Home Gaming DOTA 2 Test Match Update–A tale of many men and opinions

DOTA 2 Test Match Update–A tale of many men and opinions

7 min read


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.

“Shout casting:
The MSSA shall decide who may shout-cast the games.
Anybody wishing to be appointed as a Shout-Caster must apply in writing to mindsportssa@iafrica.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:

“Shout casting:
The MSSA would love to hear from shout-casters interested in casting these matches. If you are interested please email us at mindsportssa@iafrica.com

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


  1. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    August 2, 2013 at 12:14

    I still think ignoring someone until they have paid the membership fee is a bit silly. MSSA is still growing and needs to get the ENTRE gaiming community involved. Add some sort of cost once the community is a bit bigger.
    Just my 2 cents


    • Lord Chaos

      August 2, 2013 at 12:23


      The article was spot on, but people will always find something to bitch about.


      • OminousRain

        August 2, 2013 at 12:28

        That’s true.

        I am just happy we are getting some form of eSports in this country.

        Maybe one day we might see this stuff on SuperSport. Then I’ll get myself DSTV 🙂


    • HvR

      August 2, 2013 at 12:37

      I do not see a problem if they ask a small entry fee (R50 to R100) for the trials; maybe throw in a lucky draw in the end; to cover their cost.

      This whole you have to belong to certain clubs and pay annual fees thing is wrong.

      Out of experience with the club model in amateur or semi-amateur sports there tend to be club favoritism with the selected players not the best players but the best connected players. If SA eSports fall into that trap they might as well throw in the towel now.


      • Ultimo_Cleric N7

        August 2, 2013 at 12:40

        Oh I totally agree with fees at some point (see below). But at such an early stage of the game, considering they also get money from MWEB…..I dont know.


      • B4d R0b0t

        August 2, 2013 at 13:36

        What do you mean “if” it has!


        • HvR

          August 2, 2013 at 13:45

          Well I HOPE that it is not too late and they pull M$ 180 and things on the correct path.


  2. That M.I.B Twit

    August 2, 2013 at 12:30

    When one speaks the truth, people lose their freaking minds.


  3. HvR

    August 2, 2013 at 12:32

    I’m still with you on this Gavin (I might even have stronger negative feelings).

    No ill feelings towards the players but I feel the way MSSA is handling eSports feels so similar to the management styles of ASA and CricketSA (specifically this whole belong to the right club and pay membership fees).

    I’m also getting the whole “We are the Boss, so shut up” vibe from them and there has been a lot of “hick ups” which has the potential to snowball and sink the SA eSports boat before it leaves the harbor.

    They should take the criticism, which have all been constructive, to heart and up their game.


    • Sageville

      August 2, 2013 at 12:43

      Dood, I just had to delete my original comment as you pretty much said how I feel.

      MSSA could have acknowledged issues as “Challenges” and actually used the criticism to improve on said “Challenges”. The community would have respected the organisation more had they adopted that attitude.

      Instead pundits attack whistleblowers implying they don’t support local eSports by highlighting valid concerns, “What concerns? These aren’t the concerns you are looking for, move along”.

      I’m also not a fan of the “We’re in charge, keep calm and STFU, we’ll tell you when we mess up” feel I get from MSSA.


      • B4d R0b0t

        August 2, 2013 at 13:41

        And so you should not be, you are part of generation that is in control of its presence, image and preference online and in the world. If you do not get the service you desire you will move on to the next one, hence the lack of support for MSSA in general.


    • Matthew Holliday

      August 2, 2013 at 14:05

      that “we are the boss, so shut up” comment pretty much explains the MSSA.

      Dont know if anyone remembers the QOOB drama from 2009/2010 for cod4?
      where MSSA promised a team of players who were interested in going overseas to a LAN tournament, sorta kinda representing South Africa in a none official way, that they would arrange flight tickets, visas and hotels for the players.
      then 2 weeks befor the event say “sorry, not happening, and you cant say youre a South African team either. even though you’re South African, lol bye.”

      pretty much sums up everything I feel about the MSSA.


  4. frikkenator

    August 2, 2013 at 12:33

    I still think they’re trying to force eSports into the format of conventional sports (i.e. provincial and national teams). This is not the way the majority of eSports work at the moment. You have independent teams with sponsors, especially in Dota.

    If you want to help eSports, help them to get sponsors and put together events that will have an attractive ROI for the sponsors.


    • Lord Chaos

      August 2, 2013 at 12:33

      Have an upvote good sir.


    • Matthew Holliday

      August 2, 2013 at 14:11

      I agree with this.
      In the gaming scene, the national game teams do not feature at all in the competative scene.
      if you you want the scene to grow, help it, dont fiddle with it.


  5. B4d R0b0t

    August 2, 2013 at 13:35

    Yup really have to agree with you on the MSSA. Colin has a way with words, he is very standoffish. He has not one ounce of people skill and it comes across time and time again in his posts and press releases. It’s actually a sham, as this guy has the job of promoting eSports on a national level. I actually feel sorry for MWEB. They really are trying to do something great but in association MSSA who have consistently done as little as possible over the years while being very vocal about their unhappiness in not being interviewed or consulted on every event of facet of eSports in South Africa.
    The end result is a deep mistrust by the majority of gamers in the scene for Colin Webster himself. I would also be willing to bet this whole thing was motivated from the MWEB side and in no way conceptualised, executed or managed by MSSA. Looking at some of the facts you noted I can just imagine the MWEB team pulling their hair out while waiting for the MSSA to respond with pertinent info so that the event could be aptly promoted by MWEB.


  6. caponeil

    August 2, 2013 at 14:09

    Gav – as much as I respect your opinion I have to say; if you have to write a second blog/post to explain the first, the first one should never have been written. Just saying! Leave writing about E-Sports/ Dota/ CS or whatever to the guys that are informed. Dabbling: http://www.lazygamer.co/pc-gaming/dota-2-is-a-blight-on-the-gaming-community/ does not really give you any permission to write about it, nor does it qualify you.

    I won’t write about a perception if I, myself have not experienced it first hand. Stick to reviewing games/hardware (thoroughly) or risk losing your credibility! Use it don’t use it.

    If you wish to write about MSSA because their structures are broken fine but 3 Dota 2 posts in less than a week, is one of two things.
    1. Jumping on the negativity bandwagon for some publicity and
    2. Trying to compete in a space (E-Sports) which you might be equipped to do….for publicity.

    Leave E-Sports to Yolanda or Zoe or whomever is informed!


    • Sageville

      August 2, 2013 at 14:15

      Would it be ok he runs his articles through you first for your permission?

      Would that be ok with you? oh overlord of opinion piece commentary.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if you where part of MSSA or affiliated.


      • caponeil

        August 2, 2013 at 14:29

        Oh I am sorry – do I have to send my posts to you for permission?
        Would that be OK with you? oh you overlord misinformed commentary
        It wouldn’t surprise me if you knew nothing of MSSA

        As a matter of fact, I was willing to start regular sponsorship programme for dota and e-sports but as a result of a non-constructive, conceited attitude by journo’s and the like, myself and others might have been scared of! My small bit probably might have not made a damn worth of difference, on the other hand it just might have!


        • Sageville

          August 2, 2013 at 15:07

          I think you are a perfect candidate to join MSSA, you totally reflect the attitude they have towards eSports and the gaming community as a whole.

          Oh, and the whole “I was gonna think about sponsoring eSports… but I’m not gonna, because of journos” rant was about the lamest thing I’ve read on the interwebs to date.

          That been said, I do feel I’ve wasted enough time on you as is. Consider my future responses to your replies to be in the form of, “uhuh”, “Sure” and “Whatever”.

          Enjoy your weekend.


        • Ultimo_Cleric N7

          August 2, 2013 at 15:20

          No, I do think everyone has a right to say how they feel. And I do agree that we do jump to conclusions on this site. But please think of it this way:
          Gav, and a few of the commentors (is that even a word ??) on this page, dont know the full story. And that may be the problem. How well has info from the MSSA been conveyed? Not well I would say. And the way that the info we do have has been communicated has been very condecending.
          If that’s what “Joe Gamer” feels about the issues, then should it not be communicated?


          • caponeil

            August 2, 2013 at 15:37

            @Ultimo_Cleric_N7:disqus – My post not only refers to this specific article but the reporting and handling of Dota (in this case) in general. Could apply to Farm Simulator for all I care. Unfortunately as soon as you start to report on a topic and you are in the public domain, like LG, you should be informed and knowledgeable. As a respected part of the gaming community your words carry more weight than others and that should be seen as a responsibility.

            If “Joe Gamer” reads the last couple of articles he would probably just say, it is not worth it.

            Look, I love Gaming and have done so for over 30 years and just get peeved off by the politicising of it and even worse, the actions of some wet-behind-the_ear_know_it_all_fanboy who does not appreciate the legacy of the gaming environment! Just play the f@cking game like we used to!

            This is not a Jibe at Gav, you or LG (regardless of what your fanboy above thinks) it is a comment made to relay an opinion! Any debate is a good debate!

          • Ultimo_Cleric N7

            August 2, 2013 at 16:37

            Good point, unfortunately things will never be like they used to since the industry has become so big. Guess there will always be growing pains.
            And yes, any debate is a good debate ^^

          • B4d R0b0t

            August 2, 2013 at 16:42

            Ironic that people with the full story could post it here, seems its easier to say ” you don’t know the full story” No idea how that helps us the reader get informed but hey, I come from a world were anyone can comment, view and have an opinion on any sport, crazy as that sounds……

        • B4d R0b0t

          August 2, 2013 at 16:39

          Nope with your attitude it would have failed.


    • Gavin Mannion

      August 2, 2013 at 14:57

      You have a valid point and it is noted.

      However think of me as your typical mainstream eSports watcher and if I’m being given false information by the people involved that is then what is reported.

      Not giving any information also ends up making the organisation looks bad


      • frikkenator

        August 2, 2013 at 15:17

        No he doesn’t. You’ve never played DotA then went on to write a scathing article about how bad the community is when you JUST started playing. This pissed a lot of people off, but it is important as it highlights crucial issues from an outsider’s point of view.

        The same is true here, and I think the comments confirm that this is the general feel for people not on the inner circle of eSports in SA. “They” (the people apparently in the know of all things eSports) are clearly doing it wrong and not realising it, and an outsider’s perspective is always valuable.


    • B4d R0b0t

      August 2, 2013 at 16:38

      Wait so all the football, rugby and cricket commentators and journalist need to quit because they do not actually play the game in a competitive way. This must be a troll post, you are joking right. Please go back and read what you said……not very intelligent.


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