Monday, 20 November 2017

How to qualify for Protea Colours.

Team Russia with the BOO! Protea Esports Team at IESF's 9th World Championships - Busan.
With the end  of  the year fast aproaching, it is that time of the year again when many gamers look towards MSSA's 2018 National Team Trials, and wonder what they have to do to qualify for such Trials.

The 2018 National Team Trials (NTT) for esports are already penciled in for 2 & 3 June 2018.
Why does MSSA use National Team Trials to select Team Esports South Africa?
It is common knowledge that everybody's standard of play changes from year-to-year. Not only that there  is a natural growth in new gamers who enter the scene and a natural 'drop-off' of gamers who leave the competitive scene due to changing work and family commitments.
Thus annual trials are held to  accommodate the above changes. Through such system a highly competitive  system  is too maintained wherein gamers are able to fight for their positions as a position in the team is only held for one calendar year. 
May anyone enter National Team Trials?
It must be remembered that the team  selected by MSSA to officially represent South Africa is  an official sports team that officially represents South Africa  and is awarded Protea Colours.
As such MSSA is required to follow due care and follow proper procedure in awarding such colours to its teams.
As such there are qualifying criteria to qualifying for the National Team Trials (NTT), being:
  • Such player wishing to participate in NTT must be affiliated to an affiliated member club, and
  • Such player must have won a MSSA Regional Championship, or
  • Such player must have finished in the top three places, or in the top 20% (whichever  is greater), at a provincial and/or national championship, and
  • Such player is already a member of the  national team and has met the terms of the contract, and
  • Such player must have a signed copy of the contract, and
  • Such player must have a valid passport, and
  • If such player is  still a minor, such player must have a signed affidavit signed by both parents as well as an Unabridged Birth Certificate.
Does the winner of National Team Trials automatically get selected?
Gamers should remember that NTT is not a competition, it forms part of a selection process.
At such Trials drug  testing may be  held and gamers shall be tested to see how they deal with issues that may occur.
It must be remembered that those being selected are being selected to represent South Africa. 
Is the team selected immediately at Trials ?
The captains of the teams are immediately selected at Trials. The selected captains then sit with the Selectors and the Team Manager to select the team. Once the selection is completed and all the procedure has been followed, then the team is announced.
May Team Esports South Africa belong to an existing clan/team?
The short answer is yes. A player will only be selected to represent South Africa if he is a member of a club affiliated to the MSSA, so that is really not an issue! The membership that the the team member has does not just disappear when the player is selected for national duty.
Is the national team allowed to enter private tournaments like the DGC or EGE or even overseas events?
MSSA allows all of its National Team Members to enter any competition that they want to  as members of their clan. 
Gamers only play as the national team in international events upon request by the MSSA. 
However, the National Team Member must, and can, only represent a clan that is currently affiliated to the MSSA. Thus, for example,  a member of the National Team, who is affiliated to Clan A, which is a member of the MSSA, that means he cannot play for any clan that is not affiliated to MSSA. Should a clan that is not a member of MSSA indulge in ambush marketing by claiming that he is a member, MSSA will expect the player to publicly renounce any such claim.
Why do the members of Team Esports South Africa need to sign a contract?
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, or by the National Federation. 
Does the National Team have to abide by a Code of Conduct?
Indeed it does! 
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 than the average gamer as so much more is expected of the team member. This way all the parties concerned, the sponsors, the MSSA, the IeSF, and the gamer are protected. 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!
Is there a difference between officially representing SA in Esports as opposed to any other sport?
There is no difference between officially representing South Africa in eSports to any other sport. Esports is an officially accredited sport, and the Protea Colours that are awarded are the same Protea Colours as awarded to  any other sport.

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