Wednesday 30 November 2016

Games to be offered in official school esports leagues and championships

Maritzburg Colleges DotA 2  team at MSSA's 2016 National Team Trials.
As per the recent post where it was mentioned that MSSA would be deliberating at its Annual General Meeting (4 December 2016) on which games would be held at its 2017 championships, the very same meeting shall too decide on which games shall be held in the official school leagues and championships.

The number  off schools affiliated to MSSA has grown exponentially. What started out as a pretty small league in 2010 has grown in leaps-and-bounds to now include some of the best schools in the country.

Not only has the number of schools grown, but every month more-and-more schools apply for affiliation.

Such is the growth of esports that it is thought that within a few more years, the majority of schools will be participating in MSSA's official school ;leagues and championships.

Not only that, but the growth of esports at school level bodes well for the competitiveness of South African national teams.

It is the gamers at school level that hold the future of South African gaming in their hand

The game titles being deliberated upon are:
5 v 5
FIFA '17
1 v 1
StarCraft II
1 v 1
Dota 2
5 v 5
League of Legends
5 v 5
3 v 3
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
1 v 1

May National Team Members play in non MSSA events?

The National Protea Team in action at IeSF's 8th World Championships - Jakarta
This is a question that comes up all the time.

It is also something which MSSA's detractors simply love to misstate in order to create as much confusion as possible.
MSSA allows all of its National Team Members to enter any competition that they want to. 
However, the National team Member must, and can, only represent a clan that is currently affiliated to the MSSA. Thus, for example, Joe Bloggs as a member of the National Team, and affiliated to Clan A which is a member of the MSSA, means he cannot play for any clan that is not affiliated to the MSSA. 
Should a clan that is not a member of the MSSA indulge in ambush marketing by claiming that he is a member, the MSSA will expect the player to publicly renounce any such claim.
Therefore, any member of the National Protea Team may still play for his/her club/team in any event both locally and abroad.

Anyone who states the alternative is merely a mischief-maker!

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Being selected to represent South Africa

Jessie Joubert (captain of MSSA's CS: GO team at IeSF's team briefing in Jakarta)
Being selected to represent South Africa in any of the disciplines administrated by Mind Sports South Africa carries with it the same honour an prestige as being selected to the National cricket or rugby team - and since SA is currently ranked 14th in the World for eSports - sometimes more so.
To be awarded National Colours is more than someone dishing out colours, there is a great deal of process and procedure behind such.
When you officially represent South Africa in eSports, you get either National Federation Colours or Protea Colours. When you just name your team as a national team and you have not been properly selected, the media, public at large, etc. do not care what your achievements are. A properly selected team will have their results archived, and the results, if good enough can be used for other awards at government level.

Unfortunately, results obtained by an unofficial team are never included in such events.

The Colours that an official team has been awarded are almost as good as currency. When players are awarded National or Protea Colours, such gamers are also able to apply for sports bursaries.
The Code of Conduct that a team has to follow is an amalgamation of what the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the National Federation expects. Obviously the player representing South Africa has to hold him/herself to a higher standard as people tend to judge all South Africans by the few that they actually meet. The Code of Conduct is not onerous, but largely common-sense.

In short, it is how you would expect someone to behave if they were representing you!

All members who are selected to, and join, a national team are given a contract to sign. If the gamer has not yet reached the age of majority, the legal guardian signs the contract. Essentially, if the rules are broken, there may be a financial implication as well as a disciplinary implication. Depending on the severity of the breach, action may be taken by the International Federation concerned, SASCOC, or by the National Federation. As we have seen over recent years, even the Minister of Sport may become involved should the Minister feel that the situation requires his input.
Certainly there are legal implications. Many South Africans seem oblivious to the fact that the government is the owner of the name and all insignia relating to South Africa. National Federations through their status and accreditation are entitled to use such name and certain logos for national teams. While the government might turn a blind eye to the use of the flag, etc. during moments of national fervour (2010 World Cup and Afcon 2012), the government jealously guards the way in which the symbols of South Africa are used. Thus an unofficial team trying to pass itself off as a representative team may find itself having to justify it?s actions to the government. Even National Federations that use the national symbols without proper approval face the ire and wrath of the government.
The MSSA's eSports teams probably get the lion's share due to eSports being more marketable than the other disciplines. Most of the MSSA's eSports teams are given all of their kit free, the teams that travel also have all their accommodation and travelling costs paid on their behalf. Thus, every MSSA team that has attended the WCG and IeSF events since 2005 has only had to worry about their own spending money. The same remains true for the team that the MSSA sent to Namibia. Unfortunately, the MSSA is not a rich body, so the MSSA has to budget carefully, and often has to just "make-do" with what is available. Of course, the greater the membership, the more that can be achieved!

MSSA to consider games titles for 2017

Morizane Boyes playing Tekken Tag Tournament II in Baku.
At the upcoming MSSA Annual General Meeting to be held on 4 December 2016, the MSSA membership shall be faced with the task of determining which game titles to offer at all Provincial and National Championships to be held in 2017.

Although MSSA has offered South African developers an opportunity to have their games included in the official South African competitive circuit, unfortunately, there have not been any submissions.

It is hoped that one day that locally produced and published games will make it onto center stage.

The games that shall be debated, and voted on, are:
5 v 5
Battlefield 1
8 v 8
Call of Duty (latest version)
5 v 5

FIFA '17
1 v 1
PES 2017
1 v 1
StarCraft II
1 v 1
Dota 2
5 v 5
League of Legends
5 v 5
3 v 3
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
1 v 1
Street Fighter V
1 v 1
Mortal Kombat X
1 v 1
Injustice 2
1 v 1
Tekken 7
1 v 1
1 v 1

Monday 28 November 2016

Finnish eSports Federation accepted as an associate member of the Finnish Olympic Committee

The Finnish and South African eSports teams at IeSF's World Championship - Baku. 
Finnish eSports Federation (SEUL) has been accepted as an associate member of the Finnish Olympic Committee in the Olympic Committee general meeting held 26th November 2016 in Lahti, Finland.

Associations and foundations promoting physical activity and sports can be accepted as associate members.

“Associate membership in the Finnish Olympic Committee signals strong confidence in the Finnish eSports Federation and e-sports in Finland.

It’s an important acknowledgement which brings us closer to whole sports community and creates new possibilities for co-operation between e-sports and traditional sports.

As an associate member of the Finnish Olympic Committee we have an increasingly important responsibility to represent e-sports as a hobby and top-level sports in Finland“ commented SEUL vice-president Joonas Kapiainen, who attended the general meeting.

Finnish eSports Federation has been an associate member for Finnish Sports Confederation (VALO) since October 2014. The Finnish Olympic Committee and Finnish Sports Confederation fusion on 1st January 2017, after which the new Olympic Committee operates independently as the umbrella organization for Finnish sports field.

For additional information:

Joonas Kapiainen                                                       Erkka Jouste                                  
Vice-President                                                           President
Finnish eSports Federation - SEUL                             Finnish eSports Federation - SEUL

Also see:

About the Finnish eSports Federation (
About the Finnish Olympic Committee (

Saturday 26 November 2016

2016 S A National Championships

You too could be in the National Protea Team and represent South Africa in international competition.
MSSA's 2016 S A National Championships is to be played at HTS Witbank on 3 & 4 December 2016.

The championships form part of MSSA's selection process for 2017, so any gamer who has aspirations of being selected for the 2017 Protea Team should be there to earn his/her place.

The winners of the 2015 S A National Championships were:

Title Name of player/team Club Colours awarded
Ancients wargames Garth Schoeman Knights Mind Sports National Federation
Checkers (female) Sharné Nortjé Tuks Mind Sports
Checkers Francois Mouton Tuks Mind Sports National Federation
COD: Advanced Warfare (PS4) PR0NHS Northcliff High National Federation
COD: Advanced Warfare (XBOX) Apex gaming BNKR gaming National Federation
CounterStrike: GO VOID White Rabbit Gaming National Federation
DotA 2 PHBS Red Pretoria Boys High National Federation
FIFA '15 (female) Joline Bico HTS Witbank National Federation
FIFA '15 Kyle Turnbull HTS Witbank
HearthStone (female) Maryke Kennard Tuks Mind Sports National Federation
HearthStone Brandon Horn Pretoria Boys High
League of Legends Tuks Mind Sports Tuks Mind Sports National Federation
Morabaraba (female) Lucille Brown HGH National Federation
Morabaraba Johannes Makua All Stars National Federation
OSU (female) Lucille Brown HGH National Federation
StarCraft II (female) Morizane Boyes HTS Witbank National Federation
StarCraft II Gideon Hefer Knights Mind Sports National Federation
Tekken (female) Morizane Boyes HTS Witbank National Federation
Tekken Filipe Batista HTS Witbank
Ultimate Street Fighter Armand Eicker HTS Witbank National Federation

Wednesday 23 November 2016

The sound of trumpets, the clash of arms, and victory…

A young 'general' in action!
Figure wargames is a tactical game based on history upon which the outcome depends totally on your cognitive reasoning, logic, and imagination.

Figure gaming is the ultimate test of tactical skill. There are no duplications of moves and no game-plans which you can study – all the games rely on the player’s abilities and application of tactical skill in many different situations.

Wargaming is both a competitive sport and a fascinating hobby. It is whatever you want it to be. 

Should you wish, you can participate in club, provincial, national and even international competitions.

Old Edwardians who have represented South Africa since 1991 are:

Senior Team
Name of players
Grant Casey, Ingo Haferung, Kevin Hoyle , Gregory Kupczyk , Vincent Lane, Richard Ligault, Marc Marais, Pavel Rabiner, Dr Evgenii Rabiner, Gareth Rimmington, Matthew Strachan, Edward van Trotsenburg, Jason van Wyngaard, Colin Webster, and David Webster.
Bernice Ligault, Elishia Retief

Junior Team
Name of players
Dominic Bauer, Nicholas Clare, Vincent Lane, Marc Marais, Benjamin Shulman , Matthew Strachan,
Melissa Kupczyk, Elishia Retief

The Old Edwardian Wargames Club can also boast of five World Champions, being:
  • BERNICE LIGAULT (ANCIENTS – Women - 2006, 2007)
  • ELISHIA RETIEF (ANCIENTS – Women - 2014, 2015)
  • MATTHEW STRACHAN (ANCIENTS - Junior section - 2001)
  • BENJAMIN SHULMAN (ANCIENTS - Junior section – 2002)
  • COLIN WEBSTER (ANCIENT'S – Men – 2013, 2014, 2015)

Figure wargames were introduced in 1824 into the Prussian Army as an officer training aid, and was used to develop tactics, which real armies used in the planning of campaigns and battles.

The best way in which YOU can become involved, and fully understand wargames, is to visit the club any Sunday afternoon (14H00 to 18H00) and participate in a game.

The most popular games promoted by the club are:

  • ANCIENTS (3000 BC to 1500AD)
  • PIKE & SHOT (1500 AD to 1700 AD)

Players are also encouraged to contact any or all of the sub club's officials for further information:

Donald Mullany
011 350 8824
074 117 0701
Colin Webster
011 828 4994
073 593 9451

Sunday 20 November 2016

Thanks to those that do.

Volunteers making it happen.
Many people think that serving on a non-profit body as a volunteer is only something that happens when there is an event taking place.

However, that is not true.

Being a volunteer often means that you put in more dedication than what you put into your paying career.

The reason for such is that when you  get home from a long day at work, instead  of just switching off, the volunteer then applies his/her mind to the issues confronting the non-profit organisation.

There is planning of the year's events, preparation of the national teams, ensuring that the administration is up to date, and sometimes having to pick up the slack of others who are not as enthusiastic.

Without such dedication, organisations like IeSF, IWF, FMJD, MSSA, and all the other national federations, would not exist.

A position on a national federation, while looking good on a curriculum vitae, is more than that, it is a passion, a calling, a wish to leave a legacy behind and to see others benefit in a way that is only made possible by those who put  in and ask for nothing in return.

To all those that serve on committees, gamers, whether they know it or not, thank you!

Saturday 19 November 2016

Old Edwardian Society's 2016 Sportsman of the Year Awards

The winners.
The 2016 Sportsman of the Year Awards evening was a great success. 
Just over 80 people attended the cocktail party in the King's Tavern to honour our sportsmen and women who have achieved so much over the past 12 months.
The five nominees for the main award, the Sportsman of the Year were;
Michael Batty - Water Polo.
Stephen Cook - Cricket.
Gus Pinker - Water Polo
Mitchell van Buuren - cricket
Colin Webster - War Games
Stephen Cook was announced as the Sportsman of the Year for his maiden century in his first Test against England as well as the way he batted for the Highveld Lions scoring 738 runs in the four day Sunfoil series with a highest score of an undefeated 168.
As Stephen is in Australia with the Proteas his father, Jimmy Cook the former South African opening batsman, accepted the award on his behalf.
Gus Pinker for his contribution to the Technical side of water polo, including being invited to the Olympic Games for the fourth time to officiate, was runner up.
the full list of award winners is;
Best Junior Girl - Elisha Retief - War Games
Best Junior Boy - Kyle Coker - Hockey
Best schoolboy playing sport for the Society and Junior Sportsman of the Year - Mitchell van Buuren, Cricket.
Best senior achievement - Colin Webster - War Games
The Team Trophy was awarded jointly to the mens 1st hockey team and the boys under 13 hockey team.
The Sportsmanship award went to Andrew Craig from the Boat Club.
The sub club of the year was hockey.
The Chairman's award went to Colin Webster.
The evening underlines the wonderful talent that exists within the sub-clubs of the Society.

Lest we forget: MSSA's first female Protea Team Manager

Michelle Marder.
On a clear Monday afternoon, Michelle Marder of Bedfordview smashed the record books as she boldly broke into yet another “bastion “of male “privilege”. eSports (or better known as computer gaming) has long been considered to be a male preserve. All the top gamers are predominately male and women are few in number in this sport. 
Even though eSports are growing in leaps and bounds, with membership growing monthly, and sales of eSports paraphernalia outstripping the combined sales of all other traditional sports, women still are under represented in all levels of the sport. 
MSSA has taken the call of ensuring that all are given equal opportunity, but it is thanks to the exceptional that real change can be effected in a real and sustainable manner. 
Michelle is one such person, Michelle's dedication to eSports ensured that the game of GUITAR HERO™ was played at every single MSSA provincial and national LAN championship. Such dedication ensured that the sponsor (SAMSUNG) received ample nationwide coverage and enabled gamers from around the country to participate, 
Thus in gratitude to Michelle's sterling efforts, the MSSA rewarded Michelle by granting her the title of Team Manager of the team that is to represent South Africa at the 2010 World Cyber Games to be held in Los Angeles, USA from 29 September 2010 to 3 October 2010. 
Michelle is thus the first women to rise to the position of being a National Team Manager for a Protea eSports team. 
There is no doubt, that under Michelle's care, that the South African team will perform well.

(This article may be found on

To date this article has received 21,373 views).

Friday 18 November 2016

9th IeSF e-Sports World Championship 2017 - Host City Bidding Opportunity

IeSF's 8th World Championships - Jakarta
The International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) has once again announced the host city bidding opportunity for 9th IeSF e-Sports World Championship, the sole e-Sports competition based on nationality.

IeSF hosts an annual World Championships. The host city for the 2016edition of such World Championships was Jakarta, Indonesia.

Thus, the host city bidding process is currently up on running for the 9th IeSF e-Sports World Championship, which will be held in 2017. There is a great deal of excitement as three candidates have already expressed the desire to become the next host for the World Championship.

All bids have to be submitted on or before 30th of December 2016.

IeSF takes deciding on the host seriously and due process is always followed.

In order to make the decision for the host city, IeSF supplies applicants with a “Host City Bidding Application Form” with a number of documents attached, including:
  • Official Announcement for Host Bidding,
  • IeSF Event Manual,
  • IeSF Introduction, and
  • IeSF Doping Control Guidebook.
National Federations, willing to host the event, are required to return the completed application forms, which include:
  • Letter of Intent and
  • Letter of Guarantee.
Detailed information such as accommodation, dining, transportation, venue, medical care, broadcasting, official titles and security needs also be included in the documentation.

IeSF first held its e-Sports World Championship in 2009 in Taebaek, Korea, where over 150 participants from 20 nations competed. The event was held in Korea from 2009 until 2013 when it was held in Bucharest, Romania.

The event in Bucharest demonstrated clearly that IeSF was more than competent in holding such World Championships anywhere in the world. Bucharest too saw the event grow to more than 500 participants from 51 nations.

After Bucharest, the World Championships were more than ably hosted by Baku - Azerbaijan, Seoul - Korea, and Jakarta - Indonesia.

Thursday 17 November 2016

Elishia Retief awarded the Sheila Webster Trophy by the Old Edwardian Society

Elishia Retief.
The Sheila Webster trophy was awarded by the Old Edwardian Society at its Annual Sportsman of the Year Awards on Wednesday evening, 16 November 2016 to Elishia Retief.

Sheila Webster was  renown for her work in swimming circles and was much admired by the likes of Sam Ramsamy, Gideon Sam and Jace Naidoo. Sheila Webster served the interests of swimmers continuously from club to provincial level from 1974 through to 2010 and finally ended up as  Hon. Vice-President of Central Gauteng Aquatics. Having always championed the rights and needs of female athletes, it is therefore befitting that a trophy named after her should be awarded at the Old Edwardian Society's Annual Sportsman of the Year Awards.

Elishia too deserves the award.

Over the years since Elishia joined the Old Edwardian Wargames Club, Elishia has earned:
  • City of Johannesburg Regional Colours, 
  • Gauteng Provincial Colours, 
  • South African National Colours, and 
  • Protea Colours.
Elishia too has been twice crowned as the female World Champion.

Monday 14 November 2016

The Advantages of Playing Wargames

A much younger Steve Curtis and Colin Webster marshalling the forces of Rameses II
Few people realize it, but as is illustrated elsewhere and throughout history the wargame has proven its effectiveness as a training aid many times.
We find that ancient Egyptian Pharaohs used scaled models of their own troops to teach their sons and generals the principles of war, we find the Prussians using it as an officer's training aid, it was immensely popular in Victorian England and during the Second World War it was initially used by both the Germans and the Japanese and later by the Americans.
Today wargames, in many different forms, are used to simulate wartime conditions and decisions where individuals such as the American President can see the results of getting involved in a war at any given time - the computers and the satellite confirmed information available today make it possible to consider the advantages and disadvantages of using more air-strikes or ground troops against any opponent world wide. Answers to questions such as these can easily be derived from the kind of highly sophisticated wargames currently being developed and used by the United States Navy at its Maryland training facilities.
Despite the military and historical arguments in favour of using wargames on a full military scale, there are also certain distinct advantages to playing wargames on a hobby level. As far as younger players are concerned, the advantages include, but are not limited to teaching a sense of self respect and duty, while instilling a sense of the deepest respect and honour for other people, while increasing the sense of responsibility with each battle fought and each campaign completed. Due to the fact that opponents may be few players also quickly develop a sense of the greatest honesty and sportsmanship - cheating can not be allowed as a single unethically achieved success might mean the permanent loss of an opponent and potential friend.  
On a more academic level the wargame also provides a sophisticated historical paradigm, giving not only a list of meaningless names and events to be chewed over, but providing very realistic and often graphic lessons of how and why historical people, armies and economies functioned as they did. It develops a proper understanding of the effect of terrain on people and economies - it is true that geographical features never halted any army, Alexander crossing the Hellespont, Hannibal the Alps, Caesar pursuing a Civil War from Spain and Gallia up to the Black Sea and down to Africa, but barriers such as seas and mountains tend to naturally restrict trade and the activities of peace loving individuals. The Silk & Spice trade routes which existed between the Ancient East and West only developed due to the ever increasing size of the markets for those products and the resultant profits which could leave a merchant rich for life.
It also becomes possible to form a chronological and accurate understanding of historical events such as those listed here: 
Romans on parade
  • Xenophon and the March of the Ten Thousand;
  • the decline of Sparta and the rise of Athens;the conquests of Alexander the Great;
  • the existence of Greek cities in Central Asia;
  • Bactrian Greek armies operated in India;
  • the New Testament is written in Greek and refers often to Greek-speakers;
  • all of the Mediterranean was dominated by Rome
One of the biggest advantages of wargaming in this regard is that the process of learning becomes highly individualized in the sense that each wargames general learns more about his specific interests, as there are no boring study guides to follow.
Lastly, and perhaps more importantly, wargaming develops two profoundly important intellectual abilities, the first being the ability to concentrate. In this age where television and passive entertainment dominate it is critical that the ability to concentrate be fully developed - again, since the real-time wargame depends on the general to be completed, successfully or otherwise, it becomes a spontaneous process of self-improvement, whether it is formally structured or not.
The second aspect is that of lateral thought. The wargame differs most profoundly from Chess in that there are no great masters to study and no standard openings to memorize, rather the table- top general is presented with a certain set of circumstances and conditions which more often than not tend to be unique. With experience comes the ability to recognize certain situations as being similar to scenario's formerly encountered and the intelligent general will bring his past experiences to bear at the critical moment. This skill, namely lateral thinking, is becoming increasingly popular with authors on intellectual advancement and today it is possible to enroll for courses where lateral thinking skills are formally taught and developed. Again, it is possible to study such abilities formally or to develop these automatically and systematically while playing wargames.
In conclusion, the advantages of playing wargames may be described as being the ability to concentrate better, developing skill such as lateral thinking, viewing history in perspective and generally improving insight and knowledge into human nature. 
Join MSSA for the 2016 South African National Championships on the 3rd and 4th of December in Witbank to see wargames in action.