Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Leonard Loftus is elected to the position of Treasurer of the African Draughts Federation in Blantyre.

Leonard Loftus (Treasurer - African Draughts Federation), Suzgo Nkhoma (President: African Draughts Federation) and Vladimir Langin (President: International Draughts Federation)
At the African Draughts Federation's (ADF's) 2nd African Draughts Championships held in Blantyre, Malawi, from 8 to 14 July 2018, the assembled countries voted Leonard Loftus in as ADF's Treasurer.

Seven African National Federations nominated Leonard for the position of Treasurer and there was not a single counter nomination. 

The voting then took place, and the General Meeting was unanimousin voting in Leonard Loftus from Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA).  

Responsibilities of the Treasurer for the ADF are:
  • Manage the finances of the ADF
  • Oversee program and project budget forecasts
  • Assist with financial planning of events
  • Manage international investment funding programs  
  • Prepare and issue financial statements to the executive
MSSA is confident that Leonard shall do South Africa proud in his new role.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Closing date for entries for MSSA's Inter-School League.

Over 60 schools are currently affiliated to Mind Sports South Africa.
Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA), the largest membership based organisation for gaming in South Africahas just revealed the closing date for entries for its annual online Inter-School League.

The league started back in 2010 thanks to the input and support of ASUS, and since then has continued to grow in popularity.

Today, there are no less than 64 schools affiliated to MSSA and those that participate in the online school league offer there learners the opportunity of playing in the only official school league in the country.

By playing in the official school league, learners are able to earn:

  • Medals for finishing in the first three places in the various game titles, and
  • School Provincial Colours, and
  • A berth in the 2019 MSSA National Team Trials.
Over the years, the league has been refined to accommodate the wishes of the membership. As such the league has been split into leagues that accommodate both the three and four school terms.
The entry fee is R32.00 per player.

The entry dates are as follows:

LeagueEntry dateStarting date
4 term schools league21 July 2018Week ending 27 July
3 term schools league24 August 2018Week ending 7 September

The titles to be played are:

  • CounterStrike: GO
  • DotA 2
  • FIFA '18
  • HearthStone
  • League of Legends
  • StarCraft II
  • Tekken 7
  • VainGlory

Reminder: KwaZulu Natal Provincial Championships - 4 & 5 August 2018.

Maritzburg College in action at the 23rd KwaZulu Natal Championships.
For two years in a row the KwaZulu Natal Championships was hosted very well by Maritzburg College.

This year (2018) will see the KwaZulu Natal Championships, for the first time ever, be hosted by Empangeni High School.

By now,  all members and Registered Players should know that Provincial championships rotate among the clubs within such
 province. This allows every club, willing to host, the opportunity to cater for their members, and allows MSSA greater reach into areas in which major events have not yet been held.

MSSA's 15th Free State Provincial Championships is part of the process of selecting the 2019 Protea teams that will attend various World Championships and participate in various test matches.

All Registered Players are reminded that MSSA's 24th KwaZulu Natal Provincial Championships are an open championship. 

In other words any Registered Player is entitled to enter the championship – no matter where they live, or their category of membership. 

You may contact MSSA at mindsportssa@gmail.com

Details are as follows:
  • Board gaming: https://esportscommentator.blogspot.com/2018/07/board-games-mssas-24th-kwazulu-natal.html
  • Esports: https://esportscommentator.blogspot.com/2018/07/esports-mssas-24th-kwazulu-natal.html
  • Wargaming: https://esportscommentator.blogspot.com/2018/07/wargames-mssas-24th-kwazulu-natal.html
Championship Details:
Date4 & 5 August 2018
Entry Date: 21 July 2018
Member clubs must enter their teams/players on their Google Drive page.

The 2018 Calendar of Events may be viewed here.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Colours and the National Squad.

Members of the BOO! Protea Esports Team that were victorious against Namibia in June 2018.
Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) is busy determining its national squads for the 2018/2019 period.

Registered Players are only members of the squad from the date of selection until the date of the next year's National Team Trials (NTT).

However, only those players who are selected from the squad to play in an international match actually receive their Protea Colours.

Even though MSSA does everything within its means to get all members of the squad to play in an international match, sometimes even the best laid plans fall into disarray and some squad members never get  that special opportunity of representing the country in an official international match.

That is why, all members of the national squads are awarded National Federation Colours according to their division.

Thus members of the senior squad are immediately awarded National Federation Colours, and members of the junior squad are immediately awarded Junior National Federation Colours.

Then as soon as such players are selected from the squad for the team, Protea Colours are awarded.

Such rule applies to all the disciplines being Board games, Card games, Esports and Wargames.

Latest HearthStone rankings.

Zoë Ayerst (left), pictured with Johan van Breda, National Team Manager for MSSA, placed first in the female division in the Hearthstone esports title at DGE.
At MSSA's eThekwini Regional Championships hosted by the Old Edwardian Mind Sports Club (OEMSC) at the Durban Gaming Expo on 5 July 2018, Wesley Smith crafted a convincing win over all opponents.Zoë Ayerst, finished first in the female division. Zoë's standard is comparable to any of the top male competitors.

As a result, both Wesley and 
Zoë are now ranked in the top ten in the country, with Wesley being ranked in 4th place and Zoë being ranked in 6th place.

The rankings shall be used at MSSA's 24th KwaZulu Natal Provincial Championships to be held at Empangeni High School on 4 & 5 August 2018.

The full list of South Africa's official rankings for the esports title of HearthStone is as follows:
PosName of PlayeryearClubPoints
1Gawie Fick18Fakkel School of Skills164.8
2Cobus van der Wath18Fakkel School of Skills158
3Kaira Gabrielle Pinard17Valhalla155.1
4Wesley Smith18eThekwini Regional143.8
5Beon Bronkhorst17JCS Academy139
6Zoë Ayerst18eThekwini Regional124.4
7Pieter Lourens17HGH Witbank121.8
8Wynand Meiring17BNKR121.5
9Kelvin Yang16Northcliff High School120
10Aaron Mulligan17Maritzburg College120
11Adele Janse Van Rensburg17GenerationX114.1
12Orlando Crossling18Northcliff High School113.6
13Devan Conradie18eThekwini Regional113.6
14Connar Swart16Parklands College112.8
15Chay Barthus16Maritzburg College112.8
16Linda Swanepoel18Fakkel School of Skills108.8
17Dylan Hanger16Northcliff High School105
18George Griffiths17HTS Witbank104.5
19Durandt van Dyk17JCS Academy104.5
20Alexander Westley17Maritzburg College104.5
21Edgar Barnes17BNKR104.5
22Dylin Nieuwoudt18eThekwini Regional104.5
23Sanele Mntungwa16Maritzburg College102.6
24Kean de Almeida18Northcliff High School99.7
25Kevin Plint18Northcliff High School95.2
26Kit Rawlings16Northcliff High School95
27Eugene Pieterse17Generation X95
28James Griffiths17HTS Witbank90.3
29Lloyd Little17Maritzburg College90.3
30Steven van der Schyff18eThekwini Regional90.3

Other official rankings produced by MSSA are as follows:

Saturday, 14 July 2018

In the hottest period of the year...

Amanda Pakade - MSSA President.
As everyone is now aware, Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) is a non profit association run entirely by volunteers.

In the early part of the year, MSSA is busy, but as 'Old Man Time' trudges on, the work-load continues to increase from one day to the next.

That is when volunteers begin to find clashes between work, family, and their commitments to MSSA and those gamers who MSSA serves.

It becomes more-and-more difficult to juggle one's obligations, but those dedicated and resourceful enough find a way.

Serving MSSA can be most rewarding when you see the joy, triumphs, and benefits experienced by all the gamers who participate.

Truly, MSSA touches the lives of many thousands of gamers.

Thus, it is important to note that the following positions are up for election at MSSA's Annual General Meeting to be held on 1 December 2018 at Fakkel School of Skills, 20 Jan Smuts Ave., Sasolburg.

The positions which are up for election are:

Management Committee:

  • President
  • 1st Vice-President
  • Vice-President (Umpiring)
  • Vice-President (Liaison)
    Club representatives in deep discussion.
  • Esports Representative
  • The National Schools Director.
  • Players' Representativeon
Selection Committee:
  • 4 positions
Provincial Director:
  • All provinces
Regional Director:
  • All regions
Also read: 

Friday, 13 July 2018

Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) never takes selection for a national team lightly

The BOO! 2017 Protea Esports Team.
Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) never takes selection for a national team lightly.

Since being selected to officially represent South Africa for esports is the same as being represented by any other South African National Federation for any other sport, team selection must have great meaning to the esports players. The award of National Team status for esports also leads to comparisons from other sports as it is the highest level in esports, just as much as the Springboks are the highest level in rugby. 

The selection process always has a dilemma as it is known that when choosing a team for international duty, concepts such as 'potential' does not have any meaning. Also, with South Africa being so far away from mainstream events, it is always difficult to relate how players who have performed well  at regional, provincial, and national championships will perform at a international level.

With MSSA there is no automatic selection to the team.

Every player standing for selection has to reprove him/herself.

International competition is tough. Much tougher than  anything that you will encounter in South Africa, and that is part of the problem.

In my opinion a number of events, with their large cash prizes, do nothing to develop strength or depth. Such events seem to only promote the same old favoured few with no real eye to developing real gaming strength for the future. Without a long-term view, South African gaming will never improve and South African teams shall, in my opinion, remain the whipping boys of the international community.

I am too reminded of when MSSA brought out SK Gaming's CS:GO and DotA 2 teams in 2008.

MSSA arranged, as a courtesy, a 'friendly' between SK Gaming's CounterStrike: GO team against a South African club team. The match  was so one-sided, it was horrible. Since it was BO3, SK Gaming rather than thrash the local team again, just gave them the third game.

In conclusion, for South Africa to  do well overseas, all teams must buy-in to a  long-term development programme and  not look to quick gratification. The average standard of play must be improved upon if players expect to improve the highest level of play.

While there are the exceptional cases of individuals who may achieve greatness inn spite  of their surroundings, generally speaking, successful athletes are produced in successful environments which  have successful coaches, expert administrators, and efficient administration.

South Africa's first female Counter-Strike: GO team captain.

Marisa Van Der Westhuizen (ZAG Academy) the National Counter-Strike: GO Senior Team Captain.
Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) has just selected Marisa Van Der Westhuizen as the Senior Team Captain for the esports title of Counter-Strike: GO.

Four years ago Marisa took the step from being just a gamer to become an esports athlete and became involved in Counter-Strike: GO. Once introduced to the competitive aspect, Marisa was hooked and dedicated herself to playing, and being trained, in the Counter-Strike: GO (CS:GO) esports title as she then knew this was the sport and industry that she wanted to be involved in for the rest of her life.

Marisa started in an all-female team, but her big break came through in mid-2017 when she moved to a mixed team that was lead by 2016 Protea team captain Jessie Joubert. It was in 2017 that Marisa was selected for the national squad. In 2017, Marisa got her first taste of international competition when she was selected from the squad to be part of the team that played against Switzerland in an official online test match. The experience taught her well, and MSSA is confident that Marisa will do South Africa proud in leading the national team, and performing to the highest international standards.

Marisa is confident that the team will represent the country with pride at IESF's 10th World Championships in Kaohsuing, Chinese Taipei.

The squad has great potential and merges new and youthful athletes with older more experienced veterans which should add a strong foundation to future national teams without compromising on any standards. Without doubt, Marisa is t afraid of breaking pre-conceived ideas and will prove to be a great leader of the national squad and national team.
The 2017 Protea Team hat took to the field against Switzerland, from left to right: Alasdair Donaldson, Ryan van Schalkwyk (Captain), Esmari Swart (Vice-Captain), Marisa van der Westhuizen, Leander Van Schalkwyk, and James Hulett
Also read:

Thursday, 12 July 2018

All hail the Chief: Donovan is appointed as Team Captain for League of Legends.

Donovan De Klerk (League of  Legends Senior Team Captain)
Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) has just selected Donovan De Klerk as the Senior Team Captain for the esports title of League of  Legends.

Donovan De Klerk (Good Gaming LOL) has been playing league of legends since season 4, although for most of that time Donovan was a casual player just having fun with friends, up until last year, when a good friend of his told him “you should try and take the game seriously”.
Donovan took the advice seriously and threw himself into esports which completely changed his view on the game and just how competitive the game actually is.
As National Squad Captain, Donovan hopes to become an example for all aspiring esports players in South Africa, and to show all how a group of South Africa's best can go head-to-head with the current best national teams in the world and make our mark on the stage.
Donovan is quietly confident that he can lead the Protea League of Legends Esports Team to finish 6th at IESF's 10th World Championships in Kaohsuing, Chinese Taipei.As Donovan said, "I believe with our current roster that this is a realistic goal".
Donovan believes that a well selected team that is prepared to work together can outshine individual performances. As such, Donovan believes the squad represents the best League of Legends players in South Africa
Thus MSSA has put its faith, and the faith of the nation in a cool headed person who does not judge people and players based on their past or community opinions, who works with players and is not swayed by opinions of the masses, but rather dig down to the truth of the matter. Without doubt, Donovan is just the leader that the national squad and national team will follow - not because they have to, but because they want to. Also read: