Monday, 21 January 2019

Botswana and South Africa enter into talks.

Kenneth Tebogo Middleton (President of Botswana Traditional Sports & Games Confederation) plays a game of Morabaraba/Mhele against Amanda Pakade (President of Mind Sports South Africa).
On Saturday, 19 January 2019 Kenneth Tebogo Middleton (President of Botswana Traditional Sports & Games Confederation) and Amanda Pakade (President of Mind Sports South Africa) met at the Old Edwardian Society to discuss areas of mutual interest.

The talks revolved around assisting BTSGC and MSSA assisting each other on every level, including international test matches, as well as MSSA assisting Botswana hosting the 2019 World Championships.

After the talks, both Kenneth and Amanda indulged themselves in a game of  Morabaraba/Mhele - which both found to be most enjoyable.

What is a MGO?

Learners representing their school with pride.
In South African esports there is a lot of talk about Milti-Gaming Organisations (MGO's).

But what is an MGO?

Currently, the definition for an MGO on Wikipedia is stated as such:
    "Multi-Gaming-Organisations (MGO's) are in many ways like clans or clubs except they are focused on the business aspect of eSports and are made up of many competitive teams. While the teams within MGO's are often managed in the same way a normal clan is managed, the organisation's top level management would include marketing, business and public relations personnel. In short, an MGO functions like a business while, in general, clans / clubs do not."
So what we  can gather from the above definition is that an MGO can take the form of various legal entities.

Such entities may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Private companies (owned by one or more shareholders), 
  • Clans owned by sole-traders,
  • Clans owned by partnerships,
  • Associations
Without doubt, in my opinion, the MGO's that take the legal form of being an Association is the type of organisation that best look after the interests of the player as the administrators govern through passion, and not from a profit-making point of view. Any profits made here have to be invested in the club and/or development programmes. It also should be noted that these organisations are not owned by anyone, but, are instead governed by all  the voting members.

Sole-traders, Partnerships, and Private Companies that are all profit making ventures in which the sole-traders, partners and drectors intend to make a profit  out of trading. The trading may take the form of selling apparel, equipment, or earning prize-money through their teams in tournaments that offer prize-money. It should be noted these types of organisations are governed exclusively by the owners.Also read:

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Prize money

More-and-more events are paying out prize money.
Prize money refers to monies that MGO's,clubs or athletes receive for participating in and/or winning a particular competition.

In such competitions only specific MGO's,clubs or athletes are invited or permitted to participate according to the rules of such competition.

The successful MGO's, clubs or athletes on receiving a sum of money for their performance, such monies shall constitute prize money. Successful MGO's, clubs or athletes will receive different amounts depending on their position in the competition when the final results are determined.

The income tax implications are simple.

The monies that first accrue to a MGO/club before distribution will form part of the MGO's/club’s gross income and will be fully taxable. Thereafter, provided that all requirements are met, the club will be able to claim a deduction under section 11(a) on the portions distributed to the players which will be taxable in the hands of the athlete as remuneration. 

The general principle applicable to this type of receipt or accrual is applied by asking whether or not the recipient, in this instance the MGO/club, received or will receive the prize money on its own behalf, or solely on behalf of the player or players concerned.

Where paid directly to an individual athlete, there may also be VAT implications as well as the athlete would have to register as a provisional tax payer. By registering as a provisional taxpayer, such athlete woul also be able to  claim deductions under section 11, as read with sections 23(g) - 23(f) of the Act.

Also read:

Friday, 18 January 2019

Sponsorships of athletes.

Athletes must know their obligations when accepting sponsorships.
To further elaborate on my article written on 11 January 2019, "Professional esports athletes must register for tax" it is important to explore the various incomes that a professional esports athlete may have.Sponsorships may be offered to players as equipment, clothing, watches, transport, travel, and monies.

Whether or not the receipt is of a capital nature, such amounts, whether of a voluntary nature or not, must be specifically included in gross income.

However, it should be noted that there is generally not an employer-employee relationship between the provider of the sponsorship and the player. Where no such relationship exists, and the player is not deemed to be an employee for employees' tax purposes, the sponsor will not be required to withhold employees' tax. However, the player is still required to disclose the amount of the sponsorship (in cash or otherwise) in his or her annual tax return. 

However, if the sponsor has sponsored the club or employer of the athlete and the club in turn provides its athletes with a portion of the receipts, the amounts will constitute remuneration and will be taxable in the hands of the athlete. In such a case, the club or employer is required to deduct or withhold employees' tax from the amounts paid to such athletes.

It should be stressed that it does not matter as to whether such sponsorship is in cash or not. For example, if a computer company sponsors a MGO in cash and computers, and such MGO distributes the computers to its athletes, then each athlete will have to have tax withheld on the market value of the computer as well as include the market value of the computer as gross income on his or her income tax return.  

Where an individual athlete is the recipient of the sponsorship, there may too beVAT implications should the athlete be a vendor. In cases where the individual is not a vendor, there will be no output tax by the recipient, and the sponsor will not be entitled to deduct any input tax on the payment.

Also read:

Why attend a MSSA umpiring course?

Without the dedication of MSSA's umpires, events would not run smoothly.
Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) is the only body in South Africa that runs accredited umpiring courses for Checkers, Draughts, Morabaraba, Esports, and Wargames.

Once having passed the MSSA course is a Registered Player allowed to umpire at a MSSA Regional, Provincial, and/or National Championship.

It is through umpiring in MSSA championships that Registered Players make themselves eligible for selection by MSSA's Management Board for training at IESF, FMJD, and IWF Courses.

In the case of IESF, only once a Registered Player has successfully completed IESF's comprehensive course, then, and only then, may such Registered Player be considered to referee at IESF's prestigious World Championships.

It should be noted that a Registered Player who is selected to umpire and/or referee in an international event also earns Protea Colours.

Thus MSSA continues to create upward ladders for all its  Registered Players and allows athletes to maintain involvement in this exciting and developing field even when their days of playing competitively are over.

Also read:

What is Esports?

TESL's impressive esports arena.
International Esports Federation (IESF) defines esports as:

"Esports is a competitive sport performed in a virtual environment in which physical and mental abilities are excercised to create victory conditions through generally accepted rules."

But which events can be classified as esports events?

Many think that it it is only the large events with prize money and fancy set-ups that count as esports. However, that cannot be further from the truth.

Esports, like any other sport, has its roots at school and club level.

Just like football which may be played on a football field enclosed only by a simple fence leading up to the huge events being played in the fanciest of arena, esports is just the same.

An esport event may be played in a simple club room, school hall, a dedicated esports arena, or in an existing sports arena - it is  just the level that differs.

Without the development at school and club level, the larger events will have 'feet of clay' and will not be sustainable in the long run. It is the work done at school and club level that creates the enthusiasm and basic groundswell of support needed for the larger events to survive. One just has to look at South Korea. There are over 90,000 PC Bangs (esports clubs) in Korea. That in turn feeds into the interest that makes Korea one of the top esports countries in the world today.

In fact, I woud argue, that should sponsors only look at the glitzy affairs, they are doing themselves a disservice as the lower levels of esports have far greater participation, are more sustainable and create greater product loyalty.

Thus Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) has a number of different events at different levels to cater for the esports athlete. Besides running Regional, Provincial, and ational championships, MSSA openly encourages member clubs to host their own events. The most successful club event being the Old Edwardian Mind Sports Club's annual summer championships which is now in its 27th year.

Also read:

Thursday, 17 January 2019


Montreal, 17 January 2019 – A three-person World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) expert team has successfully retrieved the data from the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and the underlying analytical data generated by the former Moscow Laboratory in Russia.
The data are crucial to build strong cases against cheats and exonerate other athletes suspected of having participated in widespread doping on the basis of previous WADA-commissioned investigations led by Richard W. Pound and Professor Richard H. McLaren. The data has been retrieved from the laboratory’s various servers, instruments, computers and other electronic equipment. This information has now been transported out of Russia for authentication and detailed analysis by the Agency.
The independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC), which met in Montreal on 14-15 January to consider the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s (RUSADA’s) compliance status, received a full report on everything that has happened since the 20 September 2018 decision of WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) to reinstate RUSADA, under strict conditions, to the list of World Anti-Doping Code-compliant Signatories. It has now submitted its recommendation to be considered by the ExCo on 22 January. The CRC drafted its report and recommendation during its meeting and finalized it only after the WADA expert team had left Russia.
WADA President Sir Craig Reedie said: “This is a major breakthrough for clean sport. It shows we are continuing to make real progress that simply would not have happened without the 20 September ExCo decision. The first phase of the three-phase process outlined by that decision is now complete. The long impasse around access to the former Moscow Laboratory has been broken and that is significantly good news.
“WADA now embarks on the second phase, which entails the authentication and review of the data to ensure it is complete and that it has not been compromised. Given the amount of data, that will take some time to achieve but our experts have the tools they need to be able to verify the data with a high degree of confidence.
“Once the data have been authenticated, we will be in a position to proceed to the third phase and support the various sports and other anti-doping organizations concerned to build strong cases against athletes who doped and, as part of that, ensure that certain samples that are still stored in the Moscow Laboratory are re-analyzed in an accredited laboratory no later than 30 June 2019.”
On 31 December 2018, RUSADA and the Russian authorities missed a deadline to provide access to the data. On 1 January 2019, WADA immediately notified RUSADA of this non-conformity and the fast-track process outlined in the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS) was instigated. Under the terms of the ISCCS, it is key for WADA, as the regulator, to follow due process and give any Signatory the opportunity to make a submission to the CRC to explain the non-conformity.
At all times, WADA maintained its resolve to retrieve these crucial data so more cases of doping could be asserted against cheats and so other athletes could be exonerated. WADA continues to pursue that goal in the interest of athletes worldwide.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Esports: MSSA's 37th Gauteng Provincial Championships - 23 & 24 February 2019

Based on 2018 figures, MSSA expects to award over 30 players Provincial Colours and over 100 players with medals at its 2019 Gauteng Provincial LAN Championships.
Registrations are now open for MSSA's 2019 Gauteng Provincial LAN Championships.

MSSA's 2019 Gauteng Provincial LAN Championships is part of the process of selecting the official 2019 Protea Esports team that will attend IESF's 11th World Championships.

MSSA remains absolutely committed to sending teams to all future IESF World Championships.
Not only will MSSA send teams to the World Championships, but MSSA will also continue with participating in the ever popular International Online Test Matches.

Registrations will close on the 7 February 2019

Players who wish to compete in any of MSSA's Championships are advised to complete their annual registration forms so that they may registered as Registered Players as soon as possible. Please note that MSSA's financial year starts on 1 November, so all players need to re-register if they intend to participate in MSSA's 2019 Gauteng Provincial LAN Championships.

Late entries will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.

All gamers are reminded that MSSA's 2019 Gauteng Provincial LAN 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. If you have any queries, please contact MSSA.

Championship Details

Hosting Club: Curro Aurora
VenueCurro Aurora, Taurus Road, Sundowner, Randburg
Date23 & 24 February 2019
Entry Fees: R68.00 per Registered Player per Period
Computers: Bring your own. Please ensure that all game updates are done prior to arrival.
Schedule: The LAN Schedule for all 2019 is:

TimePaladins Fortnite PC/PS4FIFA’19HearthStoneStreet Fighter VClash Royal
09H00Round 1 StartsRound 1 StartsRound 1 StartsRound 1 StartsRound 1 StartsRound 1 Starts
09H45Round 1 ContinuesRound 1 ContinuesRound 1 ContinuesRound 1 ContinuesRound 1 ContinuesRound 1 Continues
10H30Round 2 StartsRound 2 StartsRound 2 StartsRound 2 StartsRound 2 StartsRound 2 Starts
11H15Round 2 ContinuesRound 2 ContinuesRound 2 ContinuesRound 2 ContinuesRound 2 ContinuesRound 2 Continues
12H00Round 3 StartsRound 3 StartsRound 3 StartsRound 3 StartsRound 3 StartsRound 3 Starts
12H45Round 3 ContinuesRound 3 ContinuesRound 3 ContinuesRound 3 ContinuesRound 3 ContinuesRound 3 Continues
TimePaladins (continued)Fortnite (continued)FIFA’19 (continued)HearthStone (continued)Street Fighter V (continuedClash Royal (continued)
14H00Round 4 StartsRound 4 StartsRound 4 StartsRound 4 StartsRound 4 StartsRound 4 Starts
14H45Round 4 ContinuesRound 4 ContinuesRound 4 ContinuesRound 4 ContinuesRound 4 ContinuesRound 4 Continues
15H30Round 5 StartsRound 5 StartsRound 5 StartsRound 5 StartsRound 5 StartsRound 5 Starts
16H15Round 5 ContinuesRound 5 ContinuesRound 5 ContinuesRound 5 ContinuesRound 5 ContinuesRound 5 Continues
18H00Awards Ceremony
19H00Doors Close
TimeCounter StrikeLeague of Legends (LoL)Dota 2TEKKEN 7
09H00Round 1 StartsRound 1 StartsRound 1 StartsRound 1 Starts
09H45Round 1 ContinuesRound 1 ContinuesRound 1 ContinuesRound 1 Continues
10H30Round 2 StartsRound 2 StartsRound 2 StartsRound 2 Starts
11H15Round 2 ContinuesRound 2 ContinuesRound 2 ContinuesRound 2 Continues
12H00Round 3 StartsRound 3 StartsRound 3 StartsRound 3 Starts
12H45Round 3 ContinuesRound 3 ContinuesRound 3 ContinuesRound 3 Continues
TimeCounter Strike (continued)LoL (continued)Dota 2 (continued)TEKKEN 7 (continued)
14H00Round 4 StartsRound 4 StartsRound 4 StartsRound 4 Starts
14H45Round 4 ContinuesRound 4 ContinuesRound 4 ContinuesRound 4 Continues
15H30Round 5 StartsRound 5 StartsRound 5 StartsRound 5 Starts
16H15Round 5 ContinuesRound 5 ContinuesRound 5 ContinuesRound 5 Continues
18H00Awards Ceremony
19H00Doors Close

Rules and Regulations: All Rules and Regulations pertaining to eSports are available from MSSA. Players are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with the LAN League Bylaws and all Period Specific Rules. If any Player wishes to provide advice regarding the drafting of the Period Specific Rules they are encouraged to contact the eSBoC who will take all comments into account.

The following Medals may be awarded at MSSA's 2018 South African National LAN Championships:
  • PREMIER: Medals shall be awarded to the first three players who are registered players.
  • UNIVERSITY: Medals shall be awarded to the first three players who are currently registered at any officially recognised University, provided the players have not received any Premier Medals.
  • SCHOLARS: Medals shall be awarded to the first three high school scholars, provided they have not received any Premier medals.
  • WOMEN: Women will be awarded medals as per the same basis as above, that is in all three categories.
Colours and National Team Trials:
  • Provincial Colours: All Players that win all of their Matches at a Provincial Championship will earn Provincial Colours. All Players who score within the top 50% in a specific Period at a Provincial Championship, and who also score within the top 50% at a National Championship in the same period and in the same year, will earn Provincial Colours.
  • National Team Trials: All Players that score within the top 20% or top three places, whichever is greater, in a specific Period at a Provincial or National Championship will earn an invitation to National Team Trials. National Team Trials shall be held in the event that a National Team must be selected to represent South Africa when competing in such Period in an International Championship. 
Registered Players wishing to shout-cast the event, must please contact Marisa van der Westhuizen at:

The next provincial event is: MSSA's 23rd WESTERN CAPE Championships that shall be held on 23 & 24 March 2019.

Also read: