Sunday 20 August 2023

How esports can enable the disadvantaged Youth

It is through esports that many of South Africa's youth are able to be selected for national teams, obtain sponsorships, and bursaries.

Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) has long held the view that esports can play a significant role in enabling disadvantaged youth. Such is done in several ways:

  • Equal Access to Opportunities: Esports provides an opportunity for young people, regardless of their socio-economic background, to engage in a competitive and rapidly growing industry. Unlike traditional sports, esports doesn't require access to expensive equipment or facilities, making it more accessible to disadvantaged youth.

  • Skill Development: Engaging in esports can help youth develop valuable skills such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and strategic thinking. These skills are not only useful in the gaming world but also in education and the job market.
  • Mentorship and Coaching: Esports often involves coaching and mentorship programs, where experienced players or coaches guide younger players. This can provide disadvantaged youth with positive role models and valuable guidance.
  • Scholarships and Education: Many universities and educational institutions now offer esports scholarships. Disadvantaged youth who excel in esports can use these scholarships to access higher education and pursue careers in the gaming industry or related fields.
  • Community and Belonging: Esports communities can be inclusive and welcoming, providing a sense of belonging for youth who may feel isolated in other aspects of their lives. This can help boost their self-esteem and mental well-being.
  • Entrepreneurial Opportunities: Esports isn't just about playing games; it also encompasses various aspects like event management, content creation, and team management. Disadvantaged youth with an entrepreneurial spirit can explore opportunities within the esports ecosystem to start their own businesses.
  • Digital Literacy: Engagement in esports often involves using technology and digital platforms extensively. This can enhance digital literacy among disadvantaged youth, a skill that is increasingly essential in today's job market.
  • Income Generation: Talented esports players, content creators, and streamers can earn income through sponsorships, advertisements, and merchandise sales. For disadvantaged youth, this can be a source of income and financial independence.
  • Safe Environment: Esports provides a safe and controlled environment for young people to socialize and compete. This can be especially valuable in areas where there are limited safe recreational opportunities.
  • Inclusivity and Diversity: The esports community is increasingly recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusivity. Efforts to reduce toxicity and promote respect can create a more welcoming environment for disadvantaged youth.
  • Inspiration and Aspiration: Successful esports players and personalities often serve as sources of inspiration for young people. They can demonstrate that with dedication and effort, it's possible to achieve success even when facing adversity.
  • Networking and Social Skills: Esports events and tournaments offer opportunities for networking and socializing. Disadvantaged youth can build important social skills and connect with peers and potential mentors.

However, it's important to ensure that the benefits of esports are maximized for disadvantaged youth while also addressing potential downsides, such as excessive screen time or addiction. Providing guidance, supervision, and educational resources can help strike a balance between esports engagement and overall personal development for these individuals. Additionally, programs that bridge the digital divide by providing access to technology and high-speed internet are crucial to ensuring equal opportunities in the world of esports for disadvantaged youth.

Additional reading:

Thursday 10 August 2023

Reminder: National Team Trials - 12 August 2023

Getting selected for an official Protea Tea enables athletes to meet, and befriend, top international players. Here Jarrod Pretorius (left) is seen with Tomasz Huzar of Hungary.

Mind Sports South Africa's (MSSA) shall be holding
 National Team Trials (NTT) on 12 August 2023.

The titles to be played in such National Team Trials are:

  • Clash of Clans
  • Clash Royale
  • CODM
  • Dota 2 - female
  • FIFA '23
  • League of Legends
  • Rocket League (1 v 1)
  • Rocket League (3 v 3)
  • Street Fighter 6

The  athletes selected at such National Team Trials shall represent South Africa for 

  • Dota 2 - female, and 
  • Street Fighter 6

at 2023 GEF World Championships, while the other titles mentioned above will also have official National Squads selected for duty in other events before selection of the 2024 Protea Team..

In order to participate, players must be registered for the 2022/2023 season.

It should be noted that MSSA shall be holding such NTT online with the following proviso's:

  1. Player's in the same team entered from the same province shall play from the same venue, and
  2. Players in the same team from different provinces may play from different provinces, and
  3. Players participating in individual titles (1v1) from the same club and who reside in the same province shall play from the same venue, and
  4. All venues must have a club member in attendance.
MSSA shall select the highest placed team and/or individual based on:
  1. Confirmation to attend events (test matches and other matches), and,
  2. Clearance from stimulants.
All Registered Players who have qualified at MSSA's Regional, and/or Provincial, and/or National Championships are cordially invited to enter.

To have qualified, a Registered Player shall have:
  • Have finished in the top three places, or top 20% (whichever is greater), in a Provincial or National Championship, and/or
  • Have won a Regional Championship, and/or
  • Have won a Derby event, and or
  • Have represented South Africa in an international championship in 2022.
The conditions for entry are as follows:

  1. Entry is R100.00 per Registered Player.
  2. Only fully-paid-up Registered Players may participate in this event.
  3. Entries for National Team Trials must be submitted by midnight on 11 August 2023.
  4. To enter, the club must complete the Google Drive document.
  5. The entry form may be found on Google Drive.
  6. Clubs are to download the entry form, completed the downloaded form, and e-mail it to Mind Sports South Africa at
  7. Players making themselves eligible for selection, shall submit copies of their valid Passports with their other documentation to the National Team Manager upon meeting the above criteria for selection.
  8. Players who have reached the age of majority may find the necessary forms on
  9. Players who have not yet reached the age of majority may find the necessary forms on
The Documents required are as follows:
  • Copy of South African Passport.
  • Signed Senior or Junior Contract (Please note a parent or guardian will need to sign if the player is under 18 years of age).
  • Copy of an Unabridged Birth Certificate for players under the age of 18
  • Proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
While National Team Trials shall begin at 10H00 and end at 18H00, Registered Players shall be online at 9H00. MSSA officials will be on duty all day to assist with any queries you might have.

Additional reading: