Yesterday I wrote up a bit of a scathing article of the preparation and organisation of the recent DOTA 2 test match between Romania and South Africa. After this, somewhat unsurprisingly, a lot of people were upset and they were quite happy to let me know in the comments and personally via Skype.
At one stage I had 3 people on Skype and two incoming phone calls and everyone had his own and differing opinion on the article and the accuracy of it. Now a lot of the comments were around me not supporting the local community and just looking for attention and I’d like to clear that up.
I am not against the idea of the MSSA at all, I think everyone in the MSSA has the best intentions and the idea that it is corrupt and solely pushing its own agenda are way off the mark. However I do think the construct and rules of the MSSA are getting in the way.
It’s the same as trying to run a small company like ours with the same rules and regulations that govern Microsoft. It sounds like a good idea until you realise that all those checks and balances are impossible to uphold on small companies; do you really think my creditors would accept payment of 45 days after delivery of goods?
Things change as you get bigger and the MSSA needs to realise it is working with a new and upcoming sub-section of the industry and as such a softer touch and more compassion would go a long way.
Before anyone phones me here is a perfect example. Recently we posted about the upcoming StarCraft 2 trials. Well here is the exact wording regarding shout casting in the press release that we received.
The MSSA shall decide who may shout-cast the games.
Anybody wishing to be appointed as a Shout-Caster must apply in writing to email@example.com”
While technically there is nothing wrong with that, the tone is just heavy handed and unnecessary. If they had simply changed it to be:
The MSSA would love to hear from shout-casters interested in casting these matches. If you are interested please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org”
You’ve instantly gone from an overpowering control freak to someone who wants to work with the community.
The same applies to their upcoming elections which insist you can only apply for a position if you are an existing member who is put forward by two separate clubs. There is no logic behind that regulation and the board should be open to all comers.
But what about the test match?
But the biggest complaints and arguments yesterday were around what I said about the team not being selected properly and not giving everyone a fair chance to compete. I’d like to thank Desmond Kurz from MWEB for taking time out of his busy day to answer a lot of questions that I had and to explain the process that he has been privy to.
I was originally informed that the gamers who made up the SA DOTA 2 side were meant to be picked via trials that were only held in JHB which forced many people out of the running.
However apparently the full process is:
“The LAN Provincials + Online Champs are used to select top teams to progress to a National Trial to select the final SA team”
So it’s not a one-off event and interestingly even though the Western Cape trials hadn’t taken place the majority of the team that faced off against Romania was based in Cape Town. For clarity this was the team
“Anthony “scant” Hodgson – Captain
Mohamed Wasim”seeM” Lorgat
Dylan “Shanks” Probyn
Justin “LETSGETPARTY” Probyn
Wesley “oDu” Rose”
4 of whom came from the well known Bravado team, so we can’t really say that the team that represented us wasn’t at least near the top of our gamers. So my biggest worry was that gamers weren’t given the opportunity to try out but it appears that they were given the chance and the majority of people should have had a chance to enter if they wanted to.
What still irks me though is that the final team that was apparently chosen in May wasn’t announced until just before the test match meaning that they had no time to prepare as a team or check out their competitors before the game. Now granted the Romanian team was apparently just slapped together at the last minute but that’s not really an excuse for leaving our guys hanging for 2 months.
So in closing for this round, the MSSA and MWEB are trying exceptionally hard to get eSports recognised and treated professionally here and while I believe they both have the best intentions I have to think that the MSSA wouldn’t be anywhere near as interested in pushing this if MWEB wasn’t pumping money into it… and let’s be honest MWEB wouldn’t be pumping money into it if they didn’t think it would give them some return on brand awareness and their bottom line.
And what’s our job in all of this? Well I think we’ve made it abundantly clear we’ll post our honest and open thoughts on the MSSA and eSports in general and even though we knew it wouldn’t make MWEB happy, and they are currently advertising on the site, we did it anyway.
We don’t want to be involved in the middle of this, we want to be the strong media that ensures everyone is doing their very best and calling out the people we feel are holding the industry back. What we won’t ever do is post fluffy news about how it all went so well when everyone involved knows full well there were big problems. We’re not interested in being part of the old boys club.
I admire the personal and professional effort that MWEB is putting into eSports and once again I do think the MSSA is trying its best. I just don’t think it is good enough.
But what about the shout-casting?
One more thing.
There was some discontent around the shout casting of the event and queries over the technical quality of the feed and the chemistry that the two casters had with each other. Congo Kyle is probably our most well known caster and he was lined up to cast the event with one of his regular co-casters with whom he has worked with on many an occasion.
So it was with some surprise when Congo Kyle and Daewan were announced as the casters. I hadn’t heard of Daewan before but she performed very well and while everyone always has an opinion the general feeling is that she definitely knows what she is doing. But a common complaint was the lack of chemistry between the two and when I asked around that I was told that Kyle was told a few hours before the event that he would have to cast with Daewan as they wanted to give a female the chance to be seen in the big leagues.
Now I have two opinions on this; firstly I do not think that anyone should benefit simply from their race, religion or gender but I understand that sometimes these things have to happen. However I can’t imagine this was a last minute decision from the MSSA and as it was their decision they should have told both casters at least a few weeks before so that they could practice together and build that chemistry.
To be 100% clear, I think Daewan and Kyle are very good at their jobs and did as good a job as possible in the situation – but once again they weren’t given the opportunity to excel thanks to bad planning from the MSSA.
I’m now reaching 1500 words and I’ve only touched briefly on everything I was told yesterday. The community is amazingly passionate about eSports – which is great, and if you have something you want published anonymously or with your name attached please do let me know and we can work something out.
Last Updated: August 2, 2013