Sunday 26 April 2015

2015 MWEB National Team Trials for Counterstrike: GO

The Protea emblem
On 25 April 2015 the MSSA held its 2015 MWEB National Team Trials for Counterstrike: GO. There was a solid attendance. The air was thick with excitement as the teams battled it out.
Nothing was held back with Protea Colours at stake.
Now all we waiting for is due process to be completed and for the MWEB Protea Counterstrike: GO Team to be announced.
The team selected shall compete in both the eFRAG and IeSF World Championships.
Special thanks must be extended to:
Dorian Love, Roedean School, Morizane Boyes, and Ryan Boyes for making a truly memorable event!

The IeSF partners with the IAAF

The International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) has announced a partnership of cooperation exchange between e-Sports and athletics, as signing partnership MOU with the “Athletics for a Better World” powered by International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) at the Sochi EXPO Centre, the venue of the 2015 Sport Accord Convention in Sochi, Russia on April 21, 2015. IAAF is an international sports federation which retains 214 member nations with more than 100 years of history.

Athletics for a Better World has offered the partnership to IeSF on account of possibility and vision of e-Sports as official sports with high popularity among young generation and its rapid growth. IeSF Board has approved such partnership with a positive consideration on the proposal from them.

IeSF became an official signatory of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) in 2013, and recognized by TAFISA (The Association for International Sports for All) in 2014. And at this moment, partnership with IAAF will enhance IeSF’s status as official international sports federation. This is the first time for IeSF to have partnership with other sports discipline. As starting with Athletics which has the largest number of member nations and athletes, IeSF will continuously cooperate with many sports disciplines and international sports governing bodies. This effort will bridge the gap between traditional sports and e-Sports.

Through this partnership, IeSF will participate in “Athletics for Better World” program powered by IAAF which is to deliver a positive contribution in the areas of health, environment, social inclusion and peace through athletics. IeSF is planning to actively promote soundness of athletics, and promote health and e-Sports activities to all e-Sports member nations and e-Sports fans.

Moreover Athletics for a Better World, whose ambassadors include former Olympians Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Paula Radcliffe and Wilson Kipketer, will look to develop training plans and fitness programmes to help professional and recreational gamers alike perform at the highest levels. The IeSF will also benefit from the IAAF’s knowledge as a governing body with over a 100 years’ experience. There they will develop plans for the future of their partnership including live demonstration workshops with some of the world’s top professional gamers, as well as Olympic athletes who have all expressed a love of computer games, such as Aries Merritt (USA, Gold medal list in 2012 London Olympics men’s 100m hurdles), Warren Weir (Jamaica, Bronze medalist in 2012 London Olympics men’s 200m race) and Christian Taylor (USA, Gold medalist in 2012 London Olympics men’s triple jump).

Mr. Nick Davies, the Deputy General Secretary of IAAF addressed, “As the number one Olympic sport we
Nick Davies (IAAF) & Alex Lim (IeSF)
are always looking at new ways and new means of technology to help engage young people and encourage them to take up athletics. E-Sports is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and we’re delighted to become the first governing body to partner with the IeSF. We look forward to a prosperous relationship and can’t wait to start working on new and exciting opportunities together”

IeSF president, Mr. Byung Hun Jun said “This partnership will definitely enhance the status of IeSF within the international sports society, and it is a reflection that international sports society is continuously paying attention on e-Sports. By showing soundness of e-Sports and continuous exchange with international sports society, IeSF will keep endeavor to make the e-Sports to be recognized as official sports.

▶ About IeSF

The International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) is an International Governing Body for e-Sports, established in 2008. Currently IeSF consists of 43 National Federations, who are approved by governments in their countries. As e-Sports has been regarding as one of potential Sport disciplines, many of National Sport Authorities such as Ministry of Sport and National Olympic Committees have been recognise such National e-Sports Federations, as official Sport Governing Body.

Since 2009, IeSF has been hosting e-Sports World Championship every year. More than 400 people from all of IeSF National Federations and more countries participate in the event, as National Athletes approved by their government. All broadcasting contents are delivered to all around the world through online streaming platforms, with more than 2 million viewerships.

The IeSF also cooperates with various International Sport Bodies. IeSF manages and operates e-Sports event in Multi Sports Events in the world. Also IeSF has been approved as one of the official signatories of World Anti-Doping Agency in 2013. After approval, IeSF has been conducted doping test for every event, like other sports with IeSF’s own Anti-Doping code. In 2014, IeSF was approved as an International member of TAFISA (The association For International Sport for All), and will manage e-Sports program in 2016 TAFISA World Sport for All Games.

With rapid growth of e-Sports, IeSF is aiming for being affiliated in SportAccord. Regarding perceptions toward e-Sports from National Sport Authorities, it is expected that e-Sports can be admitted as one of official sport discipline in near future, with the recognition of IeSF by SportAccord.

▶ About the IAAF
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) which was created in 1912 is the world governing and rule making body for Athletics, the Olympics’ number one sport. Today the IAAF encompasses track and field, race walking, road, cross country and mountain running. Boasting 214 national Member Federations, spread across 6 continental Areas, it has a global reach greater than that of the United Nations.

The IAAF World Athletics Series of events has as its pinnacle the biennial IAAF World Championships. The championships’ nine days of competition attract 2000 athletes from more than 200 countries and are broadcast to an accumulated 6 billion TV audience worldwide, making them the world’s third largest sporting event after the Olympic Games and football’s World Cup.

In 2015, there will be three IAAF World Athletics Series events plus the second edition of the innovative IAAF World Relays in The Bahamas. As a true reflection of the global nature of Athletics, these competitions will be held on three different continents.  The season will climax from 22 to 30 August at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015, which take place in and around the ‘Bird’s Nest’, the Chinese capital’s Olympic stadium.

▶ About ABW
Athletics for a Better World (ABW) powered by IAAF is the global social responsibility programme of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Launched in April 2014, ABW brings together individuals, projects and organisations committed to using athletics as a tool for social and sustainable development. The ABW mark is available to all athletics-led initiatives that deliver a positive contribution in the areas of health, environment, social inclusion and peace.

Friday 24 April 2015

Kyle Turnbull wins!

Kyle Turnbull having received his Protea Colours
We are all aware that Kyle Turnbull, from HTS Witbank, is without doubt the best FIFA eSports gamer in South Africa as he has been crowned the SA National Champion twice in as many years.

However, with his impending international test match as the newest member of the MWEB Protea eSports Team, a certain degree of nervousness flickered among all gamers as they saw the list of impressive credentials exhibited by his Zimbabwean opponent.

Rowen Phiri was a veteran international player, and a professional to boot!

Nevertheless, Kyle remained upbeat about the test match and showed remarkable focus.

After the customary award ceremony whereat Kyle Turnbull was awarded his Protea Colours, the games began.

The seamless internet connection at the The Mana Pool 41 Duncan Street, corner of Mandela and Duncan Street, Witbank, Mpumalanga ensured that the on-line test match was without fault.

The first game started slowly with each gamer testing every aspect of each other's play. At half-time the score was thus only 0 – 0. However, after half time Kyle swung into action and dominated possession. Seven shots were made on goal before Kyle scored. The assembled audience rose as won in delight!

Kyle maintained the pressure, but was able to score.

Thus the first game was a victory to Kyle and South Africa.

Kyle between games
In the second game, a more confident Kyle showed no quarter.

Kyle shot out like a stampeding bull and, in quick succession, slammed four goals in before Rowen had time to retaliate with a goal of his own.

Kyle the slammed in yet another goal to win the second game of the test match by 5 goals to 1.

Thus South Africa proudly won the first eSports Test Match ever against Zimbabwe.

Nevertheless, the sportsmanship shown by Rowen Phiri was exemplorary. Rowen too has vowed to reverse the score in the next test match.

Kyle Turnbull has thus made his mark not only in gaming in South Africa, but is slowly climbing the ladder in international gaming.

It will now be interesting to see who his next opponent will be….

Friday 17 April 2015

SA vs ZIM in FIFA '15

Already many gamers, members of the sporting fraternity and the media are aware that on the 18th of April 2015 South Africa's MWEB Protea Team member for FIFA '15 will be playing an on-line Test Match against Zimbabwe.

While South Africa's Kyle Turnbull is known to South African gamers of substance, few South Africans know of the gamer against whom Kyle will be pitting his wits

The Zimbabwean, Rowen Phiri "izscube" started competitive gaming by playing Need For Speed and PC
Fifa for various teams in Zimbabwe.

Rowen is the first Zimbabwean player to reach Grandmaster rankings in the start of 2015, He went on to represent Zimbabwe at the IZS National Combined after being one of the first four players to qualify for the event

In 2013 represented Zimbabwe where he finished in the quarter-finals.

During November 2012 to January 2014, Rowen Phiri spent time training in the local academy.

Rowen Phiri was signed as a full-time player to Individual Zone Solutions in the beginning of 2013 and continues to play full-time.

There is no doubt that Zimbabwe has not left any stone unturned for this match as the two gamers face off against each other.

The venue
s to be used are:

South Africa
The Mana Pool 41 Duncan Street, corner of Mandela and Duncan Street, Witbank, Mpumalanga. Contact details for the venue:
Living Waters, located on the corner of Eland Resturant Beitbridge .Contact details for the venue:
The test match will start at 19H00.

Wednesday 8 April 2015

More questions and answers about the MSSA!

What is Mind Sports South Africa?
  • Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) is a non-profit association that is the recognised national federation for board games, eSports, robotics and wargames. The MSSA is run purely by volunteers who are elected by the different member clubs at the Annual General Meeting. The Annual General Meeting is always held directly after end of play at the South African National Championships. As the recognised controlling body, the MSSA is the only authority for its codes in South Africa and is the only body that may legally award provincial and national colours. Thus it is the only body that can legally select teams to represent South Africa in international competition.
What is the MSSA Inter-school league?
  • The league is designed to legally bring competitive eSports into the school environment, in which schools pit their best players against other schools in order to determine the best school in the country as done for waterpolo, swimming, etc.
How does someone get their national colours for e-sports?
  • In order to get national colours for gaming, the gamer must first and foremost be registered as a member of a member club. Then, the gamer must participate in an accredited MSSA eSports event. However, participation alone is not enough. The gamer (and his team) must then finish in the top three, or the top twenty percent of teams in such event. Thus if there are six teams competing, the teams that finish in first, second and third places will qualify for trials. If there are twenty teams participating, then the top four will qualify, and if there are fifty teams participating, then the top ten will qualify for trials. When the Management Board has agreed to hold trials, all gamers who have so qualified are invited to participate. Then it it is at such Trials – which is always a LAN – that the team is selected.
I see that the MSSA is sending a women’s team to IeSF. How big is the market for women’s e-sports, and what is the local gaming scene doing to increase women’s participation?
  • Certainly the women’s market is not nearly as big as it should be. It is necessary that any sport that wishes to grow must accommodate women at all levels. Thus the MSSA has policies in place for trying to increase the participation levels in this regard. The sending of the women’s team is just the most visible aspect of this policy.
How are the official games determined?
  • The member clubs of the MSSA are responsible for choosing the games to be played at all MSSA events on an annual basis. The way in which this is done, is that the games choice comes up for review by the cub-committee, and all member clubs are requested to furnish their choices. Of course the Management Board may add additional games if they are required by the international federation.
What are the most popular e-sports games locally?
  • Popularity of the games in general can only be answered by the publishers and the retailers. That is not what the MSSA looks at. The MSSA concentrates on competitive gaming and providing an outlet for competitive gamers. Thus, there may be a game that is fantastically popular among the gaming community, but because the game may not lend itself to competitive gaming, the MSSA may not cater for it. In terms of our figures, the most popular competitive eSports game in South Africa are without a doubt, Counterstrike, DotA, StarCraft II, FIFA and TEKKEN.
How has console gaming grown in the country in terms of e-sports?
  • Console gaming has a number of advantages in terms of eSports. Because of its ease of access, lower cost, and standard systems, it has brought gaming to many who do not have the finances for computer gaming, and to many who do not have the know-how in terms of computer gaming. To start console gaming, all the gamer needs to do is ‘plug and play’. Thus console gaming has made huge strides in attracting many new gamers to competitive eSports who otherwise would have felt intimidated by the set up procedure. In the past three years, numbers of console gamers participating at MSSA events have doubled.
What’s the best way to become a professional gamer in South Africa?
  • In order to become a professional gamer, my advice is to start while you are in school. The gamer must first develop a passion for the game and for competing while, at the same time learning to be part of a team. It is important for gamers to then train properly for the game. Simply playing does not equate to training. Training involves examining every aspect of the game and pushing it to the nth degree. Remember, that mistakes made in practice are often carried through into competition matches. Thus it is important to practice perfectly.... Once a gamer has earned provincial and national colours, the gamer would have been exposed to the international circuit. It is then that the gamer is ready to start thinking about becoming a professional. However, to be a professional, the gamer needs solid sponsorships and needs to be part of a team of like-minded individuals. Often the professional gamer will have to put gaming above all else in order to secure any form of sustainability as a professional gamer. It should be noted that the professional gamer would also have to register with the tax authorities as a professional as any income derived while being a professional would be taxed in his/her hands. Of course, any expenses directly related to conducting himself as a professional gamer would then also be able to be deducted.
How have your experiences been working with local LAN organisers and online league organisers?
  • The MSSA has built up good working relationships with existing LAN organisers. The MSSA does not see itself to be a provider of LAN networks. Instead the MSSA is more concerned with helping existing LAN organisers to become more sustainable.
Why the decision to send players to IeSF and not to other privately owned events?

  • For a start the costs involved are very different, but so are the visions off the privately owned events and the IeSF. The privately owned events belong to companies that are essentially in business to make a profit. On the other hand, the IeSF is an association not for gain that is attempting to get eSports recognised as a fully-fledged sport. The IeSF is trying hard to get eSports admitted into the Pan Asian Games and to get eSports accepted by the highest authorities in international sport. As an association, all member federations are responsible for the running of the IeSF and making the decisions that will determine the future of both the IeSF and of eSports in general.  Thus the IeSF is more in line with the MSSA’s own objectives, and the MSSA has a vested interest in making the IeSF work. However, that is not to say that the MSSA will not send a team to the other events if it can afford to do so. 

Tuesday 7 April 2015

South Africa to take on Zimbabwe in FIFA '15

Kyle Turnbull with Simphiwe Maphumulo
Kyle Turnbull of Witbank made news when he defeated Protea team member Abubakar Ebrahim Akhalwaya at the 2013 Mpumulanga provincial championships to become South Africa's youngest provincial champion for the FIFA title.

Since then Kyle Turnbull has won the 2014 Mpumulanga Championships and the 2013 and 2014 South African National Championships to become the undisputed South African National Champion.
18 April 2015 will see the first ever official on-line test match take place between South Africa and Zimbabwe for FIFA '15.
The match will be played between MWEB Protea Team player, Kyle Turnbull, and the Zimbabwe Mind Sport Union's top player.

The venue from which Kyle will take on his Zimbabwean counterpart is the Mana Pool which is located on the corner of OR Tambo and Duncan Street number 41 Witbank, Mpumalanga.Contact details for the venue:

Sunday 5 April 2015

Types of organizations in eSports

Since an organisation is ultimately the result of societal needs and shares collective goals that are linked to both its internal and external environment, such organisations can take many different forms.

There are a variety of legal types of organisations (although we will only be looking at those used for eSports), however, since sport in South Africa is governed by the Sports and Recreation Act of 1988 (as amended), the types of organisations that may be used are regulated by South African law. Such organisations may be:
  • companies, being associations incorporated in terms of the Companies Act,
  • national federations made up of associations,
  • provincial federations made up of associations,and
  • clubs made up of associations or individuals.

Essentially, any organisation that does not have a constitution or founding documents in line with the South African Companies Act is either run as a partnership (if ownership is jointly claimed by more than one person, or as a sole-trader (if ownership is claimed by a single person). It is the constitution (or founding documents) that ultimately defines the organisation and spells out the nature of such organisation.

It is important to note that the owners of a partnership and the owner of a sole-trader are personally liable for all debts.

Organisations that are of a profit making venture 

These include:
  • Sole-traders,
  • Partnerships, and
  • Companies that are of a profit making venture.

The above listed bodies are excluded from applying for the benefits that are listed below.

Organisations that are non profit organisations

These include:
  • Non profit companies,
  • Clubs, and
  • Associations.

All of the above qualify for all the benefits as listed below.

Benefits of a properly Constituted organisation

The benefits that accrue to sole-traders and partnerships are indeed limited. Not only are the owners liable to be taxed in their own hands for all sponsorships and winnings, and are liable in their own right, but none of the benefits which accrue to properly constituted organisations can be accessed by sole-traders and partnerships.

The benefits which may be accessed by properly constituted organisations are:
  • Local government funding,
  • Provincial Government funding
  • National government funding
  • Jack Cheetham Award (R500,000.00 for the winning programme)
  • Letsema Award (R500,000.00 for the winning programme)
  • Funding from the National Lottery Trust Fund
  • Participation in the S A Sports Awards
  • Participation in Regional Sports Councils
  • Participation in the Provincial Sports Councils
  • Participation in Mind Sports SouthAfrica
  • Limited liability for the members and office-bearers (depending on the Constitution)

Public Access to Information Act of 2000 (PAIA)

The Promotion of Access to Information Act was passed in 2000, its main aim is to allow members of the public to assert their right to information.

The Act requires that all public and private bodies register PAIA manuals. Certain levels of business may qualify for the further extension to 31 December 2015 while other still have to submit their manuals in terms of the legislation to the Commission.

These private bodies that have been granted the extension are those which operate in specific sectors, with 50 or more employees OR operate in specific sectors and have an annual turnover equal to or exceeding specific amounts.

According the SAHRC website, "while these private companies no longer have to submit manuals during the period of the new exemption they are not exempted from complying with the rest of the Act."

There are legal penalties that may be imposed for non-compliance.

List of National Organisations

Name of organisation
Type of organisation
South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC)
Non Profit Company
Mind Sports South Africa

List of other organisations

Name of organisation
Type of organisation
Knights Mind Sports Club
Pretoria Boys eSports Club
Roedean Mind Sports Club
St John's Mind Sports Club
University of Witwatersrand Wargames Club

You can play from anywhere!

The MSSA is proud to announce that it shall host the 2015 MWEB On-line Dota 2 and CounterStrike:GO (CS:GO) Championship, which will offer any South African player the opportunity to qualify for the National Team Trials from home.

This will allow gamers from anywhere in the country to compete and qualify for the MSSA's prestigious National Team Trials.

In case you haven’t been watching the local gaming press, Dota 2 and CounterStrike: GO players in South Africa had the opportunity to get full 
Protea Colours for the game and represent the country in an official Test Matches and have the possibility.

CounterStrike: GO: The MSSA has been invited to participate in both the eFrag World Championships and the 2015 IeSF's 7th World championships - Lodz. The team that is selected will have to earn their place in both championships by qualifying through an African Qualifying round. However, the MSSA is confident that there are the gamers who are capable of so qualifying and proudly flying the South African flag on foreign shores.

The 2015 MWEB On-line CounterStrike:GO (CS:GO) Championship is the last opportunity for gamers to qualify for the National Team Trials LAN that shall be held in Gauteng on 25 April 2015.

Dota 2: The MSSA has been invited to participate in the 2015 IeSF's 7th World championships - Lodz.
The on-line championship shall be held on 18 April 2015.

Not only may gamers play in the competition from the security and convenience of their own homes, but the competition is also free to all gamers who are already registered with the MSSA.

So their is no need to carry around expensive and heavy computer equipment.

What an opportunity!

The National Team Trials LAN that shall be held in Gauteng on 25 April 2015

Saturday 4 April 2015

eSports - Tame Times

South African participation in World Championships

Eugene Burger
South African gamers have been regular participants in international championships and have earned the respect of all of the other top players from around the world.

The MSSA has sent teams overseas overseas on a regular basis since 1991.

Such participation at international events has only been possible due to the tireless work of the many MSSA officials as well as the many sponsors who made this all happen. The sponsors are: AIR NAMIBIA (1991 - 1995), FNB (2005), ASUS (2010 - 2011), SAMSUNG (2010 - 2011), LG (2009 - 2010), GIGABYTE (2012),  MWEB (2013 - 2015)

South Africa is proud to have produced the following WORLD CHAMPIONS, being;


Ancients - Premier
Eugene Burger
Colin Webster
Colin Webster
Maritzburg Christian School
Old Edwardian Wargames Club
Old Edwardian Wargames Club

Ancients – Women
Bernice Ligault
Bernice Ligault
Elishia Retief
Old Edwardian Wargames Club
Old Edwardian Wargames Club
Old Edwardian Wargames Club
Ancients - Junior
Andre Tonkin
Matthew Strachan
Benjamin Shulman
Angelo Stathoussis
Angelo Stathoussis
Angelo Stathoussis
Duane Havenga
Gregory Laycock
Gregory Laycock
Adam Louw
Jason Batzofin
Krugersdorp High School
Old Edwardian Wargames Club
Old Edwardian Wargames Club
Peninsula Wargames Group
Peninsula Wargames Group
Peninsula Wargames Group
Pretoria Boys High School
Pretoria Boys High School
Pretoria Boys High School
Pretoria Boys High School
St John's College
Mobile Games
Logan  Brooke-Smith
Morabaraba - Senior
Gilbert Magabotse
Amos Mavuso
David Hlophe
David Hlophe
Simon Skhosana
Simphiwe Maphumulo
Moses Rannyadi
Simphiwe Maphumulo
Simphiwe Maphumulo
Spoornet Morabaraba Club
Spoornet Morabaraba Club
Leandra Giant Killers
Leandra Giant Killers
Leandra Giant Killers
Alexandra High School
Rustenburg Plats.
PMB Morabaraba Club
Zola Checkers Club
Morabaraba - Junior
Innocent Khubekha
Simphiwe Maphumulo
Teresa Chen
Leandra Giant Killers
Alexandra High School
Maristburg Girl’s High
Pike & Shot - Senior
Edward van Trotsenburg
Technikon Witwatersrand


From the day that the MSSA was founded (1984), the MSSA has had to fight to have the games that the MSSA promotes to be recognised to be accredited as equals to any of the other sports that exist in South Africa.
The MSSA was thus accepted into membership of the following:
  • The Confederation of South African Sport (COSAS) in 1991
  • T he National Olympic Sports Council of South Africa (NOCSA) in 1991
  • The National Sports Council (NSC) in 1994. The NSC was the end result of COSAS and NOCSA merging.
  • The South African Sports Commission (SASC) 1999 until dissolved
  • The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) in 2005. 
Springbok colours
The breakthrough happened in 1991 when the MSSA was allowed to award Springbok Colours to its wargames team. The MSSA awarded Springbok Colours for the period 1991 to 1994.

In 1994 the MSSA participated in the NSC meeting that was immortalised in the film named 'Invictus' whereat the National Federations assembled agreed to replace the Springbok with the Protea.

In 1997, the MSSA awarded Protea Colours to its Morabaraba team, and in 2001 the MSSA was allowed to award Protea Colours to the players who represented South Africa for Checkers.
Protea badge

However, it was not until 2005 that the MSSA was granted permission by the Protea Colours Board for Computer Gaming.

It should be noted that the Protea Colours awarded are the same as awarded to cricket, rugby, swimming, etc.

Even though the mere act of awarding colours is laudable in itself, in that players who receive such colours are enable to apply for, and receive, bursaries at universities, the MSSA’s vision does not end there.

The MSSA is a member of the International eSports Federation (IeSF). In 2010, the MSSA help found the IeDF (the international federation for gamers with disabilities). Through such affiliation the groundwork has been done to have eSports established and accredited as an international sport by the General Assembly of International Sport Federations (GAISF). When the GAISF accepts eSports as an international Sport, a whole new era will be ushered in as the games will be allowed to participate in the International Mind Sports Association’s Games, and be included in the All Africa Games, the Commonwealth Games, and possibly even in the Olympic Games.