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An open letter to MWEB

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Ben Steenhuisen is a prominent shout caster in the local eSports industry and has also been a vocal opponent of the MSSA in recent months. He’s now penned an open letter to MWEB regarding their on-going sponsorship of the MSSA where he raises some valid questions.

Now I need to be clear, neither I nor anyone at Lazygamer is endorsing this letter. I just felt that the questions needed to be seen by a larger audience.

Hey there MWEB,

You know who I am, let’s cut that bit out of this open letter. Last week we (and by ‘we’, I mean various gamers around the country) received an email from our personal favourite General Secretary, (no, not Martin Bormann but rather) Colin Webster from Mind Sports South Africa. Yay!

| The press release, stored on PasteBin http://pastebin.com/2YDR0C0M |

This email was regarding the upcoming Dota 2 trials. It starts off thanking MWEB for your continued support (which previous emails from the MSSA as well as this one indicate that the MSSA would be unable to operate without). It goes on to mention MWEB a few more times for good measure. There are then discussions about the previous test matches against Romania and Mexico (which, funnily enough turned out to be random horrible Costa Ricans, and their Mexican friend – hey but who could have guessed that given the official Mind Sports Club in El Mexico?).

The key rallying call in the opening paragraphs is “If that happens, we’re going to need the best players to answer the challenge!”. Now, this would be an honourable and reasonable call to arms, were it not very obvious that this were impossible. The best team in the country right now, and for at least the foreseeable future, is Bravado Black (Flarez, Doni, seeM, scant and MrAssMan). They are unbeaten within the South African scene, not having dropped a single game (map) in DGL, JoinDota Open, Orena, or any other local tournaments since their formation. They’re also doing the best out of the South African teams within the international circuit, moving their way up the Starladder Semi-Pro groups towards the ‘Pro’ division. Now, the reason that they’re getting a special mention here is that they will never play in a MSSA tournament, given the way in which the MSSA completely screwed some of their players over last year. This is also true for some of the current Energy eSports players.

So, even assuming that there’s some hidden team that is in fact the best team in the country, there’s still a multitude of issues that they would have ahead of them.

  1. The format for the competition is bo1 Swiss. This reduces to bo1 Single Elimination, a very very very bad format in doing that. This is like playing best of one set tennis matches, or 3 holes of golf in a gold championship, or making football matches 10 minutes a side, or 4 rounds a side in Counter Strike. It just introduces too much variance into a format to do what the tournament aims to achieve (determine the best team in the country).

  2. “The tournament will run via the MWEB server” – well given that IS has two of the three of the Dota 2 clusters in the country, and there’s no way to force a cluster on a region, this is an impossibility to ensure.

  3. After seeing all the complaints of last year, the ‘50km rule’ is still in effect. The claim that this is a SASCOC requirement is still unsubstantiated by an announcement by SASCOC, nor any proof from SASCOC’s terms and conditions that would indicate that this is the case. The fact that the MSSA is still promoting this idea is just ridiculous.

  4. The entire section surrounding ‘applying to shout-cast’ is just a joke. Last year people that did apply to shoutcast did not even get emails back saying that they they couldn’t; people who had never ever shoutcast before were allowed to shoutcast alongside people who did not even apply in writing. MWEB were well aware of this (spoiler alert: I informed them).

So, MWEB. It’s been nearly two years since you’ve started partnering with the MSSA. In that time, they’ve done a lot of harm to South African eSports, and you’re continuing to stand by their side. You’ve seen the many many news articles showing their ineptitude, and after watching their recent ‘press conference’, and the questions asked of them afterwards (another spoiler alert: the MSSA couldn’t answer any satisfactorily), you can see they are muppets (well, one puppet and many muppets), and they should be avoided just out of fear of associating to something so ridiculously amateur and stupid. Gamers have said in MANY places how they’re unhappy with the MSSA, and unhappy with MWEB for affiliating and sponsoring them, and you’ve done nothing to act. Han Cilliers (Mind Sports “Writer of the Year” 2012 and 2013) has tried her best to defend even their most obvious acts of retardation, but even she got sick and tired of the bullshit she had to try spin. LazyGamer released a huge amount of pieces about the idiocracy of the MSSA, and you were silent to comment. It’s quite obvious that the MSSA would gladly run themselves into the ground, handing out colours to people who often don’t deserve them, having all their friends around them, and sending 16 year olds who have never played Starcraft against other people to Korea (yet get regarded as heroes when they come home after losing their only match) until they had run out of money, friends and sponsors, but that will take time that we don’t have, or at least shouldn’t spend waiting for them to burn out.

No matter what bullshit the MSSA spins, South Africa is not a ‘top 10 eSports country’. We’re not even top twenty, or thirty. We’re just another developing nation trying to produce more players that are recognized internationally. Surely there is a better way for you to promote eSports than through them? Surely you can see past the advertising potential you make from sponsoring them? Rather be honest with yourselves and the community by owning up to your mistake in affiliating with them, and moving on from there, rather than ignoring the community you try so hard to please.

I’m hoping that none of the good teams enter this tournament (I’ll personally try my best to convince as many of them as possible to not sign up), and it’s reaching a point where I don’t think that gamers in this country should support an ISP like yourself, who claim to be ‘there for the gamers’, but meanwhile support the most vile and useless ‘organization’ – one that’s actively harming eSports in South Africa.

xoxo.

Posted by Ben Steenhuisen Mar 22nd, 2014

All I’m going to add to this is that it’s quite obvious there is a disconnect with the MSSA and some of the top gamers and that is something that should really be resolved.

We do want our very best gamers to showcase our country’s abilities and if the MSSA can’t do that because the best gamers are refusing to play for them then something needs to be done. For the good of all of us.

Last Updated: March 24, 2014

56 Comments

  1. Jaded_Reprobate

    March 24, 2014 at 12:45

    I don’t know if that letter will make any difference. Knowing how things work, i doubt it will… but having said that, it’s always awesome to see people go out and say what every1 else is thinking.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief of Auraxis

      March 24, 2014 at 12:47

      Agreed. Nice seeing words put to paper that people are thinking about

      Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      March 24, 2014 at 12:50

      In this case it really is everyone else. Every single person the frequents here feels the same

      Reply

      • Jedi JJ

        March 24, 2014 at 13:31

        Agreed

        Reply

      • Gustav Willem Diedericks

        March 24, 2014 at 13:45

        Ditto!

        Reply

    • noxville

      March 24, 2014 at 12:52

      Well, Desmond (Manager of MWEB Gamezone) has promised a reply, so that’s cool!

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        March 24, 2014 at 12:53

        Very cool indeed, being silent doesn’t always mean you didn’t give an answer.

        Reply

        • Skyblue

          March 24, 2014 at 16:40

          No, it really does mean exactly that… unless you are Conan the Barbarian (original)

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            March 24, 2014 at 18:01

            Original is best! Like Robocop.

    • Doug

      March 26, 2014 at 16:55

      You can say what you want on:

      /r/webstergonewild

      Reply

  2. Admiral Chief of Auraxis

    March 24, 2014 at 12:47

    This open letter, its over 9000!!!!!

    Well done sir, I salute thee and you are worthy of the:
    [Admiral Chief Stamp of Approval]

    Lets hope something starts to happen SOON.

    VIVA REVOOOOLUTION!!!!!!!! VIVA!!!

    Reply

    • Jedi JJ

      March 24, 2014 at 13:31

      Revolucion!*

      Reply

  3. Admiral Chief of Auraxis

    March 24, 2014 at 12:49

    Oh, and MWEB, you might want to look at your corporate support process, luckily its a tertiary backup link our company has with you, else your service levels would have been seriously detrimental to our company today.

    4-5 hours (still unresolved) to respond/troubleshoot a fault reported? Really dudes? Really terribad service

    Reply

    • Jedi JJ

      March 24, 2014 at 13:32

      At least we know that they don’t throttle you on an uncapped line when you sneeze too hard

      Reply

      • MakeItLegal

        March 24, 2014 at 14:23

        i am with telkom on a 4mbs line uncapped ? how much is too much ? my friend rates keep it under 100gb a month and you will be cool

        Reply

        • ToshZA

          March 24, 2014 at 15:44

          Afrihost can easily hit 400 – 500gb’s without throttle. And even then, the throttle is only when overall network traffic is high. So it’s not permanent.

          Reply

          • Skyblue

            March 24, 2014 at 16:35

            I moved away from Afrihost after far too much throttling. I use 400 – 500gb a month and I don’t consider it excessive as it supplies 2 PC’s, X360, PS3, 4 mobiles, video streaming services and a steady Steam addiction. I also generally only purchase digitally and have done so for the last few years. I have never had a problem with MWEB but I do now with this MSSA kak.

          • ZumaIsPoes

            March 25, 2014 at 09:25

            holy crap that sounds like proper uncapped

        • Jedi JJ

          March 25, 2014 at 08:08

          I’m with Afrihost. So far not a problem at all. Switched from Mweb that throttled me even when I got to around 70gb sometimes.

          Reply

          • ZumaIsPoes

            March 25, 2014 at 09:25

            what ? thats mad …any advice for telkom ? should i be wary of ever going over 100gb ?

  4. Hammersteyn

    March 24, 2014 at 12:49

    I wish I could be as lucid as Ben with my comments. MSSA is going nowhere fast. How many members do they still have? Plus what’s the alternative? They are the governing body for eSports and I don’t think Zuma could be bothered to even give a damn.

    He knows about rugby,football and cricket plus seeing how shit our football is doing and how it doesn’t really concern the politicians. The only thing Fikile Mbalula did was to call Bafana losers.

    eSports has the potential to be great but a lot of members are being disillusioned by the MSSA and the sooner they quit MSSA the better.

    Reply

  5. Sk3tz0

    March 24, 2014 at 12:50

    50kms rule bit fucking retarded for a online game.. same what if u live in some karoo dorp.. with the only pc and every1 on ur teams in CPT. so u can never become a SA esport player .. KUDOs to the open letter..

    Reply

  6. Sk3tz0

    March 24, 2014 at 12:51

    I’m also curious as to Whats is the Registration amount ??? that was mention in the Letter to dota players.. ??

    Reply

    • Rince

      March 24, 2014 at 12:52

      R500. And that is just to register with the MSSA. Not sure if there are other costs on top of this.

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        March 24, 2014 at 12:52

        LOL so close to comment first.

        Reply

        • Rince

          March 24, 2014 at 12:52

          Damn you! *Waves fist

          Reply

      • Sk3tz0

        March 24, 2014 at 12:53

        Jesus Chirst on a christma cracker.. that a lot of money to piss away to an organisatino that does fuck all.. might as well play R500 Lotto Quick Picks..

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          March 24, 2014 at 12:54

          Or PS+

          Reply

          • Sk3tz0

            March 24, 2014 at 12:54

            Yea.. but i already got the PS+ Sub.. might as well get the lotto tickets..

          • Skyblue

            March 24, 2014 at 16:36

            Amen brother.

    • Hammersteyn

      March 24, 2014 at 12:52

      I think it’s R500 a year to join MSSA

      Reply

    • Matt Merks

      March 24, 2014 at 13:06

      Hi, everyone else has this wrong. It is R100/year for a club and R80/year per player. So a Dota team spends anywhere from R400/year to R500/year for affiliation to MSSA

      Reply

  7. Rags

    March 24, 2014 at 12:53

    Are they still doing Swiss model?!
    These clueless idiots who are not only not interested in gaming, but after complaining the model sucks back in 2008 they are still not willing to learn and adopt international gaming standards. They don’t give a shit about anyone. Just the gravy and power.

    A damn shame. MWEB, I really love you guys. And I know you are optimistic and want things to improve. But really its not that the MSSA can’t improve. It’s that they don’t want to!

    Reply

    • Sk3tz0

      March 24, 2014 at 13:08

      Shows you how Confused and unorganised the MSSA is .. they got the concept of doing a Swiss Model wrong..

      Reply

      • Rags

        March 24, 2014 at 13:19

        Well hello there! What where we talking about again?

        Reply

  8. Alien Emperor Trevor

    March 24, 2014 at 13:01

    How can an organisation give an award for journalist of the year? Seems rather odd.

    Reply

    • Jonah Cash

      March 24, 2014 at 13:08

      And the award goes to:…………………………………………. The journalist at our biggest sponsor!!! (who knew?!?!?!?)

      Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      March 24, 2014 at 13:09

      Yeah the first time I heard about it I said it was a bad idea as well.. seems insane

      Reply

      • Skyblue

        March 24, 2014 at 16:29

        Unfair really considering how much more exposure you gave them Gav ;-p

        Reply

        • Gavin Mannion

          March 24, 2014 at 19:07

          lol seriously don’t think that’s how they judge the award 🙂

          Reply

          • HvR

            March 24, 2014 at 20:23

            If they are not using the Batman scoring system I’m calling shenanigans.

    • Anon A Mouse

      March 24, 2014 at 13:46

      Vodacom has an award like this. SAB has a Sports Writer award, and then obviously all the media outlets have them.

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        March 24, 2014 at 14:00

        That’s why I said an organisation, not just MSSA. It’s very easy for the perception of bias to creep in or awarding for “good” news.

        Reply

  9. Anon A Mouse

    March 24, 2014 at 13:24

    I’m so over any news regarding the MSSA. It’s like doing a “Hey look what [enter political party] has done”. Sure it might bring people to read the article but it doesn’t solve anything or making anything better on the whole. Either start doing something about it, rather than bitching about it everyday or just move on.

    Reply

    • Eric

      March 24, 2014 at 13:37

      Well the media has always been a watchdog for human rights in this country. It’s a good thing if they don’t let off on news like this. Even if they’re getting compensating indirectly. I’d rather have them keep posting on issues such as this, creating awareness, than having them stop, keep quiet and living in ignorance.

      Reply

      • Anon A Mouse

        March 24, 2014 at 13:43

        I don’t mind the reporting but every single day or so? Even twice or more on one day? Surely that’s starting to look far more than being vengeful? Sure report on matters regarding the MSSA and then move on. Why keep beating a dead horse? What is the end game in all of this?

        Reply

        • Gavin Mannion

          March 24, 2014 at 15:50

          Well if you had read the article you’d see that it wasn’t us writing it.. but someone else

          Reply

        • Eric

          March 25, 2014 at 08:13

          Hard truths aren’t convenient. If you really want articles like this to stop appearing, then use your voice and speak up against MSSA and pretty much any organization that gets government(sponsored) funding and aren’t doing their job. You pay taxes, don’t you? Then you have a right to complain. And media has an obligation to report maladministration. You won’t find such news on News24, but LG is a gaming site, so the MSSA issues affect their audience directly. It would be stupid not to report on it.

          Reply

    • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      March 24, 2014 at 14:54

      To be fair, the buy who wrote the letter is on the board for SA eSports Association, so he /is/ trying to do something about it.

      Reply

    • Johan du Preez

      March 24, 2014 at 15:00

      Yeh like the rest of the country lets ignore the problems and move on nothing to see here rofl ….

      Here is the golden question why do you read the article and take the effort to reply then ?

      Reply

      • Anon A Mouse

        March 24, 2014 at 15:32

        I didn’t have to read the article to know what it will entail. It’s exactly the same stuff that’s been reported on ad infinitum since last year. Nothing new, just old stuff being rehashed over and over and that is the problem I have with it. If you’ve read my reply below you’ll notice that I said I don’t mind reporting on MSSA stuff but there is really nothing new here is there?

        Reply

  10. TheBrain

    March 24, 2014 at 15:44

    To be honest, I’ll be surprised if 5% of serious online gamers use MWEB, my experience of their connectivity / latency / customer service in the past has not been great. Unfortunately you might be preaching to the converted . .

    Reply

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