|Joline Bico, Bonga Zwane, and Kyle Turnbull|
The trio representing South Africa were none other than Bonga Zwane, Kyle Turnbull and Joline Bico.
The trio representing Austria are all seasoned veterans (Michael Schachner, Mirza Jahic, and Herbert Schachner, and are considered to be among the best in the world.
It is this very type of competition that will help South African eSports rise up and take its place against the best in the world.
The first match was between Bonga Zwane (who used Germany) versus Michael Schachner (who used Spain). This was Bonga's first foray into international gaming. Michael Schachner's pedigree is quite different. Michael, currently a student in Vienna, has taken second place in one of the biggest tournaments in Vienna (Comboclash), 5th in the Bavaria Cup, and has won several other championships in Vienna.
Thus the first match was proved to be a shock as Bonga as he tried to work out his opponent. Michael proved to be too much for Bonga and beat him 3 - 0 in the first game. However, in the second game Bonga showed his character and showed just how quickly he could learn by countering his opponent at every turn to force a goal-less draw.
Who knows what would happen if Bonga plays against Michael again!
The second match was between Kyle Turnbull (who used Argentina) versus Mirza Jahic (who used Portugal). Kyle is the current undisputed South African Champion for two consecutive years in a row, and has just embarked on his international career. Mirza Jahic, on the other hand is a Professional FIFA Player, the multiple Austrian FIFA Champion and is also Virtual Bundesliga Champion for 2014. Mirza also holds a Guinness World Record in Pro Evolution Soccer (PES).
The match was thus always going to be hard, very hard!
The first match was shock for Kyle, he couldn't figure out how to counter Mirza and suffered going down 0 – 4.
However, true to form, Kyle bounced back.
In the second game, Kyle detected the kink in Mirza's armour and almost drew the match. He fought the whole way through and put Mirza on the back foot for a portion of the game. Only in the last minute of the game did Mirza score once again to wrestle a 3-2 victory away from Kyle.
The third and final match was between Joline Bico (who used Spain and Argentina) versus Herbert Schachner (England and Belgium). It was Joline's first foray into international competition, and is the only female in the MWEB Team eSports South Africa for FIFA '15. Her opponent, has twice finished second only to Mirza in both Austria and in Bavaria.
Herbert is too a winner of a number of other regional cups in Vienna.
Joline pushed hard in her first game, and worked very well defending against Herbert’s continual attacks, but unfortunately 2 goals snuck by which gave Herbert a 2 – 0 victory.
In the second game, Joline was far more aggressive and almost scored on 3 occasions. A lot was learnt from the last match and although two goals got through it was a much better performance.
Even though South Africa lost this first ever encounter against Austria, the MSSA remains upbeat about the development of its younger gamers. All three gamers gave it their all and showed great strength of character in the face of very stiff international competition. The MSSA is too very proud on how the players treated defeat. Instead of crumbling, all three players came back stronger than before.
One can hardly wait until the next test match...