA team was fairly satisfied with this.
However, with the final presentation of the fixtures, the E-FRAG organisers did a 'volte-face' and advised the South Africa team that it would all be done on the European server.
On hearing this decision, the MSSA considered sending the team down to Cape Town to play from the MWEB MCAVE (at a cost of tens of thousands) to get approximately 30 ping less. The committee felt that such move would not really warrant the expenditure as the ping would still be quite disadvantageous to the team. The Committee even considered sending the team to London in the UK, but various factors – more precisely the lack of lead time given – prevented such decision from being effected.
Even the Tunisian team complained that such decision was not fair to the South African team.
Nevertheless, the MWEB Protea eSports Team for CounterStrike: GO behaved like absolute troopers.
Not one complained against an obviously biased decision and sat down to the business at hand.
Obviously the first game against Egypt did not go well despite the team 'sticking in' and giving it their all. For older readers, it was like rewatching Tobruk. Nothing that the South Africans could do could work as they battled against both the Egyptians and a ping of 200.
With ping of 200, the South Africans were firing at opponents who were no longer there, and to viewers it appeared as though the South Africans were just standing around.
Needless to say, the South Africans lost the game 16 – 3.
After the match against Egypt, South Africa went into play against the front-runners, Tunisia.
Tunisia took every advantage of the awful ping being experienced by the South Africans and worked it like the stars they are.
The South Africans battled on, but were again severely hampered by the ping of 200.
The triumphant Tunisians thus romped home to a 16 – 1 victory!
Although bitterly disappointed, the South Africans, at their post mortem, under the guidance of Johan Heymans, expressed their determination to soldier on.
The mistakes were reviewed and the team put in some last minute practice for Day 5 when the team will face Morocco (13H00), Algeria (14H00), and Lybia (15H00).
The MSSA Committee to has looked very carefully at this type of competition, and has already put steps in place that should South Africa participate in an African Qualifying event again, to send the team to Europe so that at least the team will have a level playing field.
Until then, it is all uphill!