Monday, 5 December 2016

Results of the MSSA's 2016 elections.

Morizane Boyes, the new MSSA president.
MSSA held its 33rd Annual General Meeting on 4 December 2016 directly after the close of the South African NationalChampionships.


To say that the South African National Championships were successful is an understatement, however, it was only a forerunner of the incredible changes that occurred at the SA National Championships.

In terms of the elections, the winds of change swept in and left MSSA to have a new vitalised committee that far better reflects South African society than before.

Six out of the 13 Board positions are now held by women, with Morizane Boyes having moved up from the Women’s Desk to now be the President of MSSA.

Morizane is a veteran gamer and has earned Protea Colours in 2014 when she represented South Africa at IeSF’s 5th World Championships – Baku, as well as being the first female to ever referee an accredited online test match.

The rest of the Board consists of:


President Morizane Boyes (BNKR)
Vice- Presidents James Evans (Knights Mind Sports Club)
Jessie Joubert (Rondebosch Boys)
Sheraaz Nunnian (Eastern Cape eSports)
Adele Janse van Rensburg (Vexxed Phoenix)
GENERAL SECRETARY Colin Webster (Old Edwardian Wargames Club)
WOMEN'S DESK: Blair Hamberger (Knights Mind Sports Club)
BOARD-GAMING REPRESENTATIVE Joseph Matlhong (NWU Vaal Mind Sports)
CARD-GAMING REPRESENTATIVE Paula Loftus (Masters of Mind Sports)
COMPUTER-GAMING REPRESENTATIVE: Ryan Boyes (BNKR)
BOARD-GAMING REPRESENTATIVE Sean Barry (Riverview Mind Sports Club)
NATIONAL SCHOOLS DIRECTOR: Stephanie Craig (Jeppe Boys)
LEGAL ADVISOR Carl Holliday (PBHS)
DISABLED GAMER'S REPRESENTATIVE Twane Tollemache (BNKR)
PLAYER’S REPRESENTATIVE Jason Batzofin (St John’s College)

There is no doubt that the new Board is all fired-up to deal with whatever is thrown at it.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Advantages of affiliation: Coverage

Screen shot of IeSF's web page.
In September 2016 I wrote an article about the advantages of affiliating to MSSA.

However, it should be noted that  without MSSA being a member of IeSF, such advantages would mean little.

IeSF, through its international network, has the ability to amplify the advantages to a level that few can fully comprehend, and those that  do, are making full use of such.

One such advantage is in the field of coverage.

While it is known that MSSA already receives the most coverage for eSports in South Africa, as MSSA had well over 300 items published in 2016 - not including TV and radio, it is still hard to rival the level of publicity obtained by IeSF.

The press release made by MSSA of the selection of its 2016 National Protea eSports Team obtained a whopping 20,236 hits.

MSSA received over 50,000 hits on this blog alone.

It is estimated that the TV and radio coverage reached over 2 million.

Coverage indeed!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Japan accepted as member of IeSF

Photo from left: Akihito Furusawa (Auditor, JPeF), Nobuyuki Umezaki (JPeF, Director), Alex Lim (Secretary General, IeSF), Yoshio Urushibara (Acting President, Federation of Diet Members from Online Game), Byung Hun Jun (President, IeSF), Jin Matsubara (Executive Director, Federation of Diet Members from Online Game), Fumio Suzuku (JPeF, Director), Yoshihito Mizunaga (Advisor, JPeF), Hiromi Mizunaga (Manager, JPeF)

On 1 November 2016, Japan Pro e-Sports Federation (JPeF) took its first step to vitalizing its domestic e-Sports market by getting approval to be affiliated into International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) as the representing National Federation for e-Sports in Japan. JPeF was established on 18 March 2016 and aims to invigorate e-Sports culture in Japan by, as the main focus, enhance the welfare of currently active e-Sports athletes.

JPeF’s membership approval process was accompanied by President. Jun’s visit to Japan during September this year. Hosted by JPeF, the meeting involved Mr Yoshio Urushibara (President) and Jin Matsubara (Executive Director) of the Federation of Diet Members for Online Game (an organization composed of 56 congressmen) and officials of both IeSF and JPeF. The meeting’s agenda included discussions on the direction needed to reinforce the momentum of Japanese e-Sports.

All parties agreed that Japan has an enormous and advanced gaming market in which e-Sports can flourish. The three parties involved in the meeting agreed to join its forces to reinforce the e-Sports foundation in Japan and to broaden the spectrum to develop the structure of e-Sports in the future. Moreover, the organizations agreed to work as a triad, to voice for e-Sports to be recognized as an official sports in Japan, and also look for potential opportunities for e-Sports to be engaged with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.


JPeF has already a history of expanding and forming the e-Sports foundation in Japan by supporting e-sports players in obtaining a “Sport Athlete VISA” within the territory of Japan. To obtain a Sport Athlete VISA is a colossal step, for it shows the willingness for the Japanese community to perceive e-Sports as a true sport, and also secures the welfare of international players in the Japan. IeSF will be supporting JPeF with necessary resources to be connected in the global e-Sports industry, and looks forward to open a new chapter in the e-Sports history of Japan. 

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:
s.
Period/genre
#
Title
Platform
Players
FPS
a
CS GO
PC,
5 v 5
Sport
b
FIFA '17
Console
1 v 1
RTS
c
StarCraft II
PC
1 v 1
AOS
d
Dota 2
PC
5 v 5
e
League of Legends
PC
5 v 5
f
VainGlory
Tablet/cell
3 v 3
Fighting
g
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Console
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:
Period/genre
Title
Platform
Players
FPS
CS GO
PC
5 v 5
Battlefield 1
PC
8 v 8
Call of Duty (latest version)
PC
5 v 5
Overwatch
PC/console

Sport
FIFA '17
Console
1 v 1
PES 2017
Console
1 v 1
RTS
StarCraft II
PC
1 v 1
AOS
Dota 2
PC
5 v 5
League of Legends
PC
5 v 5
VainGlory
Tablet/cell
3 v 3
Fighting
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Console
1 v 1
Street Fighter V
Console
1 v 1
Mortal Kombat X
Console
1 v 1
Injustice 2
Console
1 v 1
Tekken 7
Console
1 v 1
Card
HearthStone
Various
1 v 1